Having ADHD is challenging as a mother and homeschool teacher, but add a daughter with ADHD to that mix, and things just got downright hard. Yet, after 40 years, I think I have finally learned to manage my symptoms……see? There’s hope! Notice, I did not say ‘master’ my symptoms, because there is no ‘cure’ for ADHD. My daughter and I will be nutballs our whole lives, but with prayer, grace and self-discipline, we can be taught to live productive lives.
My own mother and father were and are amazing. Actually, I guess you could call them saints, because they somehow were able to put up with me and all of my spastic-scattered-brainness. They weren’t all sweet and gooey center either, they gave me exactly what I needed……tough love tempered with real life, but all with a gentle hug and a big ole’ kiss! It worked (not completely until my 30’s, but it did eventually work), and I am doing my very best to give my daughter the same fighting chance as she struggles with this debilitating condition.
For many people, ADHD is a crutch or a catch-all phrase for an undisciplined child; or even a lazy adult. I cringe when I hear, “that child needs some meds because he is uncontrollable!”, or “Oops, I forgot to do what I was supposed to do, so I must be having an ADHD moment”. Um……..when did it become ok in our society for people to downplay and joke about a real and oftentimes crippling disorder. It ain’t funny people, especially to the people who have it, nor is it all too humorous to the people who take care of an ADHD person. You never hear someone cracking jokes about a person with a physical disease like Cerebral Palsy or MS, nor do you hear anyone mocking a mentally challenged child (and if you do, make sure you run the other way). Just because you cannot see a physical ailment, or even a noticeable mental ailment, doesn’t mean that a person is what perfect people call ‘normal’.
I’m done venting……..just wanted to get that out there.
The good news, is there are many ways to help yourself, or your child, adjust to having ADHD. What works for me, might not work for you, and vice versa. For my family, organization is the key to every inch of our issues. Without organization, Casey and I fall apart, and the feelings that result overwhelm us, which therefore undoes us. We like to keep our sanity together, so we make sure that our lives are very structured and regulated. No, that doesn’t mean that we are rigid, because a person with ADHD is almost always on the brink of spontaneously combusting, but it does mean that we are committed to self-discipline.
My love for God is what bring me through each day. Knowing that everything that I do is for His glory, keeps me from throwing up my hands on a crazy and disordered day, and then crawling under a rock. Instead, I pray a lot , and then systematically go through each piece of chaos, doing my best to right the wrong, organize the mess, and get things back on track. Kids tend to be a little more self-centered, so it is not usually until they reach adulthood that they desire to manage their ADHD for the glory of our Lord. So, until then, we must be the driving force behind their learning the necessary skills to cope 🙂
This schedule is the brain child of Teri Maxwell, over at http://www.titus2.com She wrote a whole book about how a homeschooling family can orgazinze their every waking moment…….and she wrote it well! That along with her ‘chore-pack’ idea, is what keeps our train running ahead with full steam.
7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Get up, get dressed, CHORE CARDS (I have another post all about our chore cards) for All
8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. D.J. – Plants Grown Up (character curriculum), Casey – Polished Cornerstones (character curriculum), Blue Eyes – off to Kindergarten, Coconut & Goldilocks – Bibles Stories and Bible Reading.
9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. D.J. – Individual Bible Character Study (right now it’s Prepare Thy Work from Doorposts), Casey – Homework for Biblical Living, Coconut & Goldilocks – Exercise/Walk
9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. D.J. – Science Reading with Mama, Casey – Science Reading with Mama, Coconut & Goldilocks – Free play in the living room
10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. D.J. – Praise Music and Hymn History, Casey – Praise Music and Hymn History, Coconut & Goldilocks – Free play in living room
10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. D.J. – Math, Casey – Math, Coconut & Goldilocks – Preschool Curriculum and Poetry
11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. D.J. – Reading with Mama (right now it’s Pilgrim’s Progress), Casey – Reading with Mama, Coconut & Goldilocks – Miss Patty Cake & Barney
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. D.J. – Lunch/Proverbs, Make-Up Work & Lunch CHORE CARDS, Casey – Lunch/Proverbs, Make-Up Work & Lunch CHORE CARDS, Coconut & Goldilocks – Lunch & Nap Time
1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. D.J. – Character First! & Wisdom Booklets with Mama, Casey – Character First! & Wisdom Booklets with Mama, Coconut & Goldilocks – Nap Time
1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. D.J. – Spanish with Mama, Casey – Spanish with Mama, Coconut & Goldilocks – Nap Time
2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. D.J. – Study of People of the Bible (right now it’s the life of Jesus), Casey – Study of People of the Bible, Coconut & Goldilocks – Nap Time
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. D.J. – English, Casey – English, Coconut & Goldilocks – Crafts & Busy Book
3:00 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m. D.J. – Homework for Biblical Living, Casey – Individual Bible Study (right now it’s Proverbs 31 Virtuous Woman by Doorposts), Coconut – Worksheets & Preschool Reading, Goldilocks – Puzzles
3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. D.J. – Independent Spanish Study, Casey – Independent Spanish Study, Blue Eyes – HOME FROM SCHOOL, Bible Reading, Bible & Character Stories, Snack, Coconut & Goldilocks – Free Play in Individual Bedrooms
4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. D.J. – Afternoon CHORE CARDS, Eat & Get Ready for Work, Casey – Piano Practice, Blue Eyes – School Homework, Reading Lessons, & Front-Line Homework, Coconut & Goldilocks – Free Play in Individual Bedrooms
4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. D.J. – Drive to Work OR Piano Practice, Casey – Afternoon CHORE CARDS, Blue Eyes – Flash Cards, Quiz Cards, & Handwriting Skills, Coconut & Goldilocks – Play-Doh, Water Colors & Table Play
5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. D.J. – Life Skills Training, Casey – Driver’s Ed Training, Blue Eyes – Read Story Books, Math, & Character Curriculum, Coconut & Goldilocks – Play-Doh, Water Colors & Table Play
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. D.J. – Home Projects OR Make-Up Work, Casey – Home Economics Projects OR Make-Up Work, Blue Eyes – Afternoon CHORE CARDS, Piano & Bath-Time, Coconut & Goldilocks – Afternoon CHORE CARDS, Bath-Time & Playtime/Craft
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. D.J. – Verse Memory, Church Work & Free Time, OR Make-Up Work, Casey – Verse Memory, Church Work & Free Time, OR Make-Up Work, Blue Eyes – Bedtime Stories, Praise Music & Young Family Devotions, Coconut & Goldilocks – Bedtime Stories, Praise Music & Young Family Devotions
8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. D.J. – Dinner, Night CHORE CARDS, Teeth & Face, Casey – Dinner, Night CHORE CARDS, Teeth & Face, Blue Eyes – Dinner, Teeth, & Bed Time, Coconut & Goldilocks – Dinner, Teeth, & Bed Time
9:00 p.m. to Bed Time D.J., Casey, Mama & Daddy – Family Devotions, Family Reading (right now it’s Courtship), Prayer Journal, & T.V. (either a Christian Movie, or a History Movie)
Now, does this happen every single solitary day? NO. However, it keeps us motivated to do as much as we possibly can during our days. Having a schedule where everything is mapped out, also frees up Mama from having to constantly ask what her children are supposed to be doing (as much as humanly possibly, anyway). It also strategically places the big kids doing individual work, while I work with the little ones……and the other way around. I even have a few time blocks (not many!) where I can get some housework done. However, as every homeschooling mom knows, housework is not the name of the game…….educating and nurturing our children in the Word of God is where it’s at!