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ADD/ADHD moms help needed

Posted by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 3:41 PM
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Part of the reason we started homeschooling was because DD wasn't doing great in PS. She wasn't doing poorly, but wasn't my idea of succeeding. Being dragged along with the class basically.

We have avoided medicating. I have been doing everything I have read to help her without medication. But I'm starting to wonder if anything short of medication is going to do the trick.

It's like... nothing sticks. She'll learn about something in math and won't be able to do it the next day. She'll complete a LA lesson and do fine, but when it comes time to take the test she doesn't do well. Things don't stick and it's driving me nuts!

We are child-led with everything but Math and Language Arts. It's driving me INSANE that she isn't succeeding in these two areas. I've tried different approaches to math but the results are always the same. We started doing multiplication and division probably October and still she isn't proficient enough (IMO) to move forward. My opinion of proficient would be 85% or better. I don't think that's asking too much.

I don't force her to do numerous problems. Only enough to make sure she "gets it." Sometimes that's only 4-5 problems. But ask her to do the same thing again the next day and she just shuts off. She has mastered low-digit multiplication/division but anything above 6 is meltdown territory. Even 9s... I've shown her the 9 hand trick more times than I care to count.

I'm losing my patience. She tells me she's stupid. I just don't know what else to do. She watches very little TV, plays outside plenty, lots of family/quality time, very little sugar, mostly gluten/dairy free (due to problems my other children have... she has made it impossible to be gfcf).

So what now?? I'm not trying to make medicating moms feel bad, it's just something I've always reserved as an "if all else fails" last resort.

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 3:41 PM
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by Sonja on Feb. 4, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Hi amandae.  :)  Its breathing time. Take a breath in slowly and now let it out slowly.  :)  

 Now it is question time....

Do you ever try and make a game with her math? Or make it where math is just so weirdly funny that she just ends up learn inspite of her dislike of math?  

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

 Sometimes people need to have it be a practical part of life to get it to stick. So get creative with ways to make it part of her day to day life rather the lessons & school work.

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:33 PM

That sounds exactly like DD (6) - we are awaiting diagnosis and see the specialist 2/20.

I tried changing her diet but nothing worked, my DD also has sleep issues and also says she is stupid, that everyone hates her.  While I am not strongly for or against medication I have seen a decline in her ability to focus in the last year along with poor organizational skills.  She has trouble retaining simple fact espeically in Math and she is a perfectionist which makes it doubly hard when she makes a simple error and starts her work all over again instead of just erasing it.

For us DD is still in private school where the class numbers are very low but this is one reason why I have gone back to deliberating whether or not homeschooling will be better for her.

I hope you find something that works...

hugs .

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM
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My babies are now adults.  But as a tutor, I work with many children like your child, and no medication is needed when I teach them.  Since you said she is ADHD,  here are some ideas for you.

  • These children need lots of activity.  So make the learning as experiential as possible.  If they become antsy, I let them run around the house once or twice (that does wonders for their attention span). 
  • Figure out her learning style.  Too often we try to duplicate PS methods, and that does not work for about 55% of the children.  That is especially true for hands on learners, the analytical child, active children, and  children with ADHD. When We home school, the whole world is our classroom (we are not limited to the Conventional Method if it is not working) .

Following are some links to help you achieve the suggestions above

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:18 AM

P.S.  I wanted to say something about the stupid issue.  One of my students came to me in kindergarten (a very active child who teachers diagnosed as ADHD).  With me, he was learning rapidly, and loved it.

True example 1

He was returned to me in first grade, and knew less than he did in kindergarten.  I began working with him at his home where he was more relaxed, and finally he blurted out, "I am dumb".  He was not dumb,.  His learning style did not jell with the Conventional method.  So his mom, teacher, and I began assuring him that he was not dumb.  In 3 days he was back to his old self, and began making As.  Thinking he was dumb was a self fulfilling prophecy, and changing that thought was all he needed. 

True example II.

I was given a little girl in Kindergarten right after Christmas because she was failing.  The first thing I always do when a child is struggling with reading is to ask them how they pronounce the sounds of  the following letters: B,C, D, G, H, J, K, M, P, T, W.  (These letters are often enunciated incorrectly which gives many children problems when they try to blend the sounds).  She was only pronouncing the sound of the letter W incorrectly.  I used an active board  game ("Ring Around The Phonics) to teach her the correct sound, and to help her with blending the sounds to form words) (Note whole brain teaching reduces stress)

She quickly learned how to read any word that I put on the board.  But when I asked her to read from a book, she freaked out.  So  once I knew she had total confidence on the board, I stopped playing the game, and every time she freaked out on a word in a book,  I  placed that same word on the game board (using the static cling letter cards that come with the game).  She could read it on the board, but not the book.   I just kept pointing to the word on the board, and back to the same word in the book, until it clicked.  She finally realized she could read.  So for this girl it took a different approach to help her overcome the idea that something was wrong with her.  But once she got it, she became a top reader in her class, her spelling improved, and she passed onto first grade. 

Hear Phonic Sounds Free

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:35 AM
Our DD is ADHD too and sometimes we have this problem with math. She'll get the point one day and them forget it immediately. I just drop the topic and come back to it in a few weeks. She seems to perform better after taking a break.
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by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM


Quoting usmom3:

 Sometimes people need to have it be a practical part of life to get it to stick. So get creative with ways to make it part of her day to day life rather the lessons & school work.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:30 AM
I have ADHD myself, and I will say I also have the problem of "shutting off" awhile after I thought I knew something. I forget things extremely easily. I have to find a trick or routine to a lot of things to remember to do them or to do them the right way.
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by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

My DD is ADD and what you're describing has never been a problem for her. She absorbs concepts like water and she tests very well. Now, she has felt dumb, but that was largely due to the fact that she didn't do a lot of the work - perfectionism (she wouldn't turn it in unless it was perfect), absent-mindedness, and the occasional bit of sheer bloody-minded stubbornness.

We have definitely hit those meltdown moments for her, though, and they're just awful to get through. Have you asked DH to help her? Is there a high schooler nearby who's good at math and can approach it differently? Someone at the homeschool co-op who can help you get over this obstacle?

You don't have to do everything on your own. One of the beauties of homeschooling is the ability to enlist the right kind of help at the right time.

Fwiw, we finally started medicating in 5th grade when her ADD spiraled downward so badly that none of the previous things we'd tried worked anymore. Her grades were plummeting and her self-esteem bottomed out. Our pediatrician said that the onset of puberty can exacerbate the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

by Sonja on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:00 PM
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ADD and ADHD is not a disease or a malfunction in any way at all. They just mean that the brain connects in a different way. That is it. Nothing else. When you find out how the brain of the one who is ADD or ADHD works--thinks, then you have opened up the world for that person.  You have to learn how they think. They do not think like the rest of the world does.  Where you see something simple, they see something out of shape. Where you think you see something very complicated, they see something very simple. When you know this, you are able to accomodate the way a child learns.  Most of these kids need activity of a sort, in order to keep their minds on track.  They can usually multitask. Like listening to a radio or even a television program while doing something else.  They can even carry on a conversation too.  

I have 7 children. I am ADD. My husband is ADHD. Our children are a combination of either one of us.  It has been the bane of my teaching and the very blessings of my teaching!  And each one of my children had to be taught differently yet somehow the same.  So, I made one focus on this subject this way and another on the same subject with a different approach.  This type of teaching is a slow process at first but once you know what you need to do and have done it a few times, you actually can do really well with it.  

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