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Okay moms with unmedicated ADHD kids....

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 What curricula have you found that work well with your little wigglers?  And What curricula would you avoid like the plague?

I will not get my youngest diagnosed because I do not want to hear about medications.  He is who he is and we will take it as it comes.  That said, I know he'll always need to move more, use his whole body in his learning, and move from activity to activity a bit more often.  I still plan on slowly increasing his attention span (for some reason my hubby was concerned that not getting a diagnoses and not getting medication meant that I wasn't going to address his issues at all.)

We treat with: proper sleep schedules, proper nutrition, and exercise. 

by on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:03 AM
Replies (41-50):
paganbaby
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 7:07 PM


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 

Quoting paganbaby:

Sadly I medicated my dd when she was young so I don't have a whole lot of advice.

 That's okay....thanks for the bump!  :-)

Oh and sorry to hear that it was "sadly" done.

I was young, 22, and decided to listen to family instead of doing my own reaserch. I know better now :-)

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

maggiemom2000
by Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM
6 moms liked this

Not curriculum, but a method that I find reallly helps with kids who need extra help with focus and organization, workboxes:

How Workboxes Work in our House

We are a couple of weeks into our second year of homeschool at our house. One thing that we have found works well for us is the Workboxes system. I must admit I never read "the book", Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I read a lot of blogs, looked at a lot of photos and came up with our own version of the system.
For the first time this year the boys are enrolled in the California Virtual Academy (CAVA) which uses the K12 curriculum. I find it is easy to use the Workboxes with this curriculum. (EDIT: We left CAVA/K12 after 6 weeks)
I have one child who is easy to homeschool. He is organized, and will sit quietly and do "seatwork". If I were just working with him I wouldn't need any kind of "system".
My other child is not that way. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. I know some people don't like labels for their kids. For me, it helps to remind me that I didn't do, or not do anything to cause the way he goes through life. I can't change him, but I can help to try and give him tools to make it easier to get through life. With this child, I needed a "system'!
While I try and make the kids assignments not to "schooly" and avoid worksheets and generally boring busy work, there still needs to be a way to get through the curriculum. The Workboxes help with this. I find that it does several things that are particularly helpful for a child with ADHD:
  • It helps with organization.
  • It is visual and tactile. He can see how much work (how many boxes) need to get done. He physically moves the tag off the box and onto the chart when he is finished with it.
  • It is self rewarding in that he can see the number of tags increase on his chart and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • It is not so overwhelming to have one task in a box. It doles things out in small enough chunks for him.
  • It takes away me being the one telling him to do each assignment. Instead he just takes a box off the shelf. I find this leads to fewer power struggles.
  • It gives him a sense of control. I allow him to choose which box to do next, he doesn't need to do them in any specific order.
  • It helps me to insert more fun stuff and games. When I put the game in the box the night before I'm not overwhelmed and ready to quit for the day! Before, by the time I got through math, writing, science, etc. I was too tired to say "Let's play Scrabble!" But when it is on one of the boxes it is different.
  • It promotes independence. He chooses a box and starts working on it on his own (unless it is a "MOM" box, then he brings it to me for us to do together).
With my first child, I just had to tell him how the system works, once. With my second child it took a bit more work. The first week with the workboxes there were boxes and tags and supplies EVERYWHERE! It took some time, and lots of one on one to teach him to take down one box, finish it, move the tag, put it away, then take the next box. I think just learning a routine like that is valuable in itself.


This is what it looks like:
I was able to use some shelves that we already had for the workboxes. Each child has 12 boxes, and I usually "fill" 9-12 boxes each day. At first I thought, how will I ever fill 12 boxes, that is WAY too much! When I started doing it I quickly realized that it wasn't too much, because many of the boxes have short activities. Plus, I needed lots of boxes so that I could add lots of "fun" stuff. My kids love the Active Activity Cards. I downloaded those and made more of my own.

I was amazed at first to find that if I put it into a Workbox, they just did it. It was that easy.

When they finish a box, they pull off the tag and and place it on their chart.

I have one child who always carefully places each tag on his chart in numerical order. My other child is a bit less orderly with how he gets his number tags onto his chart. I'll leave you to figure out who does it which way.


This system also keeps ME organized and on track. 
I'm much less likely to get too tired at some point and just put something off until the next day (and the next). I keep things on hand to add to the boxes to keep things interesting and "hand on". In addition to my shelves full of supplies I have this little cart with little games, math manipulatives, hands on science equipment and other supplies. I find that if it is within reach I'm much more likely to take advantage of it.

It is a lot of organization up front, but not too difficult to maintain!

Added January, 2013

More resources:
Workbox Tags
More Workbox Tags
Workboxables

More on using workboxes with a child with ADHD/Aspergers, or similar challenges:
Get Creative!
Fun Workboxes
Workboxes and Power Struggles
coala
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM

I'm so glad that you guys have been able to find some methods that are working just by changing the diet.

My oldest was walking through the grocery store today pointing out all the stuff that she can't eat at home because of her sister.  I feel bad for her, but it is ALL of us that are making this change and missing some of our favorite foods.

I learned about a by product today that I didn't even know about.....maltodextrin is from corn.  It seems that I can't win.  I purposefully elimated chicken boullion from our house and then found that the sodium free doesn't have hydrolyzed corn protein or corn startch.  Yeah, boy was I wrong.  My LO is still complaining of reflux...and I didn't figure it out until today.


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 We are big on the diet stuff!  We have eliminated all processed food, which probably does limit his corn intake.  I've seen a difference by completely getting rid of the processed sugars.  It has been hard on all of us.  We all have sweet teeth *gg* but I have seen such a big difference in all of us.  It keeps me going.  Plus when I am weak enough to get ice cream, I get punished for it!  Lol! 

Quoting coala:

My LO's dad is text book ADHD.  His mom ran the gamut with trying to find a solution before she turned to meds and that was back in the mid to later 80's.  I can almost guarantee if this child was in a BM school she would be in trouble constantly and they would insist on a diagnosis.  I think its great when we can find something to help them.  I can tell you that by eliminating corn and corn by products from her diet (not because of the behavior but because it was causing reflux) she has gotten so much better.  Her corn allergy was contributing to her ADHD tendancies.  Her skating coach has even been able to see a difference....and when she isn't able to focus he will ask me what she has eaten over the last few days.  He is in for a treat today as she went to a HS fall party yesterday and it was all I could do to keep her away from the Cheeto's.  She ate other stuff and I'm sure it wasn't all corn free, but I did take pumpkin oatmeal muffins that she is addicted to at the moment.  We will see how it goes this evening.  LOL


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 

Quoting coala:

Honestly....I don't know if mine truly is, but she can't sit still to save her life.  I let her bounce and move.  The only time I require her to sit still is while she is working on her handwritting.  I need her to sit still in a chair and face forward.  This is proving to get a little easier as she is getting older....she is only 5 and working hard on these skills.  I don't expect my kids to stay in their seats all day, but they need to sit at a table to write properly.

 Q is almost never in his seat, but he can sit still for about 5 minutes for copy work.  So that's a plus!

I've gathered a whole lot of hands-on manipulatives...connectagons, the big fluffy pipe cleanedrs, legos, marble runs, a clock, and of course a tablet. 

There is a website http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_signs_symptoms.htm
That talks about needing to show so many of the symptoms, and my little guy shows nearly all of them.  But of course it also states very clearly that you need a doctor to diagnose, but if I do get him diagnosed they'd want to start looking for meds.  I went through the wheel of medications when I was in college and it was never worth it.  But it did help me kind of start searching for methods to use and techniques to help him deal.



 



KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 1:26 AM

I'm working with the same mentality with my Abby.   She is who she is.   However, there are days when I doubt this plan and question if I shouldn't have her evaluated.

As for what works???   so far??   Nothing specific.   Mainly, I have a huge amount of stuff I can pull from that incorporate ALL her senses and are short and to the point.    What she is tuned into one day will completely backfire for the next month and then suddenly work again.  

I allow her to choose, but I'm unable to let her lead.   She is very oppositional and will fight over doing everything the wrong way when you allow her to be in too much control.   Even if you completely give her control, she will flip flop back and forth until she has you grinding your teeth (on the inside) and ready to go bury your head in the sand.

That being said, my older ones are doing great with Math U See, and I'm thinking it will do her well, too.   I want to get some more of the basics first, and then we will start it.  

I have an interactive calendar board with daily activities that she MOSTLY enjoys and learns well from.   I found the idea on pinterest and have tweaked a few of the activities to fit her.  

I also have a time4learning.com account for her, although she's in a phase right now that she groans when I suggest it.   (I have some other educational websites and CD's that she uses on and off, more at her will than anything)

She joins us in Apologia science, and has her own Junior notebooking journal that goes with it.    This goes over pretty good most of the time, but we have to allow her to be flipping and rolling all over the room and just absorb what she absorbs.   She usually gets something busy for her hands when we are reading aloud.

She also watches the documentaries the older kids watch and discusses them afterward.  You never know what she will say or do or how much she gets out of them.

She has a notebook that she has to copy her name and address daily (it will change when that gets old and boring)

She has a notebook that goes along with her calendar board with activities in it.

She has a ton of work from advanced PreK stuff up to 2nd grade... just cheap workbook stuff.  She enjoys them in brief doses.   Sometimes, just to keep her doing something while we study other stuff.

She is in drama, Bible Quizzing, and wednesday night clubs.   We practice and do work for these events, too.   Oh, and she is also in the Christmas musical this year.   We will be starting homeschool PE in the fall.

She is beginning to pre-read, and I'm laying a foundation for phonics on my own.   (letter sounds right now, and high frequency words)... when I'm up for the challenge, I have a good phonics program (from K-12) that I used on the other two.   I hope it works on her because I know the program really well and can teach it easier.

She is 5 1/2

Some days are just insane.




 

HarrisonMD
by Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Good for you! I wish more parents thought like that! lol...our kids will be battling ADHD among a few other disorders as they get bigger and since they are already picky eaters and I don't serve the junk food hardly at all, it helps alot! I don't have a set curriculum atm, but they love spur of the moment learning or child led learning and I take their lead and run with it! Sometime I have a plan of action, but I see how the day starts as to whether it's going to work or not. Good Luck!

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM

 

Quoting MommeisQueen:

Getting a diagnoses doesn't mean getting medication. It will help if you want him to recieve serves such as Occupational Therapy to treat his ADHD. We've tried the ADHD diet (protein and complex carbs), "Proper" sleep (HA) and the whole nine but nothing has helped as much as the OT in conjunction with our Prayers(Thank you LORD) and commitment.

 You're right that it doesn't mean meds necessarily, but the family would push that and if the school finds out about a diagnoses they can push for an IEP which gives them much more insight into my homeschool.  We are going to work with the diet and sleep for a while longer before we start looking into anything else.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:38 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting romacox:

Information on Stevia

Stevia from Amazon


and I have sweetened pies with concentrated apple juice, and thickening the juice with tapioca.

Periodic breaks, for children with ADHD, that release energy also helps... Like a run around the house once or twice. Even adults with ADHD need daily physical activity

 We've used Stevia some.  We mostly use honey (spun, not heated) and maple syrup/sugar to sweeten things, but we really have just cut so much of it out altogether.  I make my own bread with honey as the sweetener.  Most pies we don't sweeten at all, the apple or fruit is sweet enough.  We use maple sugar and applesauce for reducing the amount of maple sugar we use in our cakes, and we bulk purchase whole wheat cake flours to up the fiber in them.

I have him run to the mailbox to get the mail, run to open and close the goat gates, etc.  We try for a lot of little bursts of exercise to clear his head.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:44 AM

 My oldest does that every once in a while too.  He'll tell me he misses Oreos or tell someone at church that our family isn't drinking those Huggies anymore.  It makes me feel bad, but what can ya do?

I know!  I've taken to only buying things with a single ingredient...so I can my own chicken stock.  It is really, really hard to change your diet away from the mainstream.  I used to say I was cooking from scratch, but now I think back and laugh at myself a little bit!  :-)  Mixes are not from "scratch" in our house anymore.

Quoting coala:

I'm so glad that you guys have been able to find some methods that are working just by changing the diet.

My oldest was walking through the grocery store today pointing out all the stuff that she can't eat at home because of her sister.  I feel bad for her, but it is ALL of us that are making this change and missing some of our favorite foods.

I learned about a by product today that I didn't even know about.....maltodextrin is from corn.  It seems that I can't win.  I purposefully elimated chicken boullion from our house and then found that the sodium free doesn't have hydrolyzed corn protein or corn startch.  Yeah, boy was I wrong.  My LO is still complaining of reflux...and I didn't figure it out until today.

 

 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:49 AM
1 mom liked this

 Wow!  That is a whole lot of information.  I'm going to sift through it today and I may have some questions for you later!  Thank you so much!!

Quoting maggiemom2000:

Not curriculum, but a method that I find reallly helps with kids who need extra help with focus and organization, workboxes:

How Workboxes Work in our House

We are a couple of weeks into our second year of homeschool at our house. One thing that we have found works well for us is the Workboxes system. I must admit I never read "the book", Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I read a lot of blogs, looked at a lot of photos and came up with our own version of the system.
For the first time this year the boys are enrolled in the California Virtual Academy (CAVA) which uses the K12 curriculum. I find it is easy to use the Workboxes with this curriculum. (EDIT: We left CAVA/K12 after 6 weeks)
I have one child who is easy to homeschool. He is organized, and will sit quietly and do "seatwork". If I were just working with him I wouldn't need any kind of "system".
My other child is not that way. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. I know some people don't like labels for their kids. For me, it helps to remind me that I didn't do, or not do anything to cause the way he goes through life. I can't change him, but I can help to try and give him tools to make it easier to get through life. With this child, I needed a "system'!
While I try and make the kids assignments not to "schooly" and avoid worksheets and generally boring busy work, there still needs to be a way to get through the curriculum. The Workboxes help with this. I find that it does several things that are particularly helpful for a child with ADHD:
  • It helps with organization.
  • It is visual and tactile. He can see how much work (how many boxes) need to get done. He physically moves the tag off the box and onto the chart when he is finished with it.
  • It is self rewarding in that he can see the number of tags increase on his chart and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • It is not so overwhelming to have one task in a box. It doles things out in small enough chunks for him.
  • It takes away me being the one telling him to do each assignment. Instead he just takes a box off the shelf. I find this leads to fewer power struggles.
  • It gives him a sense of control. I allow him to choose which box to do next, he doesn't need to do them in any specific order.
  • It helps me to insert more fun stuff and games. When I put the game in the box the night before I'm not overwhelmed and ready to quit for the day! Before, by the time I got through math, writing, science, etc. I was too tired to say "Let's play Scrabble!" But when it is on one of the boxes it is different.
  • It promotes independence. He chooses a box and starts working on it on his own (unless it is a "MOM" box, then he brings it to me for us to do together).
With my first child, I just had to tell him how the system works, once. With my second child it took a bit more work. The first week with the workboxes there were boxes and tags and supplies EVERYWHERE! It took some time, and lots of one on one to teach him to take down one box, finish it, move the tag, put it away, then take the next box. I think just learning a routine like that is valuable in itself.


This is what it looks like:
I was able to use some shelves that we already had for the workboxes. Each child has 12 boxes, and I usually "fill" 9-12 boxes each day. At first I thought, how will I ever fill 12 boxes, that is WAY too much! When I started doing it I quickly realized that it wasn't too much, because many of the boxes have short activities. Plus, I needed lots of boxes so that I could add lots of "fun" stuff. My kids love the Active Activity Cards. I downloaded those and made more of my own.

I was amazed at first to find that if I put it into a Workbox, they just did it. It was that easy.

When they finish a box, they pull off the tag and and place it on their chart.

I have one child who always carefully places each tag on his chart in numerical order. My other child is a bit less orderly with how he gets his number tags onto his chart. I'll leave you to figure out who does it which way.


This system also keeps ME organized and on track. 
I'm much less likely to get too tired at some point and just put something off until the next day (and the next). I keep things on hand to add to the boxes to keep things interesting and "hand on". In addition to my shelves full of supplies I have this little cart with little games, math manipulatives, hands on science equipment and other supplies. I find that if it is within reach I'm much more likely to take advantage of it.

It is a lot of organization up front, but not too difficult to maintain!

Added January, 2013

More resources:
Workbox Tags
More Workbox Tags
Workboxables

More on using workboxes with a child with ADHD/Aspergers, or similar challenges:
Get Creative!
Fun Workboxes
Workboxes and Power Struggles

 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM

 Imbedded:

Quoting KrissyKC:

I'm working with the same mentality with my Abby.   She is who she is.   However, there are days when I doubt this plan and question if I shouldn't have her evaluated.  Yes!  I question myself too!  You and I have comiserated before!  :-)

As for what works???   so far??   Nothing specific.   Mainly, I have a huge amount of stuff I can pull from that incorporate ALL her senses and are short and to the point.    What she is tuned into one day will completely backfire for the next month and then suddenly work again.   Mine is the same way.  For a week he'll love Wild Kratts or Magnetic Letters then suddenly he will not do it no matter what I try!  LOL

I allow her to choose, but I'm unable to let her lead.   She is very oppositional and will fight over doing everything the wrong way when you allow her to be in too much control.   Even if you completely give her control, she will flip flop back and forth until she has you grinding your teeth (on the inside) and ready to go bury your head in the sand.

That being said, my older ones are doing great with Math U See, and I'm thinking it will do her well, too.   I want to get some more of the basics first, and then we will start it.   Q has Math U See Primer and some of the time he loves it and some of the time it is torture.  With a bit of tweaking to make every single lesson hands-on with the manipulatives and by making the cardboard cut-out set I found on pinterest and attaching it to magnets, we can get work done most days.  Even if it's only 10 minutes at the whiteboard.

I have an interactive calendar board with daily activities that she MOSTLY enjoys and learns well from.   I found the idea on pinterest and have tweaked a few of the activities to fit her.   He has a calendar binder and he likes to circle the weather for the day and trace the date, Circle what yesterday was and what tomorrow will be.  He reads the outside thermometer and circles the clothing he could wear outside.  That usually takes him about 15 minutes lying on the floor and 5 minutes (letter tracing) sitting at the table.

I also have a time4learning.com account for her, although she's in a phase right now that she groans when I suggest it.   (I have some other educational websites and CD's that she uses on and off, more at her will than anything)  We had abcmouse for a while and I was considering Time4Learning.  I'm going to have to look into the cost and ask him about it.  I hate paying for stuff that he will only use for a while.  I got very frustrated with mouse because of his lack of interest!  He has apps he likes (Eggy words, etc) I think I'm going to look into more apps and maybe getting him his own tablet for Christmas. 

She joins us in Apologia science, and has her own Junior notebooking journal that goes with it.    This goes over pretty good most of the time, but we have to allow her to be flipping and rolling all over the room and just absorb what she absorbs.   She usually gets something busy for her hands when we are reading aloud.

She also watches the documentaries the older kids watch and discusses them afterward.  You never know what she will say or do or how much she gets out of them.  He's the same way when he's watching the documentaries with the older boys!  Some days he'll answer every question faster than his brothers can (boy does that make them mad!!) and some days he remembers nothing!

She has a notebook that she has to copy her name and address daily (it will change when that gets old and boring)

She has a notebook that goes along with her calendar board with activities in it.

She has a ton of work from advanced PreK stuff up to 2nd grade... just cheap workbook stuff.  She enjoys them in brief doses.   Sometimes, just to keep her doing something while we study other stuff.

She is in drama, Bible Quizzing, and wednesday night clubs.   We practice and do work for these events, too.   Oh, and she is also in the Christmas musical this year.   We will be starting homeschool PE in the fall.

She is beginning to pre-read, and I'm laying a foundation for phonics on my own.   (letter sounds right now, and high frequency words)... when I'm up for the challenge, I have a good phonics program (from K-12) that I used on the other two.   I hope it works on her because I know the program really well and can teach it easier.

She is 5 1/2

Some days are just insane.  Too True!!  LOL

 

 

 

 

 

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