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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teaching kids who can't sit still

When my daughter was in school, before we pulled her out to homeschool, we were constantly told she was very likely ADHD and needed to be medicated. We ignored them. Sure, she was extremely energetic at school, but at home, she wasn't really a bother. I have always loved her level of energy... except for when she was sick, because she would not lay down and allow herself to recover.

Anyway, we never did medicate her. That was actually the final straw the caused us to homeschool.  I was convinced that the hyperactivity (she is not attention deficit) was an asset and not a negative. She proved me right.  Her first year at home, we used Time4learning, 2nd grade curriculum. After flipping over her chair a couple of times, I just took it, and raised the desk so she could stand. She stood there and did her work while bouncing around. I remember her doing a math problem, plugging in the numbers, getting it right, and jumping up and down and screaming, Yoooo Hooo!  Then she did a second.  When she got that one right, she took off running... Out of the home office, through the great room, through get kitchen, into the dining room, into the foyer, and back into the home office to the computer. She then continued to do her work. She was burning off the excess energy, and very likely processing the problems she had just done.

We went along this way for six months.. till Christmas.  After Christmas, I had to call he office that administered the program and asked them to move her up to 3rd grade because she had finished a years work by Christmas. She finished 3rd grade by summer, and then we reviewed everything.  She started reading after that and spent her years reading novels and going through curriculum at a normal speed, but graduated from a homeschool high school program at age 16.  We checked her into her dorm room 1 month after her 17th birthday.  She's 18 now, and just finished her 3rd semester of college with a 3.78 overall.

I tell you this story not to brag but to present an idea.

I am of the opinion that keeping kids moving while learning is something parents will want to consider. This is especially true for hyperactive, ADHD, and other distractible kids. I don't have an answer yet, but the wheels are turning in my head. Energetic kids should be taught in a way that allows them to use that energy and not suppress it.  This is something I want to continue discussing and working towards as I begin to develop both my art and my contribution to homeschooling.

1 comment:

C T said...

I've been tutoring a teenager with attention issues, and I have found that having him do some pushups help him focus on his schoolwork again. Also, having him recite math formulas while doing jumping jacks helps him memorize them. It seems a little silly in practice, but the results are better than we'd get if he didn't go move some.