How to keep your child engaged and available for instruction



Create a multi-sensory learning environment for a child with ADHD:


While teachers are struggling with zoom proficiency skills, work on your child's willingness to look and respond to virtual instruction by not insisting on constant engagement. Many elementary school children have returned to school by virtual means and, as of today, they are rebelling. Mix things up. We know that we - as adults - cannot sit in front of a screen as long as the students are expected to, so why not create some planned breaks that support learning? If your children are close in age, they can all participate in the following games that embody learning objectives.


Screen fatigue


Physical breaks are important for several reasons. The first is that the action of running, jumping or skipping (for example) releases endorphins into the brain - chemicals that have a calming effect. You could achieve an "attitude" reset by allowing a short trampoline session, or refereeing a relay race carrying rice in a ladle. The key is to get little legs moving, work on balance and other motor skills while letting off steam and reducing stress.


Play date with mom or dad


Memory games can provide problem-solving practice. 'What did I change?' Have your child look at you and then close their eyes. Change one thing about your appearance e.g. remove an earring. Then have them open their eyes and identify the change. 'Storytelling word by word'. Start a story with a single word. The next player builds the story with another word and the third player says the first two words and adds a third. This continues until a player can't recite all the words.


Follow Instructions


One of the challenges created by ADHD is following instructions. In a scavenger hunt, children have to follow a sequence of instructions to find a hidden object. Hide the object, determine places the children will go to explore to receive further instructions for finding the item. Leave notes directing the players to the next note at each spot. Not only are the players "waiting" for the next instruction, the assignment is chunked.


The activity as its own reward


Finishing puzzles, building a lego sculpture or modelling in clay provide proof of an accomplishment. Your ADHD child may struggle with connecting past successes with current performance. This type of activity ends in a visual reminder of an accomplishment and an opportunity to link this to similar future activities.


Family Fun


Card games, charades and making recipes practice a combination of skills: taking turns, problem-solving and working within time-constraints. You will present to meet them at the point of performance if they are using the stove top!


Remember that preserving your relationship with your child is more important than schoolwork. Sign up for my newsletter for other tips for a school day schedule.



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Virginia Spencer,  M.Ed.,

info@lumenadvocacy.com

(630) 251-5658

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