Back-to-School from Home: 6 Ways to Make Remote Learning Easier for Kids with ADD and/or ADHD
If your family has decided to start school from home this year, you may be facing a considerable set of challenges. With screens separating students from instructors, even more responsibility falls on parents and families. Daily schedules become even more complex. Children with attention deficits may require constant guidance from adults to stay on task and organized.
Although this school year will be challenging for most, there are proven techniques that can improve students’ at-home learning experience. We hope this article can help Solterra families as they draw roadmaps for the months ahead.
- Hold regular meetings with your child’s school.
Whether your student is returning to in-person learning or staying at home, their success will depend on a robust partnership between you and their school. Schedule regular meetings with educators to track your child’s progress throughout the academic year. Teachers will have concrete benchmarks to measure achievement in the virtual classroom, prompting you to offer additional support at home if needed.
- Keep your daily schedule consistent.
Even though the world outside seems to be running haywire, we can still construct routines within our households. Daily regimens can comfort your child at a time when everything appears uncertain or unfamiliar. Make your schedule into a colorful chart that you can fill out as the day progresses, and invite your child to participate. Designate workspaces in the home for yourself and for your children.
- Set daily goals.
You and your child’s teacher can work together to set daily goals in the virtual classroom. Not only will this help track your child’s accomplishments, but it will also keep them motivated by removing distractions. Keep daily goals to-the-point, realistic, and easy for your child to understand. Discuss daily goals with them before and after their virtual lessons: Why did we set this goal? How did we reach our goal, or what can we do to meet our goal next time?
- Use first/then charts to motivate your child.
Children with attention deficits need positive reinforcement to spark engagement. Visual aides like “first/then” charts help solidify rewards in your child’s mind. To make a first/then chart, simply place a “first” task, such as doing chores or homework, next to a “then” reward, such as watching a movie or playing outside. You can also help your child identify with each task by taking pictures of them completing “firsts” throughout the day, then using the pictures on the chart. Your child will be able to reference the memory and replicate the task.
- Stock up on sensory tools.
Embrace fidget tools that give your child something to hold during lessons. Your at-home fidget toolkit could include a bowl of rice, velcro, Play-Doh, squishy toys, or beads. Fidgets help reduce sensory “noise” your child may experience while trying to concentrate on a specific task.
- Take breaks frequently.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but breaks are just as important as work time when it comes to at-home schooling. Children need time to release energy and loosen their concentration. Use timers to measure work and play: after a certain amount of work, your child can earn a break with their activity of choice. Teaching your child to use a timer on their own can give them a sense of personal responsibility and agency.