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  Christian Home School Program Blogs

Homeschool Fatigue

Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 15 May 2009 12:36

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-by Mimi Rothschild

We’re not talking here about homeschool burnout. We’re talking about the homeschool parent who’s happily homeschooling but just, well, tired.

It’s hard to join in with your kids on learning adventures when you’re exhausted. And with babies, kids’ activities, staying up late to get a little couple time after the kids go to bed, and getting up early to fit household chores in before schooling starts, lots of us are sleep deprived.

What can we do about it?

  • · Get more sleep. This is the best plan, if it’s possible. And maybe it is. Keep track of how you spend your time for a few days and see whether you really need to stay up as late as you do, or to get up as early as you do. One mom told us that she stays up late to see particular TV programs. With TV and video recorders, not to mention the option of watching many of your favorite shows online, this just isn’t necessary any more. Another mom said she gets up to make coffee for her husband, who’s on an early shift at a factory. Maybe it’s time for her to lovingly suggest to her husband that they get a coffeepot with a timer and let her sleep for another half hour. Most of us need our eight hours of sleep, and it’s worth scheduling those eight hours.
  • · Sleep better. For some, it’s not hard to get eight hours in bed, but that doesn’t mean eight hours of sleep. If worry keeps you awake, your best defense is prayer. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety,” says the psalmist in Psalms 4:8. The psalms have a lot to say about worry: remember that you can “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you” Psalms 55:22 . And, if you don’t feel quite that optimistic, there’s always Matthew 6:34: “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” It’s hard to sleep if anxiety or even excitement fills your mind, but prayer, or counting your blessings, can calm you enough to sleep, if you let it.
  • · Nap. If you can’t get to bed earlier or stay up later, or your sleep is disturbed by a nursing baby, you may be able to find time during the day for a nap. Research suggests that the best way to take a nap and end up refreshed rather than groggy is to start with a cup of coffee. Odd as that sounds, the caffeine kicks in after ten or fifteen minutes, so subjects in the studies woke up and felt alert. Between 1:00 and 3:00 pm is the best time to take a nap, since that’s the natural low-energy time of the day. Many of us respond to that natural energy dip by having a sugary snack, or a combination of sugar and caffeine, such as a cola drink, or coffee and a candy bar. This can give you an immediate boost, but you’re likely to feel more tired later, as sweets cause a quick rise and fall in blood sugar. Try the caffeine nap instead. A nap longer than 30 minutes can backfire, though, and leave you feeling more tired than before.
  • · Eliminate possible health problems. If you get eight hours of sleep, but you still feel tired much of the time, there may be underlying health issues. Anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression can all lead to physical tiredness. Your family doctor can eliminate these possibilities for you – and if it turns out that you are in fact anemic or suffering from another health issue, your doctor can suggests treatments.
  • · Take care of yourself. Doctors say that most common fatigue comes not from serious health problems, but from lifestyle issues. Get enough sleep, exercise daily, eat right – enough protein and complex carbs like whole grains and fresh produce, little processed food or high fat and sugar foods – and you’re likely to feel much more energetic. With our busy lives, it’s hard to make taking care of ourselves a priority. This can be particularly true for moms. We have a tendency to take care of everyone else and ignore ourselves, but the gain in energy can make the effort worthwhile.

Finally, write out an encouraging verse to read over in those times when you do feel tired:

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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The Shy Child

Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 10:00


-by Mimi Rothschild

Are you homeschooling a shy child? Homeschooling can allow a shy child to learn more, since the presence of boisterous, outgoing kids can make the school setting uncomfortable. A shy child in a classroom full of bold children may not speak up when she misunderstands or give an answer when a question is asked. She may be overlooked by teachers or feel isolated from fellow students. In a homeschool setting, a quiet child’s abilities may shine better than in a school setting.

At the same time, it’s natural for parents to feel concerned. Are we limiting our child’s social development by keeping him from being forced to overcome his shyness? Should we cater to that shyness, or do we need to make extra efforts to make our child come out of her shell?

First, we should recognize that shyness is an aspect of a person’s temperament. We may think of a shy child as timid or frightened, as poorly socialized, or lacking in the ability to get along with others. In fact, the child we call shy may merely be an introvert. Some psychologists describe introverted people as those who gain energy from being alone, which is completely different from being timid or afraid of other children.

Separating timidity from introversion can help us to help our children outgrow timidity without failing to appreciate their natural temperament.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” A feeling of love toward others, an awareness of God’s power supporting us, and self-discipline to be brave in new situations can help a timid child.

1 Thessalonians tells us, “And we urge you… encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” We can encourage our shy children when they’re timid, and give them time alone when they need to recharge their emotional batteries.

One surprising help for shy kids is a study of manners. Knowing for certain that we are doing exactly the right thing in a social setting allows us to feel more confident and less self-conscious. We can have that spirit of power, and think about others with love, instead of worrying that we might be using the wrong fork or speaking out of turn.

Enjoy learning about manners in different countries or customs of different times, and practice good manners at the family dinner table. The social graces give confidence, and make your children welcome in all situations.

For some shy children, having more information about a situation ahead of time makes it more comfortable. Saying, “We’re going to go to the library for story time and we’re going to meet Gabriel and his mom there, and then we’ll go to the park to play for a while before we come home” lets your child feel prepared for the interaction, Allowing her to play on the edge of a group of children, to stay with you for a while before joining in a game, or to leave the game when she needs some down time are other ways to help her enjoy play dates.

With understanding, preparation, and encouragement, we can provide a rewarding environment for our shy children.

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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Making Graphs

Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 30 January 2009 10:10

1 Comment

-by Mimi Rothschild

Graphs can make information immediately understandable – but only if you can read them. Reading graphs is an important skill our students need, and making graphs is a great way to get that understanding completely solid. Having students make graphs is also a great way to check and see whether your students have fully understood the information they’ve learned.

What kinds of graphs are most useful?
• Bar graphs show information as bars of varying heights. They can give a very clear picture of how one thing compares with another. The populations of different countries, the heights of plants grown under different conditions, and the prices of different but comparable items are good examples of things that can be shown with bar graphs.

[caption id="attachment_338" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Bar Graph"]Bar Graph[/caption]

• Line graphs are best for showing how things change over time. Points are connected with a line which goes up or down across dates, giving a quick impression of increase or decrease. Line graphs are good for showing things like growth of a population over time, changes in the numbers of people playing a particular sport, or rising and falling prices.

[caption id="attachment_339" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Line Graph"]Line Graph[/caption]

• Pie charts or circle graphs show how one thing is divided up. A pie chart lets you see what proportion of deaths in a war were from battle wounds, or what percentage of time in a school day is spent on the computer.

[caption id="attachment_341" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Pie Chart"]Pie Chart[/caption]

• Venn diagrams are circles representing different groups of things. One circle is laid over another to show what the two groups have in common and where they differ. A Venn diagram can show, for example, that both Canadians and people in the United States are North Americans, but that Canadians have two national languages and the U.S. has one.

[caption id="attachment_340" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Venn Diagram"]Venn Diagram[/caption]

Here are some ways to practice making and using graphs:
• Take one set of facts and show it with several different kinds of graphs. Decide which graph does the best job of showing that information. Do this each time you learn new information for a week or two, and see whether your students can make generalizations about what kinds of graphs are best for which purposes.
• Have students find graphs in books, magazines, or online references, and write paragraphs explaining exactly what each graph shows.
• Graph data over a period of time. Weather, growth of the kids in the family, number of books read, or number of miles walked are examples of data sets that work well for graphing. Notice how much easier it is to see the patterns in the information with graphs than with daily notes.
• Try making graphs that compare different sets of information. For example, you could make a graph showing the football scores for a favorite team this season and last season, and then add three more teams for comparison. See whether at some point, as you add information sets, it makes sense to change to another kind of graph.
• Make an art project of a graph. Use icons, collage, or other creative additions to make your graphs visually interesting.

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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Homeschoolers and Socialization

Mimi Rothschild
Tuesday, 25 November 2008 10:15


-by Mimi Rothschild

One of the concerns homeschoolers hear from other people, often including our extended family members and well-meaning friends from church, is that our children won’t have the opportunities for socialization that kids receive in public schools. This is a sincere concern, and giving it a serious answer can not only reassure our friends and family, but also help to correct misunderstandings about homeschooling.

First, where does this idea come from? Year-round public schooling in America became widespread and powerful in the 1920s, following the passage of compulsory schooling laws in the early years of the 20th century. Before that time, many children still learned at home, or in short spells of schooling with itinerant teachers. Others traveled to private seminaries and preparatory schools. The idea that all children would and should attend public schools came up for two main reasons.

First, the flood of immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century caused people to worry that the UnitedStates would lose its shared language and culture. If immigrant children continued to learn at home, they would speak only the languages of their parents, and not learn English. Second, the rise of factories gave Americans the feeling that an assembly line and the one-size-fits all approach was the most modern and efficient way to do everything, including educating children.

Public schools are still a good way for newly arrived immigrants to learn the language and culture of their new homeland. We’ve learned, on the other hand, that an assembly line approach isn’t necessarily the best way to teach children.

In either case, the idea that our children need schools for socialization is a hangover from those days, a time of different ideas and circumstances from our own. Supposing that your children come from a home where English is spoken. What kind of socialization will they get in a public school?

First, they’ll spend most of their time with others their own age. A homeschool student has the opportunity to watch and learn from adults and older siblings, to help and care for younger children, and to see how people of all ages interact in a natural way. In public schools, children may be almost completely segregated by age.

Second, they’ll spend most of their time in a strongly hierarchical setting. In a school, students in upper grades may feel that they have higher status and more importance than younger ones, and they may show that feeling in their behavior toward the little ones. Teachers may struggle to stay in control of their classes, shouting or threatening to keep the upper hand. Teachers are ruled by the principal, and the principal may bow to the school board. Students are often conscious of this pecking order. At home, the loving family strives to follow the model Christ gave the church. We may not always succeed, but we have a stronger starting point.

Third, they’ll be in a secular, worldly environment. The Apostle Paul gave a wonderful example of how to get along with different kinds of people. God wants us to be able to do that. God’s word doesn’t teach us that it’s essential for us to make sure that our children dress like the current pop stars, memorize the story line from the most popular TV show, or yearn for the latest materialistic fads. Yet this is often the center of social life at school.

Homeschool social groups, Sunday School, art classes, music lessons, and community sports teams all give opportunities for kids to interact with other kids and become comfortable in groups. A few hours a week, along with free play time with siblings and neighbors, is enough of that kind of socialization for our children. Otherwise, learning the excellent lessons the Bible has for us about how to behave toward other people is the best possible socialization.

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12
online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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The Math We Use Every Day

Mimi Rothschild
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 16:12

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-by Mimi Rothschild

Some of our students love math. Numbers are their friends, and they get excited about things like the Pythagorean theorem. Some of our students balk at studying math, and tell us they’re going to use calculators anyway, so they don’t need to know all that stuff and can they please do their art lessons instead?

Both groups of students can benefit by getting down to earth and hooking their math lessons up to the real world.

Include your children in these daily math experiences, and you may see your reluctant mathematicians blossom into enthusiasm, while your math whizzes get new appreciation for the practical value of their beloved subject.

• We use algebra for planning. When you pull some cash out of your pocket for that drive-through meal between soccer and play practice, you have to use the amount of money you have, the cost of each burger or taco, and the number of people in the car to calculate how many you should order. When you agreed to this child’s soccer team and that child’s drama troupe in the first place, you had to figure out whether it would be possible to get everyone to the right place at the right time. Use manipulatives or equations to work out these problems, and help your kids get in the habit of doing these kinds of calculations.

• We use percentages and estimation for shopping. In order to stay in our budgets at the grocery store or mall, we have to keep track of what we put in the basket, and then most of us must mentally add on a certain percentage for sales tax. Let your kids take over this task on all your shopping trips, and you’ll be amazed how skilled they’ll get.

• We use basic operations for budgeting time and money. Working out a household budget, the budget for a vacation or holiday, or the schedule for a busy day can use all the basic operations. Let kids get in on the calculations for the family, or for their own budgets and work schedules. Even very young children can join in on this when they figure up what time the family can play a board game together, considering the time dinner is served and how long it takes to clean the kitchen.

• We use fractions and measurement for household tasks. We measure cups and spoons and fractions of cups and spoons when we bake cookies. We measure inches and yards and fractions of both when we cut the fabric for a quilt or the lumber for a woodworking project. We even have to add and multiply and subtract and divide measurements and fractions when we double a recipe or calculate yardage. Getting to eat the cookies or join in the crafty fun is motivation for the kids to help with the calculations, too.

Why not keep a list of all the math skills your family uses in real life? Post the list on the family bulletin board and add to it all year, or check things off in the index in your math book. Your student will be amazed at how useful math really is!

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder of Learning By Grace, Inc. the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

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Sensory Modalities- Multisensory Learning

Mimi Rothschild
Monday, 20 October 2008 13:04

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One of the great things about homeschooling is that we can teach each of our children in the very best way for that particular child. One of the learning differences that matters most is the child’s preferred sensory modality.

That’s a long phrase that means that some children learn better through seeing (visual learners), some through hearing (auditory learners), and some through touching (kinesthetic learners). God has given us our senses, and we all use them in the ways that are best for our uniquely created selves.

How Can I Tell My Child’s Preferred Sensory Modality?

When you get out a map, your visual learners might look closely and study it. Your auditory learners might look at it briefly and then look back at you, listening for an explanation, or start reading the names of the countries out loud. Your kinesthetic learners might touch the map, tracing out a route with their fingers.

Some people are more balanced than others, and might seem to use information from different sensory channels equally. Usually, even more balanced learners show their preferred modality when they’re feeling a little stressed.

Your auditory learner might talk to herself when she is working hard on a math test. Your kinesthetic learner might count on his fingers or doodle numbers in the margins. Your visual learner might write in the margins, too, but he’ll be doing it so he can look at the figures to see whether they look right.

Fortunately, all children learn best when they use all their senses, so you don’t have to be sure about their
preferred modalities. Just include a range of different activities in your lessons. It is so easy for us to think of activities that fit our own preferred modality! Sometimes we need to be reminded of the best activities for the other learning modalities.

Activities for Visual Learners
• Looking at charts and diagrams.
• Color-coding information
• Using graphic organizers to show information
• Practicing with flashcards and worksheets
• Using videos

Activities for Auditory Learners
• Listening to lectures
• Discussing information and ideas
• Reading aloud
• Using learning songs and chants
• Reciting information and doing oral practice

Activities for Kinesthetic Learners
• Using manipulatives
• Doing hands-on practice
• Creating models
• Playing games with information
• Using role play and drama

A perfect lesson would include activities for all the senses. We know that practicing new learning in different ways helps children learn better than practicing for the same amount of time using the same approach. Research also shows that multisensory lessons are learned more easily and remembered longer.

Combine different activities to get the most out of each of them and the best for each learner. Learning videos let visual learners watch and auditory learners listen. Let kinesthetic learners follow along with drawings or manipulatives, or try out what they see on their own. Have kinesthetic learners make graphic organizers with their visual learner siblings, and the auditory learners will join in discussing how to sort the information in the organizers. You can even include cooking, gardening, and nature study to bring in the senses of smell and taste. As far as we know, children don’t use these senses as their preferred learning modality, but we have all seen how cooking a dish from a country being studied can bring that lesson to life.

Soon multisensory lessons will be second nature!

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Homeschooled Children are Alike and Different

Mimi Rothschild
Thursday, 31 July 2008 15:13

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by Mimi Rothschild, Founder of Learning By Grace, Inc. the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

In spite of the fact that we are never too old to learn, I believe it is true that the best learning for human beings is when he is in its period of immaturity. The longer the period of childhood, the greater the possibiliies for learning.

A few summers ago, I was walking through a wooded park. Seeing a strange gray and white object lying in the path, I stopped to pick it up. It was full of hexagonal cells and curiously crunched up with paper covering over one of the cells. Out flew a hornet, who knew exactly what to do and it promptly. No one had instructed his newborn creature in the art of self-defense. It was born at sure knowing all of it ever need to know, and caring within itself the exact pattern of all that it could ever be or do. A dog’s puppyhood lasts about three months. The old saying that it is “hard to teach an old dog new tricks” is not without its foundation in truth. After weaning, the earlier the trainer gets the puppy. The more he can do with the puppy in 12 or 14 months, the dog has reached maturity and its best learning period is over.

The term instinct has largely fallen into disuse by modern psychologists, but it is a fact that the lower the form of life the more completely equipped for existence when it is born. Wasps, bees, flies can perform at birth without practice or learning, with all that they need to do is survive. The higher the form of life, the more helpless the incident is at birth and the more prolonged is its period of immaturity. The human child still has much to learn. There are no moral or spiritual qualities to be developed in a hornet or in the puppy. Not only must the human infant be taught the rudiments of self preservation, but also he must learn to live in a social and moral world. He must learn that his wants and needs follow up while of the utmost importance to him, must on occasion give way to the creature needs of others. An only child who sees his mother’s lap and breast preempted by the new brother. That place which until now has been his own place of comfort and refuge, learns that hard lesson early. The child is aware of others in his world with rights and privileges equals to his own. If he comes from Christian parents, he should have learned that God made his world and in His laws govern it. The child has begun to discover that it is a world in which cooperation works best, but he can work with the Supreme Being and that those who share the world within and so make it a happier and safer place in which to live.

All of this learning is possible because the child can think, as his experiences increased in number and kind, he recalls many of these and reflect upon them. He exercises judgment in connection with them and comes to certain conclusions, which helped him to make judgments and adjustments in his contacts with the natural world and with other people as the child learns and grows, he masters the techniques of knowledge and thought that make the world safe for, more beautiful, more convenient for himself and his friends. He finds that thought mocks the universe, and that a lifetime is too short to learn all there is to know. Who can doubt that the long period of human child and a definite part of God’s plan for those creatures whom he has made and equipped to think and to work with himself?

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Observing Homeschooled Children at Play

Mimi Rothschild
Thursday, 31 July 2008 12:20

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by Mimi Rothschild, Founder of Learning By Grace, Inc. the nation’s leading provider of online PreK-12 online Christian educational programs for homeschoolers.

Objective observation of children at play is highly rewarding. To those who have never watched children at play, the first observation may be a startling experience. Though there are exceptions, most two or three year old children, free to choose their own activities, usually do so without fear. Their need for supervision is obvious. Yet the experienced homeschooling parent does not guide their boundless energy with endless “do’s” and “don’ts”. Instead, she proactively provides opportunities to explore and investigate. She encourages the homeschool children to try out materials and equipment, to do what is safe at the same time she leaves them free to venture and to experiment with what she has made available.

It is helpful to study the equipment provided by those who know and understand the physical needs of children. Note the large but lightweight box, but push and pull toys, the big boxes that can be climbed into, that can be filled up, emptied out, pushed over on their sides, all through the use of the larger muscles. Note, too, how careful the homeschool parent is not to cause fear or uncertainty in the venturesome child who is about to scramble up the jungle gym for the first time. She noticed that children are often better judges of what they can do that are anxious adults. She does not continually warn “Look out, you’ll fall”! That is a frightening thought to implant in the mind of the little adventurer. Instead, she said, “go slowly”, “Hold tight.” With these encouraging suggestions, a climber reaches the top successfully. He shouts in triumph, “See what I can do!”

Observation of older children is just as rewarding. The older child is greater skill in handling himself. There is evidence of purpose in every act, but he is more cautious in attempting what is new to him. Older children do not reveal their curiosity as frankly as little children do, nor do they call attention to their successes as openly. They are most humiliated by their failures, and often struggle with surprising determination to overcome physical difficulties.

Watch for signs of beginning cooperation in little children. Notice, to have the understanding leader of older children forestalls difficulties through sick gestures for cooperative action. She notices, for example, that France is an undertaking to move the bookcase away from the wall and that it is too much for her. Before temper blazes, or discouragement stopped efforts, both homeschooling parent suggests to Edith, “Francis needs help”. “Will you see what you can do?” She turns her attention to a couple of juniors who are growing weary or bored and says that’s too something else to do. Perhaps you end Mali would like to help clean our supply closet or would you rather work on our castle?

No single trait is more essential for effective Christian living, and the ability to live and to work with others cooperatively.

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Homeschooling & Learning Patience

Mimi Rothschild
Monday, 14 July 2008 14:53

1 Comment

by Mimi Rothschild

When I first began homeschooling, I had many parents ask me, “Where do you find the patience to do that? I could NEVER homeschool my children! I just don’t have the patience.”

My answer has always been the same. As the mother of 8, patience is something I desperately need. I would say “Patience is something that develops by being tested, and it doesn’t happen over night. It takes time. It’s not something someone either naturally has or doesn’t have. If I’d have waited until I had patience to homeschool my children, I never would have.”

We’re not born with patience. It must be worked at and constantly refined. Just about the time I would think I had all the patience I’d need, something new would come up and I’d find out I had much fewer patience than I had thought.

Public school teachers don’t always have patience either, but with 20 to 30 students in their classroom, they don’t have the advantage that homeschoolers do to discuss the situation, or apologize to a particular student when they’ve been impatient.

Homeschooling is a way for parents and their children to live together in an understanding way. The very nature of a family has a number of different personalities within it. That then means that everyone’s patience will be tested from time to time. However, the opportunity is also there to correct an impatient attitude through an apology when necessary, and passing a similar test the next time instead of failing again.

The additional result will be the example you are to your children. Just as you teach your children through being patient, you also teach them through being impatient. It’s only through the special parental love you have for them, and the daily tests you go through together, that patience is ever found and perfected.

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Seven Tips to Help Students with Attention Deficit Disorder

Mimi Rothschild
Friday, 19 October 2007 15:06

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By Mimi Rothschild

Take some time to read this great article about helping students with Attention Deficit Disorder. Included are seven solid strategies that parents and teachers should start implementing for students with ADD.

As all good teachers know, every student has unique interests, abilities, and learning styles. In a successful classroom, this individuality is respected. In fact, teachers use what they know about each individual to help students learn. This same care and respect can help the growing number of students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) overcome some of the educational challenges that they face.

Distinguishing ADD from the normal range of childhood activity is difficult and requires the help of a trained professional. There is no cure for ADD. However, you can use strategies like the seven below to help students with ADD find success in your classroom.

  1. Establish a calm, structured classroom

    Set up regular routines and clear, consistent rules. While this classroom structure need not come at the expense of creativity or excitement, students with ADD are usually most comfortable in classrooms where procedures, expectations, and limits are explicit.

    Provide a “stimuli-reduced study area” in a quiet, low-traffic area of the classroom. Encourage students to use it. To learn more about setting up this study space, go to KidSource Online.

    Seat students with ADD away from distractions and close to you. Younger students who have trouble staying in their own spaces can benefit from clear physical boundaries, such as their own table or a box marked on the floor with colored tape.

  2. Always be clear and concise when giving instructions

    Repeat yourself! Students with ADD flourish in classrooms where reminders and previews are the norm. Be sure that students know what to expect, and give them frequent updates.

    Maintain eye contact when giving verbal instructions and make sure that students understand the instructions before they begin the task. You may want to have students repeat directions back to you.

    Simplify complex instructions, and break large tasks into a series of smaller, more manageable parts. Provide older students with written instructions for multistep projects. Review these instructions orally to be sure that students understand.

    Use non-verbal cues to communicate with the students; for example, quiet the class by raising your hand or blinking the lights. Give private cues when students are off-task, like sending a signal to re-focus by placing your hand on the shoulder of a chatting or distracted student. If a student is struggling with written instructions, print simple, easy-to-understand icons in the margins of the page in order to draw attention to key points.

  3. Help students to become better organized

    Provide students with an easy-to-use assignment log. In this log, clearly list the day’s assignments on a clear, standardized homework schedule. Be sure to include a checklist of all books and supplies that students will need to complete the assignments. If possible, older students should make these homework schedules on their own. Remind all students to consult this notebook at the end of each day and to make sure they understand the assignments.

  4. Take advantage of technology

    Encourage students to do writing assignments on computers or word processors that have a spell-checking feature. Students can also use hand-held, computerized spellers. Of course, these aids should not replace good, comprehensive training in these basic skills. However, for projects that emphasize content mastery, technology can be a very valuable tool! Students who can demonstrate their knowledge without worrying about spelling or handwriting can feel pride in their accomplishment and enjoy a great boost in self-esteem.

  5. Give frequent and specific praise

    Be sure to tell students how much you value them. Praise all good behavior and outstanding academic performance or improvement in front of classmates or in private. Be specific – tell students exactly what they accomplished!

    For example:

    • “Great job, Leila! You raised your hand before you answered the question!”

    • “Thank you for washing your paintbrush and putting it back where it belongs, Juan. You really listened to my directions!”

    • “What a clean desk! You are very organized today, Matt.”


  1. Reward success in the classroom by:

    • Distributing small prizes, like stickers.

    • Adding checkmarks or stars to a prominently displayed chart.

    • Giving successful students firm handshakes and bright smiles.

    • Telling students that you are proud of them!


  1. Share good news with family members

    Tell family members about their children’s accomplishments. Don’t limit home-school communication to difficult periods or crisis situations.

    Give younger students a daily home-school “report card.” Encourage them to keep cards in their assignment logs and to share them with their parents. Use this report card to describe students’ achievements and to ask for information or assistance.

    There are no easy solutions to ADD, but a classroom environment that is rich in structure, support, and encouragement can nurture success in all students.


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The Jubilee Academy Online Home Schooling Program

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With The Jubilee Academy, we customized our own online Christian home schooling program. We let online education technology do the work for us.