Monday, October 26, 2009

A day of homeschooling an ADHD child

My son Israel is severe ADHD. If his medications are right on, you can't really tell too much. The problem comes when the meds are off. For example, in the mornings I have to get him to concentrate long enough to take his meds. Seems easy I know, but not so much. It usually takes me hours to get him to concentrate enough to get a drink and swallow their pillows. That is how easily distracted he is.

Today was no different. It took me two hours to get Israel to take his pills and it was too late in the morning to put off school any longer so we had to get right into school. We started with our regular routine and then went into our school subjects. First off was handwriting. Israel had the letter Z today. He was supposed to trace and write four Zs. That is it. Eden, on the other hand, had quite a few V,W,and Xs. She was done with the entire page before Israel had done one Z. My conversation with Israel went like this:

"Israel, here are your Zs. Get started. Israel, where is your pencil?"
"I dropped it."
"Pick it up and start."
"Now I dropped my eraser."
"So pick it up."
"Pop! Pop! Pop!"
"Israel, what are you supposed to be doing?"
"I don't know."
"Your Zs. Where are your Zs Israel. Israel, look at me. Where are your Zs." He then points to them. "Good, now start." He then starts playing with his hair. "Israel, what are you doing?"
"There is something in my hair. I think it is toothpaste. I need to cut it out."
"No Israel. We can wash it out. First do your Zs though." He continues to play with his hair. "Israel, you are concentrating on your hair very well, now try concentrating on your work."
"I need a drink and there is dog hair in mine."
"Fine, you get a drink." I wait for a few minutes and then go check on him. He runs and hides. I find him and he has scissors and is about to cut his hair so I take the scissors and send him back to his work. He continues to play with his hair so I drag him to the bathroom to clean it out. He decides he has to change his clothes now. He comes back and gets something on his shirt and has to change again. He came back with a Hulk shirt. No biggie, right?

"Israel do your work now. You only have four Zs and Eden has done all hers and is starting on math. You will have less time to play if you don't get this done."
"Why is Hulk green?"
"We can talk about that after school Israel. Where are your Zs. Israel, where are your Zs?"
"Why does Hulk have hair? Monsters don't usually have hair."
"Israel, do your work. We will talk about this later. Where are your Zs?" He points. "Ok, start."
"This Hulk up here looks brown. I thought Hulk was green."
"Israel, your Zs!"
"Is that a snake?"
"Israel I don't care if there are snakes all over the floor, just do your work!"
"Something just flew by me. What was it?"
"Israel, look at me. Where are your Zs. Good, now write them." I finally got him through it and pulled out some addition. "Israel, what is 7 + 4?"
"Why is this ink brown instead of black down here?"
"Israel, what is 7 + 4?"
"And why does the 9 look like that? That isn't write. They should type it the way we write it."
"Israel, what is 7 + 4?"
"Good, write it down."
"Is Luci watching her potty movie?"
"Israel, write your 11 right here." Then he runs into the living room to see what Luci is doing. "Israel!" You get the point. So, that is a glimpse into what a typical day can be like for him. And people ridicule me for letting him be on meds. I am sorry, some kids need them. On them, he gets through his work usually in an hour or so. Could you imagine being so easily distracted? I know I am very thankful I am not ADHD or ADD.