Curriculum Likes and Dislikes for ADHD Combined and ADHD Inattentive Kids

[deleted account] ( 17 moms have responded )

My husband and I have always homeschooled our children. We first did a private affidavit then a charter school and now with a different charter school. Our eldest is ADHD Combined type and she takes after her mother, ME, who is also ADHD. I knew from the beginning that I would not put my eldest in public school. In the last 6 months we have realized that our youngest is ADHD, Inattentive (our daydreamer). I have been struggling with finding the best curriculum to met the youngest needs. She is 7.5 yrs old and reading 2 and some 3 letter words with great difficulty. We are currently using Zoo Phonics but what next??? She also is having problems with Math. We have tried the standard math curriculum from PS system, Saxon and Math-U-See. She can count using her fingers and manipulatives but does not consistently recognize a number. Any other ideas??? I would love to hear any and all curriculum ideas for my young daydreamer and my oldest who is busy but very creative, artistic. Thanks in advance!!

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Cynthia - posted on 04/20/2010

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Dee, you really should look into Math U See. Their website is http://www.mathusee.com The curriculum comes with a teacher's book, a DVD to show you how to teach, a workbook for the student, and manipulative blocks.
I just ordered the program, and was planning on starting it next school year, but my kids were so excited we started already. They have some videos online you can watch, but it's really hands on. The children learn by doing first, you don't even get out the workbook until your child has mastered the lesson. This might be the first day you teach, it might be the fifth.

I can't help much with phonics. My son is just finishing 1st grade, but I am waiting until he's more ready to start to teach reading. We just play with the letters and words right now. He just started asking what words say, and he will spell them out for me to read to him. In my opinion, this is what we wait for when teaching our children to read. I see it as kind of like potty training. Nothing is going to happen if they aren't ready, and each child is ready in their own time. Some kids might be ready at 4, some might not until they are 8. Especially with ADHD kids, from what I've read, starting reading later might not be a bad idea. I have also found "Bob books" to be really good, though my son burns out on them fast. They aren't very expensive. They are very short, and the children see the same words over and over. If your child is memorizing the pictures, you can cover them up with paper, and only unveil them when she has read the sentence. I also LOVE the website http://www.starfall.com It has pre-reading through early reading online games, as well as printable worksheets. http://www.starfall.com/n/N-info/downloa...
One thing I've heard mentioned about transitioning from traditional school to homeschool is to make sure to take time off to "de-school." I have heard that it's usually suggested one month per grade level they've been in school. I think this is mostly if they are struggling, and having a rough time of it.
I'm sorry you are having a rough time with her school. That sounds very frustrating that they think you want to homeschool simply because they aren't producing results. I personally believe that homeschooling ADHD kids is the best for them, because we can use their skills and interests to motivate the kids to learn. Traditional schools just don't have the manpower to do this. Good luck in your adventure next year!

Eva - posted on 12/20/2012

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Hi Cynthia, I am dealing with the same situation. My daughter was diagnosed a year ago with ADHD ( Inattentive) and the teachers in her school do not have extra time to help her . My daughter confidence is down, she crys and tell me all the kids in her class is smart except her. I just keep trying to build her confidence with positive reinforcement, you have to keep encouraging your child. Sometimes ADHD is overwhelming we want the best for our children. Eventually , I am going to take my daughter out of Public school. It is to fast , and they do not have the extra help my daughter need. Hang on in there!

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SWS - posted on 11/10/2014

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There is a math program called JUMP MATH www.jumpmath.org that is suppose to be superior for teaching kids with LD. It goes in step by step increments. I list this 4 years after original question to let people know that today, in 2014, Common Core math (constructivist) is making things much more difficult for kids with ADHD and LD. Kumon tutoring is also a good choice bc they are very concrete and go step by step.

Gina - posted on 04/26/2013

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I have a child with ADHD in first grade, he is behind in reading. Still in school pulling him this summer and its almost like I need to do a whole review on phonics cause he misses something. Hes very good at spelling I use diane crafts spelling cards which does wonders for right brained children. but I feel he needs a phonics program of a over view of things. he is slow in reading. it takes him 20mins to read 10pages. they time them in school and told me it should only take him 7mins. this is because of the state test they administer each question should take them 2mins each. since Im pulling him im not concerned about this anymore. we think he could be dsylexic. So Im looking for a cheap phonics program and I believe what the pp said. Sometimes a kid is a late bloomer and not ready till 8. I think my son has the basics down. and with that Im gonna build on it

Sheena - posted on 08/16/2012

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My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD (age 4) and i believe she may have some other type of disorder as well but i just can't pin point it. i read about autism, saying they have learning disabilities and etc. but then again i think the Doctor would've diagnosed her with that instead of ADHD a while ago. We have alot of issues daily but the biggest thing now is school is about to start and she refuses to go. i want her to get out and make friends and learn but she says shes afraid i'll leave her at school or something. i've never left her anywhere else before so i don't understand why she is acting this way. she embarrassed me so much for the kindergarten registration. they wanted to take her to check her ears and etc. while i did paperwork but she refused to be away from me which made the teachers a little mad but i went with her but she still wouldnt do anything. she just kept screaming and wanting me to hold her. i told my hubby we may have to get a tutor or homeschool her but all he's woried about is the price of it. well i got news for him since he's the one pushing so hard for her to start school bc he doesnt want her at home with me all year, he may have to come out of pocket so the girl can get an education! any advice on how to make her comfy about starting school?? i almost had her convinced one day but it didn't last a day!

Sharon - posted on 07/05/2011

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have you tried Kumon? there are several centers across the country. they focus on reading and math.

Len - posted on 12/31/2010

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That's my daughters name also, we call her Gabie also. Zac was dx bipolor when he was 4. By that point he had been in and out of about 5 daycare centers in about a year. I finally took him to the Dr and he gave us a referral to a psychologist. He had us fill out a five page questionnaire before the appointment. I then met with him and went over the questionnaire then he had Zac come in and just "hang out" for about 30 min. Well in that 30 min he had a "melt down" and pinged off the walls so I guess although I way very embarrassed, we got a dx. I have learned to just monitor his behavior, I can tell when he starts to become manic/depressed and we start some "self help" to correct the problem. It's not perfect but so far it has worked better than meds which zoned him out.Our key to keeping him level is figuring out his triggers and trying to avoid them or walk through with him how to react/behave when in that situation.

Cynthia - posted on 12/12/2010

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Len, how did you learn that your son has bipolar? My mother in law is bipolar, she becomes hypermanic when she is not on her meds, to the point where she becomes delusional. So, since I know my children are at higher risk, this is always at the back of my mind!
By the way, my daughter is also 5, and also goes by Gabbie, her full name is Gabrielle.

Len - posted on 11/06/2010

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He was dx about a year ago. I have suspected for 2-3 yrs now, we have a family history of it in the boys on my side of the family. My son has minor verbal tics (clearing his throat) and a few physical tics (he blinks his eyes and now spins through out the day). I know it is VERY frustrating for him because he knows he is different but doesn't know why. We tried meds, not for the tourettes but for bipolor, it worked to help with the mood swings but he was zoned out and lifeless. We have run into problems because you treat the ADHD and the tourettes gets worse but you treat the tourettes you have to still deal with the ADHD. Right now we choose to go med free because yes he drives most other people nuts but he is happy (frustrated yes but has personality) and as a family we deal ok with his "differences", we have good days and bad days and some weeks/months are better/worse than others but over all we do ok. I have a younger brother who has severe tourettes/ADHD and if it's the light at the end of the tunnel he was on and off meds until about 7 then went off and has been off since, he is a very successful Marine and has been for all most 8 years, he functions fine in society, and now has a long term girlfriend. He says he still has it and just knows how to control it, not let it control him. That is what keeps us going.
I wish we would have homeschooled from the start but at that time it was not possible, I was a single mom until about 2 1/2 yrs ago. I think PS made things much worse for my son and I, they are not able to work with kids like my son and be involved enough to change what is not working, it is try to make the kid fit into there mold, it doesn't work like that for these kids! Please feel free to add a link, I'm newer here and not sure how.

Cynthia - posted on 11/02/2010

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Len, my son was just diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, and Anxiety Disorder, and the neurologist thinks he is showing the beginning stages of OCD. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 4 1/2. He is now 7. I am so thankful I started homeschooling from the beginning!
When was your son diagnosed with TS? Do you have him on any medication? My family is considering medication, Clonidine has been recommended, but we are still kind of on the fence. His symptoms are getting worse, and he's complaining, so we know it is just a matter of time before we need to try something.
Thanks for the advice, and the website. Would you mind if I add the one for Progressive Phonics to our links?

Len - posted on 11/02/2010

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Dee,
I have the same problem. I have a ADHD/Turrets/bipolar son who is 7 1/2 and should be in 2nd grade, we started homeschooling about 1/4 into 1st grade when I figured out I couldn't do any worse than the PS was, he had no clue what they where trying to teach him and the lack of consistency between school and home was VERY frustrating to him and me. He is doing MUCH better now, still not where I would like him to be in reading but penmanship is legible now, he recognizes #s and behavior is better. I also have a 5 yr old who is sailing through her K work and is moving on into more 1st grade work and that makes my son VERY upset. We try to explain it in terms of he is very good at some things and Gabie (my daughter) is good at some things. From his view point I agree it would stink that his sister who is 2 yrs younger than him can recognize sight words long before he can. We are not holding her back because of it though. I think in some ways it's good for them because they have helped each other out, one will know a word and the other doesn't so it can help both in a way. Star fall.com is a GREAT sight it gives both a more common learning field, they sit at the computer and play for a little bit each day, both are learning in a non competitive way. When I worked one on one then it was more completive and fights where a common thing. Another website that has given us improvement is Progressive Phonics, it's free so if your like us that is aways nice. We are not too far into the system but so far it keeps my sons attention and has been helping, it teaches phonics and sight words at the same time, always nice, it also give the kids info in SMALL amounts so no over load. The Alphebeti books they offer, not so impresed, my daughter gets REALLY board so not recommended, but there readers seem good. We break the books up into three smaller sessions each day rather than one long session (10-15min three times/day for him on some books). Hope that helps.

[deleted account]

I totally agree with starting off in an area that she loves. My youngest has been struggling with reading for some time but she absolutely loves singing and crafts. So you are using her love of singing to help her learn phonics. Love Zoo Phonics program has it has a CD of songs and there is art involved in the program. Actually the program covers all the areas-science, social studies, art, phonics, math, etc. My oldest struggled with reading also. She feel in love with a particular series that is way above her grade level. She taught herself to read those books and now she won't put them down. It did my heart wonders to see her in bed reading a book last month for several hours. Last year in April she wasn't able to read one sentence. Hurray for her! She taught me that each child will learn when they want to learn.

Cynthia - posted on 04/20/2010

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I totally see this. My 4 1/2 year old is beginning to show interest in phonics. We will homeschool her, as well. He is seeing this and has said that she can't be allowed to learn to read before him. Yet he's not ready. It is tough. I try to make sure my kids know that everyone has their limitations, and everyone has areas where they excel. Micah is really good at figuring out how things work. He's very mechanical. But he has a hard time with his attention. Gabbie (my 4 year old) has a chronic condition and has needed to be in the hospital several times over the past year. That's her struggle. Then I go on to let him know that EVERYONE has their struggles, and it is our job to figure out how we can be the best we can to overcome them.
It will help when you get her home. I would strongly suggest starting off in an area she LOVES and knows she's good at. Art? Science? Games? Build her self esteem, and show her that even though her sister is really good in academics, she's good at something else.

Dee - posted on 04/20/2010

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Cynthia,
Thank you so much for your encouraging words adn helpful resources. I am so thankful to have found this group, and to have a kind of support system from other parents with children who have ADHD. This is all very new to me and we are still trying to adjust to the whole ADHD thing. Anyways, it is very frustration trying to find the best thing for my daughter. I am really hoping that when we move her into homeschool that this will help her. I agree about the traditional school that they just don't have the manpower to spend the extra time with the kids with ADHD. Its not that they are not qualified its just that they have 20-30 other students who are meeting, acheiving and even surpassing the goals who also need attention.

Also, I have a question to ask as well.. My 7 yr old has ADHD and is struggling in school and my 5 yr old step-daughter is advanced in her school work. My 7 yr old is seeing this and its makign her feel upset. Is anybody else dealing with this? and if so how are you handling this situation?

Dee - posted on 04/20/2010

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My husband and I have recently discovered that our 7 year old daughter has ADHD. She is having many of the same traits as many of you on here. She is having difficulties in her reading and math. Her reading is far behind the usual 1st graders. She has a lot of difficulties reading short words. We've reacently realized that she was more memorizing the story than reading the words on the page. She is also very creative and loves to make up words after seeing the first couple of letters of the word instead of sounding out the word. Her teacher this year has also noticed this problem and has placed her with a reading tutor to help her resolve this problem. However the tutor is allowing her to pick her own books and she is choosing the same book over and over. So again she is memorizing the book instead of learning to read the words. So when i mentioned the fact that I was planning on homeschooling next year the reports are getting much better from school. Suddenly her reading level has jumped up (according to the teacher and tutor) however I am still seeing the same problems with the same words in her books. She has been in public school since 4K and I will be transfering into homeschool for next year. I was thinking of using a special phonics program to help her with her reading. If anybody knows of any good ones that have worked with their child with ADHD please let me know.

[deleted account]

Hi Cynthia. My oldest is 9.5 in 3rd grade and youngest is 7.5 in 1st grade-both girls. We held both children back this school year. When we first started homeschooling, we were unschoolers-relaxed. Now we are ???-a little bit of everything (: The girls like to do lapbooking, unit studies, nature studies, some Charlotte Mason. It doesn't appear that they are dyslexic but definitely the youngest has some learning disabilities. We have done SST meetings with the first charter school and did not like the end result of how the charter school was dealing with the kids. Youngest likes the math manipulatives and can add/subtract using them or her fingers or whatever works. The problem is she does not recognize her actual numbers. This is interesting as she has a photographic memory. That's why it took awhile to realize that she is actually memorizing stories versus reading the story. Her current ES teacher from our charter school we are really liking at this moment in time suggested I look it Touch Math. Ouch on the cost though! My oldest does well with Saxon as it is pretty straight forward and repeats the concepts over and over again. No pretty pictures to distract her which is good for her ADHD mind! The youngest is doing pretty good with Zoo Phonics as it is auditory, visual and she has to use her body for it. The oldest is doing well with Reading Natural which is also auditory and visual. I am just trying to find out other options for reading and math for auditory, visual and ADHD kiddos. Haven't looked it Sing, Spell, Read and Write so I guess that is something to look into. Thanks!

Cynthia - posted on 04/01/2010

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Hi, and welcome to the board. I am a new homeschooler, my son is 6 1/2 and just in first grade. He is ADHD - Impulsive type. We file our own affidavit. I don't really use a curriculum yet, but try to hide learning in everything I do. I teach to his interests for now. When he's 8 or so I will try to move toward more curriculum. One thought I have about your daughter is, could she be dyslexic? The person who runs the support group I am in has found that two of her children are dyslexic, and suggests that when we have slow learners to look into it. One program for reading that has been suggested to me for my ADHD son is Sing, Spell, Read and Write. It's a bit pricey for me, but I have heard good things about it. I am looking into getting Math U See later this year... What did you find your daughter struggling with using that program? Did you use it with your oldest? How did she do with it?

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