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Monday, June 19, 2006

Routines Help Us To Cope Better

Just sitting here and thinking over the things I've learned from dealing with ADHD on a daily basis. One of the most important lessons was all about routines. Now if you have any ADHD experience at all you will know that routines can help immensely, but you will also know that the person needing the routines absolutely hates rules! Doesn't exactly make it easier huh? For us, with Kyle being home-educated, it seems to be easier to handle routines than when he was in mainstream education.

At school there were always rigid rules to follow along with the routines, which didn't bode well for Kyle. In fact he totally hated it and played up constantly which is one of the main reasons we took him out of mainstream school. We try not to make too many strict rules, but instead concentrate on sticking with the routines. It has definitely helped us lots.

Looking back on the 2 years (or is it 3? I've lost count!) of educating him at home I can see that he has been having much more fun than he ever did before. Ok, so he still doesn't write, but I'm sure he could if he wanted to. He can write on the pc if he has to, but there's no way on earth he'll even contemplate holding a pen.

When he left school he was a year behind his classmates in reading, yet now he reads at least as well as his 16 year old brother, and almost as well as myself! He's now started learning French. His nan moved to France this year and he's already been there a couple of times with her, both before she moved and for the Easter holidays after she had moved.

One of our routines includes the games console. He gets x amount of time on it, depending on which day it is. The rule there is he now has to play the games using the French language and/or the French subtitle options. It's working too. I know because he keeps speaking to me with French comments and accents hahahaha.

Another of our routines includes TV. He gets to watch tv for x amount of time, depending on days again, but the rule is that half of that time has to be spent on educational programs.

We do exactly the same with the pc. However much time he spends on it is divided between playing games and learning. What he doesn't realize is that most of his time on the pc is actually about him learning as he has to search for sites himself when he wants to play games, and most of the games he plays have some element of education in them.

So there you have it, just some of our routines: games consoles, tv and pc. All working together they make sure he has fun and gets educated in various ways. Of course, the home education consists of tons more than just that, but they are the things we start our day with (not neccessarily in that order) as soon as breakfast is over and the others are in school. Will post more about that next time.

32 Ways To Keep Kids Occupied

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