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ADHD 11yo & Math

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Hello! I'm hoping someone here will have a good suggestion for me. My fabulous 11yo is an interesting duck (pronouns they/them). Their ADHD (combined type) is winning a LOT right now. Their math is at the right level for them, but almost every day they struggle to actually apply their brain to the math. They just took a quiz that I KNOW they can do the math on, but only got 10% right. I know that being 11 can mess with ADHD (hormones 👾). But what should I do? I can't just stop math because the charter school requires it. I can't just stick them on Khan because they do the same thing there. If I try to be present with them every single time they do math, we'll kill each other (metaphorically). Has anyone dealt with this before? Should I switch them to an easier math for the time being? AAAAGH!

(Thank you!)

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I wrote the blathering below but this little bit is more concise.

My dd was usually FRIED by the end of the week. Results on a quiz one day really don't tell you much, because the dc could be tired from working the whole week. You want to look at trends. Now if they can't do it WITH YOU when they are fresh, well-rested, and well fed, then I'd be concerned. But it's very possible it's a one-off, yes. If this is the first time, and it happened on a Saturday, I'd go watch movies next week, the whole week, start your holiday crafts (pick a holiday, any holiday), and see how they are when they come back. Sometimes they get a lot smarter with a break.


Just for thoroughness, you could put more options on the table:

-work independently

-work with you

-work with tutor

Under work independently, you can see options like:

-self-contained workbook (CLE, Horizons, etc)

-software (TT, Khan, etc.)

-videos that expect self-monitoring

I'm not sure on the killing part. When people say that, well I guess the only time I've heard it is with people saying why they couldn't homeschool. Maybe pinpoint exactly WHAT would be happening so you can work on the skill deficits? It might be he's incorrectly placed or that you don't enjoy teaching math. It might be that he has language issues or isn't self-advocating. It might be you haven't yet found the *way* you like to work together. Or it might be he has more work to do on self-awareness, realizing what his body is doing, and making choices.

I am, of course, all in favor of caffeine, medication, restraints (I'm joking). I think I'm saying  you are going to have multiple paths that could work and it's really what the right time is for what path. The work together path might be great, but if it's not the stage of life to do that then do a different path. With my dd, some paths we used were:

-work together with small amounts of independent work (stellar)

-work independently with software (good in some ways but also not good at making things stick)

-work independently with videos that expect self-monitoring for comprehension (way better than I expected)

You will notice "works independently with workbook" distinctly missing from the list, lol. My dd was labeled ADHD-inattentive, fwiw.

My ds is labeled ADHD-combined type with bonus ASD2 and SLDs in everything, and for him I work together using games, brief worksheets, games, brief worksheets. That's sorta it. Sometimes nifty kits from Lakeshore Learning. He's really fun to work with as far as what's in his mind and an astonishing person as far as his body. Getting him in the room is an issue, keeping him in the room is an issue. We do use an office and we do a lot of work to pair in the office and keep it very calm and chilled. I won't get math done if we're trying to do it in some very open space where it would be more interesting to shoot nerf guns than to do his math tasks.

I usually try to have 3 chunks of math to our time and I just shake up what we're doing within the three. So a game, something with word problems, and something with computation. For games, I use Ronit Bird, Family Math, Evan Moor Math Mat kits, traditional boxed games, etc. Mainly Ronit Bird because it's always a winner. I have a pile of the printed pages of instructions and we're just working through them. I also have some RightStart games I like in their Fractions book. Sometimes I use kits.

For the independent math with self-monitoring, my dd did MUS. I didn't say it was brilliant math, only that it fit the time and worked for her. It helped her develop exceptional skills in self-monitoring her comprehension, which were WAY more valuable than the math itself. If you think the student would rise to the occasion on that, it's worth considering. That would be pie in the sky for my ds, haha.

He just came up and reminded me of another strategy. Take all the math and turn it into something relevant to him. My ds is really into nerf, so he came up to me just now with some absurd math problem about how many rounds you'd have if fighting zombies and everyone was double armed when the magazines could hold x amount... :biggrin:


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