6 Ways to Help a Homeschool Child Who Is Easily Distracted

Guest post by Melissa Batai

When you think of homeschooling, you may think of children gathered around the dining room table doing their schoolwork. Or, you may think of kids sitting in the living room gathered around while their parent reads aloud to them. While these are heart-warming scenes, for some children who are easily distracted, they could be problematic. 

A distractable child may take hours to finish one math assignment, especially if she has several siblings working in the same area she is. If you have children who are easily distracted, try these strategies to help them focus.

How to Help a Homeschool Child Who Is Easily Distracted

My oldest attended brick-and-mortar school through 3rd grade, and he was easily distracted by the twenty-five other kids in his class. He came home with more homework than other kids because he had to finish the school work he couldn’t finish in the classroom due to his distractibility.

When he started homeschooling, he was less distracted because he had two sisters versus the twenty-five kids in the classroom, but he still struggled. These are some of the techniques we used to help him.

1. Know Your Child’s Prime Time

We all have times when we’re more productive. When is that for your child? For my son, 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. was his productive time. While I wasn’t ready to do school that early, he had a list of independent assignments he tackled when he woke up. By the time I started school with him around 7:30 a.m., he had completed half of his school for the day.

Find the time your child works best and have her work during that time. She’ll be much more productive than if you have her work during her off time.

2. Utilize Noise-Canceling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones can help your child focus because distracting noises are drowned out. Some kids love these, and other kids, especially those with sensory issues, may not like the pressure on their heads from the headphones. You’ll need to see what works best for your child.

3. Give Frequent Breaks

How many breaks do you give your distractible child? If you’re not giving many, try to add in a few more. During break time, have your child do physical activities such as running, skipping, jumping on a pogo stick, or jumping on the trampoline. For many individuals, this helps them return to their schoolwork with more focus and concentration

4. ADHD Focus Music

If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can stream ADHD focus music for free. (Type in “ADHD focus music,” and you’ll get several choices.) Another alternative is to have your child listen to classical music while studying.

(Get a free 30 days to Amazon Prime music here.)

5. Let Him Work in His Room

While you may like the idea of a homeschool room where everyone studies together, that’s not practical for some kids, especially the easily distracted ones. Instead, let them complete some or all of their subjects in their rooms.

6. Have Her Evaluated for ADHD

Finally, if you try all of the suggestions and find that your child still struggles to complete work on time because she’s easily distracted, consider getting her tested for ADHD.

I didn’t get my son tested until 9th grade, which we both feel was too late. He was prescribed medication, and his focus improved dramatically.

He will be graduating from a brick-and-mortar high school this year with a 3.9 GPA. I wish I would have tested him in 2nd grade when his teacher suggested he might have ADHD. Having a diagnosis and medication that much earlier would have saved him years of frustration and struggle.

Final Thoughts

If you have a child who is easily distracted, please don’t assume that he doesn’t want to do his school work. Instead, try these interventions to help him be able to focus. If they don’t work, consider getting him tested for ADHD. Even dietary changes can make a difference. (Looking for nutritious foods delivered to your door? Consider using Amazon Prime Pantry.)