I don’t know about you, but in our house we have at least one child who just can’t sit still! From the time he was little his attention span was slim and his movement rate was high. While I was already homeschooling our oldest, this trait of my son’s was a great reason to begin homeschooling him too. The challenge? To find ways to help him learn while accommodating his short attention span and need to be in constant motion.
Tips for Learning With a Wiggly Child
Throughout the years I have found a handful of things that help my son to be able to learn, to accomadte his never ending need to move and make noise, and to help keep my sanity.
1. Couch Jumping
GASP! This is an activity that is really not allowed in our house, but I made an exception when our son was younger. We would do math flash cards, or sight word flashcards and to help keep him moving and focused he would jump from one couch cushion to another and back again. There would be times he would be hanging upside down off the side of the couch! But you know what? He learned the cards! The movement is not a distraction to him but an inherent need.
2. Setting a Timer
As he got older I started setting a timer. We would make a goal of 5, 10, or 15 minutes for him to sit and work on a task. The times depended on how much I felt he could manage at that given time. He would work until the timer went off and then would have that amount of time to go get the wiggles out.
Some wiggle busters:
- trampoline jumping
- active video gaming such as Wii Sports or Dance Dance Revolution
- turn up the music and dance
- jumping jacks, jumping, or other movement activities
- build a mini obstacle course in the house with bins, pillows, and such
3. Exercise Ball
Now that he is in middle school and can manage himself a little bit better we have gone to an exercise ball. He used to tip his chair and bounce around in front of his computer constantly while doing his schoolwork. I suddenly got the idea to buy him an exercise ball to sit on. This allows him to keep in motion while working without being so disruptive to the rest of us.
Need some extra money to purchase some of these things? We are having a Back to Homeschool Giveaway through 8/31/15 that includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!! Check it out here.