Are you homeschooling a high-energy kiddo?
We’ve talked before about homeschooling kids with ADHD, but not all high-energy kids have a diagnosis.
In many cases, kids don’t fit into a particular box. Every child is different and has different needs.
If your child is energetic and doesn’t do well with traditional schooling methods, this post is for you.
Below, we’re outlining 15 strategies for homeschooling high-energy kids.
Let’s jump in.
15 Strategies For Homeschooling High-Energy Kids
- Taking breaks is helpful. When you have a kid with tons of energy, having them do seatwork for too long at a time can be difficult. Break up your child’s daily assignments with snack time, a walk around the block, a few minutes of independent play, or anything else that gets them up out of their chair.
- Get creative in the way you do school. You don’t to have work at a desk with textbooks and worksheets just because that’s how it’s done in public school. Try a more hands-on approach instead.
- Feed them early and often. Kids have a higher metabolism than adults (this is especially true for high-energy kids!) and often need to eat more frequently. There’s a reason homeschool moms joke about “second breakfast”. Hangry kids are not happy homeschoolers.
- Vary your schooling location. Bored kids don’t focus well and a change of scenery often does the trick. Try homeschooling outside in the backyard or at a local coffee shop. Public libraries and parks are fun too!
- Rethink traditional seating choices. Let your high-energy child stand up, sit on an exercise ball, lay on the floor, or work however they are comfortable. There are also alternative seating options on Amazon — wobble seats, kick bands for chairs, floor pillows, etc.
- Provide plenty of fidget toys when your child is doing anything that requires focus. Again, there are plenty of options on Amazon. Try fidget spinners, fidget cubes, a squishy ball, or even a pencil and notepad for doodling.
- Try gameschooling. This is a brilliant approach to homeschooling where parents teach with games instead of — or in addition to — traditional curriculum. Games offer a low-pressure approach where the focus is on having fun. Gameschooling is a great way to get high-energy kids on their feet. Try playing catch while practicing spelling words or having your child hop to different flashcards as they say the answer to each question.
- Start your day with movement. Try taking a walk with your kids or do a yoga video together before starting school. This helps them get out any pent up energy and sit down for a little while to focus.
- Give kids quiet activities to keep their hands busy when you’re sitting down to read aloud to them. Drawing pictures, coloring, crocheting, sewing, and other handicrafts are all good choices.
- Supplement with streaming. Streaming services offer plenty of educational content nowadays. It’s so easy to supplement your history or science curriculum with video. Plus, this engages busy kids and helps bring the topics you’re studying to life.
- Involve the family pet. Pets help calm and center kids with lots of energy. Plus, there are so many other benefits to having a family pet. Homeschooling a high-energy child may not be one you’d considered.
- Take the curriculum and use it as a guide. Don’t feel like you have to follow the instructions exactly as written. If your child can’t stand math worksheets, try having them answer orally or write the answers on a whiteboard. If the reading material is dry, sub it out for something more interesting. You get the idea. Tailor the curriculum to your child’s needs. Learning at home is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Engage high-energy kids with screens. Though, like all of us, kids can get so engrossed in what they’re doing, they forget to listen to their body’s signals. When spending time on screens, have your kids take plenty of breaks and ask them to listen to what their body is telling them. Do they feel hungry, thirsty, tired, or like they need to stretch their legs? When our kids take time to listen to their body cues, they’ll better learn how to self-regulate their time on screens.
- Enrich education with life learning. Using the real world is an excellent way to provide your child with a rich educational experience — particularly when they’re resistant to anything that looks like school. Let them help you make a grocery list (spelling, handwriting) and take them to the store with you. Allow them to keep a running tally of what you’re spending (math) and load everything on the conveyor belt. Then, include them during the week as you prepare meals with the ingredients you shopped for (science, math). Take this strategy and apply it to every aspect of your life….chores, errands, appointments, yard work, etc. There are SO many learning opportunities we often miss as we go about each day.
- Exercise patience. You already know that your high-energy kids are busy and on the go. Homeschooling them is no different. You may have to employ different strategies than are typically recommended for homeschool families. Although, maybe not. More and more parents are coming around to the idea that kids need plenty of movement and a more individualized education.
As stated earlier in this post, homeschooling is not a one-size-fits-all learning solution. Thankfully, we have the flexibility to figure out what works for our kids.
High-energy kids oftentimes require a different approach. The strategies shared above are meant to be a starting point. Take what works and leave the rest.
What are your best tips and tricks for homeschooling high-energy kids? Sound off in the comments below!