Anyone who homeschools knows that it can be difficult to keep kids focused on their work. There are a lot of distractions that can sidetrack you or your child, and this is particularly difficult for children with ADD/ADHD.
If you have a child with ADD or ADHD, you are probably on the lookout for solutions constantly. The schedule seems to be the biggest challenge for many homeschool moms. The Pomodoro technique may be just what you and your child need to get things done.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is actually from a book on time management. It delves into how we perceive time, and how to change our habits and thought processes in order to better utilize our time.
If you are thinking about using this technique, you should definitely get the book and read the whole thing so that you fully understand all the fundamentals that can’t be condensed into this article. But the part that can really benefit your child’s homeschooling is the timer technique that the book is centered around.
How the Pomodoro Technique Works
The first thing you should do is find a digital timer that your child can use easily. Obviously this will vary according to your child and their age. Everything from watches to kitchen timers work just fine, but portable timers are best since they can be used anywhere.
As you begin to use the Pomodoro Technique, sit down with your child and make a list of what needs to be accomplished. Do this the night before or first thing in the morning.
For every item on the list, set the timer for 25 minutes. Have your child work on the item for 25 minutes, and when the timer goes off, let them have a break. 5 minutes is the recommended break time, but some people will take a 10 minute break. Whatever length of time you choose, just be sure your child sticks to it.
Once the break is over, they reset the timer for 25 minutes and either carries on with the previous item on the list if it wasn’t finished, or starts on the next one.
Give Them Something to Look Forward To
This method can be very effective for anyone, but for a homeschooler with ADD or ADHD, it can really be a breath of fresh air. The child can work on their projects with a better attitude, because they know that there is a finite amount of time before they get to do something they want to do. Children with ADD/ADHD can really get bogged down if they don’t know how long a project is going to take, and feel they are stuck there until it is finished. When they know there is a timer counting down, and then they will be allowed to do something fun, they can apply themselves better. There is light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
Make sure the reward is laid out ahead of time, especially when you first begin using this method. It can be reading, drawing, going outside and playing, or whatever you and your child decide on. Keep in mind that for kids with ADHD, physical activity during breaks may actually help them focus even better.
Try the Pomodoro technique for a week and see how it does for your child. It may be just the right amount of structure and flexibility they need, and you may even find yourself getting more done as well.