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For the mom who struggles with her own ADHD, she may wonder is it even possible to homeschool my own kids? Fortunately there are resources available that make it  possible. Today I am joined by ADHD coach Patricia Sung who has a few actionable tips and ideas to help ALL moms pull it together and be successful at homeschooling.

Patricia Sung helps moms with adult ADHD, work with their unique brains to get it together one step at a time and feel confident running their family life. She hosts Motherhood in ADHD, a top five parenting podcast, encouraging mamas with practical strategies and relatable missteps.

Overwhelmed Mom vs. Mom with ADHD

Having ADHD is different than being a mom who is overwhelmed. Overwhelmed moms might feel out of control in their homeschools or other parts of their lives, but it is a temporary state that will resolve itself in time, as the overwhelming situation works itself out.

On the other hand, Sung describes, “ADHD flavors everything that you do, everything that you are. I like to call it a filter on your life. If you think of a picture, you put the filter on and it changes everything into a slightly different color. It doesn’t change the photo, but it changes the way that everything is seen.”

For homeschool moms with ADHD Sung finds that in her community the biggest challenge is just having that lack of a rhythm.

” I use the word rhythm, because it sounds better than routine. It doesn’t sound so confining. When you don’t have a rhythm, your day feels very out of control. It feels like your day is happening to you instead of you choosing how you want your day to happen.”

Putting a rhythm in place is probably the most important thing moms with ADHD can do to be successful at homeschooling

Listen to the Podcast: 

Planning and Time Management for Moms with ADHD

How do we make sure that we can prioritize getting the most important things done and having that rhythm to our day?

Sung advises, “Start with a brain dump. When you have a busy brain or you just feel overwhelmed by what’s going on, dump everything that’s on your mind, whether it’s on paper or a list on your phone. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but get all the chaos weighing you down out of your brain and then you can begin to sort it from there. It’s like a puzzle; you dump out all the puzzle pieces and there’s stuff everywhere. When you have it all laying out in front of you, you can start to sort it.

You can start to compare the different pieces, because usually when we haven’t prioritized, everything feels important. So we use this whack-a-mole mentality of this popped up; I’ll knock it out. This popped up. I’ll knock it out. We’re just doing things as the day happens. The day is controlling us instead of the other way around. However, when you have it all in front of you, you can start sorting it into piles and see what is truly urgent and what really matters for today.”

Sung continues, “I do a brain dump anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed. That could be at the start of my day, it could be if I can’t fall asleep and there’s too much running around in my head, or it could be partway through the day where I’m feeling overwhelmed. That is one of my go-to tools to lower the overwhelm. Getting outside in some fresh air, dumping all the chaos from my brain on a piece of paper are the two quickest ways that I can create more stability from the chaos.

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Moms with ADHD might also need to approach homeschool planning a little differently.

Sung describes that homeschool planning can be a struggle for moms with ADHD because time runs basically in two forms – “now” and “not now.” Thinking about “not now,” whether that’s a week from now, a month from now , or a year from now, they all feel “not now.” They tend to struggle with understanding the passage of time.

Sung says, “We just don’t have that innate ability. Like just how some people can’t tell North ,South, East, and West and they get lost all the time. I equate it to that, where I just don’t know how much time has passed. I don’t know how long something takes and my guess will always be incorrect. When you’re thinking about the whole year, that can be really overwhelming.”

“So while you want to have some goals for the whole year for people with ADHD, I don’t recommend planning a whole year because it’s totally unrealistic,” she continues. “Chances are that when you get about two months out, your plan will look nothing like what you had started with. My general rule is give yourself a rough outline for the year. Where do you wanna end up? What are the subjects you wanna cover? What are the topics you want to work on? What are the skills that you want your child to have? Answer these questions but work in smaller planning blocks. Around two months would be the most I would recommend.”

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Another piece of advice Sung offers is to plan everything to be twice as long as you think it’s going to take. So if you think you could do this in five minutes, it’s definitely at least a 10 minute task or a 15 minute task. If you think that you’re gonna get through this unit in two weeks, you’re probably not getting through it in two weeks. You need to plan for three or four weeks.

You can always add in and you can always expand your curriculum. You can always make it better, but when we over plan and then we don’t get it done, then we feel bad about ourselves. Then, we take on that shame that there’s something wrong with us because we didn’t get it done. Always double your amount of time. You can always add to it later. It doesn’t have to be the perfect plan from day one. It’s okay to iterate, adjust and modify as you go. Then you can also take the time to tailor it to your kids’ interests.

If your child is really into something, you want to be able to dive into it with them. When you plan slightly less, it allows you the flexibility. For example, if someone gets the stomach flu, we don’t feel overwhelmed by how much needs to get done because we gave ourselves that buffer space for life to happen.

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Resources And Support To Help You Win The Day

You”ll find more support and resources from Patricia at  Motherhood in ADHD the name of her website, podcast, and Instagram handle, She also offers a Time Management Mastery for ADHD Moms course. It is a huge hit with homeschooling moms because it helps you set up your daily rhythms and figure out how do you live your life in a way that makes sense for you and your family.

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