Using Evernote to Homeschool Children with ADHD

July 16, 2021
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Guest Author

Guest post by Dianne Willis

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a new interest in alternative schooling arrangements, such as “pandemic pods” and virtual schools. Notably, a United States Census Bureau survey found that 11.1% of households with school-age children shifted to a homeschooling model during the school year 2020-2021, which is double compared to the previous year.

Homeschooling can also work if your child has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition characterized by a short attention span, poor impulse control, and hyperactivity. Although symptoms of ADHD can make learning a challenge for students and parents alike, homeschooling offers the flexibility that many ADHD students need. Moreover, productivity tools like Evernote can help ease the burden.

Evernote is an app that combines a system of notebooks, tags, and notes in one virtual file cabinet, which can be accessed over computers and mobile devices. With Evernote, you manage your homeschooling plan effectively. Here’s how:

Organize Your Homeschool Plan

In our Keeping Homeschool Records article, we discussed how a homeschool plan is necessary to establish structure. If you’re over-scheduling or under-scheduling, it can create a lot of stress — especially if your child has ADHD. It’s best to have a solid plan ready to keep your ADHD child on track.

It’s important to account for your child’s individual learning style as you plan their
schedules. They may perform better with frequent breaks or during a specific time of day. Evernote has a Daily Planner in its Note Templates, which allows you to plan out the best daily routine for your child. You can break up assignments into 20-minute chunks, set up mini-breaks and longer breaks, and even chart incentives like gaming time for completed work.

Personalize the Learning Journey

Evernote gives you the ability to create a personalized learning journey, which is
important because ADHD students often have unequal skill levels in different subjects. In a Higher Ed Dive thinkpiece, Maryville University President Mark Lombardi talks about how his institution is focusing on student-centered learning models in its programs. Maryville University’s online doctorate program in education, in particular, is known for the way it teaches educators about using emerging technology and modern faculty-administration dynamics to become more student-centric.

Lombardi says that in this model, faculty are taught to work with other people around students’ lives to craft and support personalized instruction, tailored to each student’s learning style. For students with ADHD, this model can be facilitated by mixing and matching subjects on Evernote. You can create a Table with columns listing all subjects, your child’s proficiency in each subject, and your strategy to help them improve. Afterward, you can even add columns detailing your child’s progress as well.

Visualize Student Goals

Some ADHD children do well with pressure and deadlines, while others don’t. It’s
important to help your child plan goals according to their unique situation. Their student goals should be small, manageable, and specifically designed to help them improve a little every day. If your child enjoys reading, their goal can be to finish one short book a day; if they don’t, the goal can simply be to read for five minutes. Asking them to decide what they think they can accomplish can also be an exercise in setting realistic expectations for themselves.

Help your child organize their goals in one Evernote checklist, so they can see their
goals for the entire day. At the end of the list, you can also add an incentive to motivate them. Licensed clinical psychologist Sharon Saline notes that kids with ADHD often struggle to get off their screens, so rewarding them with bonus playtime on their devices can encourage them to focus on their daily tasks.

Solely written for by Dianne Willis

Additional Homeschool Resources

Podcast episode: Special Needs Homeschooling – ADHD

Best Apps for the Homeschooling Parent