Book Review: “How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On to Learning”

I was looking for books on homeschooling children with ADHD at my library and came across this title.  It looked interesting, but at the time I was interested in books like that sounded slightly more “academic.”  You know, books with titles like The Gift of ADHD and Homeschooling the Child with ADD.  As it turns out, neither of those books were especially helpful to me, so I decided to request this one.

Unlike the other  two books, this one is pretty fabulous.  It gives practical, useable techniques for teaching kids that can’t sit still and/or focus on traditional school work.  Carol Barnier is a mom who has been there, is there, and she GETS it.  She deals with her son’s ADHD all day, every day, and she still manages to impart her wisdom with wit, style, and a good dose of humor.  I gleaned several wonderful learning ideas/games, techniques, and more.  I now have lots of ideas for using the whole body in movement while learning.

Also, I reaffirmed some things I have already been doing…like having Cole and Zoey sketch or build with blocks while listening to me read, or having Cole listen to classical music with headphones while he reads to himself.  It only took him bawling one time (because he was reading and reading and reading a page and was not able to focus on what it said) for me to realize he desperately needed me to figure out something to help him.  So I did.  It felt good to read about someone else struggling with the same thing and coming up with the same solution.  I don’t mean that I am happy that my son (or hers) are struggling, but I am glad I am not alone, and not a total idiot.  Maybe I can figure this stuff out after all!

This book helped me drop a load of guilt after reading some of her bad experiences.  She went through the same process of trial & error that all homeschooling parents go through.  I have realized that it’s my job to help my kids stay focused right now, until they can focus for themselves, and it’s my job to figure out how they learn.  Carol calls this finding the right key.

So, if you are looking for a book that can actually help you deal with teaching your ADHD/distractable/fidgety kids TOMORROW, this is the book for you.  It gives real advice that you can use to get started right away, which is apparently rare in books about teaching kids with ADHD.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I am sure some of you wondering if my kids have ADHD.  The answer is…I don’t know, but I have suspicions about Cole and Zoey.  I have no plans to have them formally tested/diagnosed at this time.  I am not interested in anything other than helpful suggestions to help me teach kids that are extremely distracted, and methods I can use to help them learn to focus.  We’ll see what the future holds.  Right now we manage pretty darn well, but I wanted some new ideas and some fresh perspective.  Thus, the library foraging for books on the topic.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: “How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On to Learning”

  1. Carol says:

    I too have no plans to have my daughter formally tested/diagnosed at this time. I have just found ways to help her out. I know every child is different, therefore what may work for one child doesn’t always work for another. I just know my daughter would get lost in the system in public school. I will homeschool until we feel she is ready to go to school which may be never!

    Homeschooling one child that is a visual learner
    and with ADD.

  2. Traci's Teaching Times says:

    I told my DH during our early years of homeschooling that if our son was in a public school setting that he would have to take medication. With us homeschooling I’ve just dealt with the hyper activity and lack of focus the best way I felt like would help at the moment it was occuring. Through much prayer, God has always helped us.

  3. Wonder in the Woods says:

    Thanks for posting this! We do not have a diagnosis and my son can focus when it’s something he’s really interested in, but if he’s not then he figets and jumps around. For example, when teaching him word families with the paint chip word family card game he will read and flip the cards out of my hands (or try). Drives me crazy! He can’t sit still and he says reading is really hard. I wonder if it is a concentration issue? He certainly seems ADD or ADHD when he’s trying to read… Classical music on headphones? Hmmm. I’ll see if my library has this book. Thank you!

    • Becky says:

      You are so welcome! I still haven’t turned it back in to the library yet because I am going over more of the game ideas and making photocopies (Legally! She includes them in the book for personal use.)

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