Our eldest has ADHD. She was so hard for the teachers at her school to keep focused, and to be honest, even at home sometimes she can be flightly. I struggled in those first months of our home school journey with trying to get her to sit down and do her book work, and it wasn’t until I relaxed – until she relaxed – that we began to find our natural rhythms. As a result, these days we work mainly on things that she is interested in because I’ve found that if she is really engaged, then there is no limit to the focus she has.
At the moment the thing my children most enjoy doing is playing these elaborate games where there are block houses/schools/hotels/restaurants/etc set up all over the house, stables for the horses, and vet clinics, and hospitals. They do some interesting learning this way because if something happens in the game that they don’t know about, they come to me and ask me a range of questions (yesterday it was – what is cancer? what kinds of cancer are there? what are the different ways of treating it? are there ones you can fix? are there ones you can’t fix?). These games span several rooms and occupy the girls for hours at a time. This morning alone, it’s only 816am, but they’ve been playing the same game for TWO hours. It morphs and evolves, and at times they settle on stories to act out with their toys and film on the ipod touch.
How’s that for focus? For concentration? For creativity and exploration? I have wondered at times whether my kids play too much, but you know, I don’t think there IS a too much. They play as much as they need to. They are learning a range of skills from doing this, and showing a great deal of focus, concentration, and stamina. And one of the most important lessons, or least, one of the ones I think is most important, is that they are learning the value of doing things they love – I want them to carry that into adulthood. To find their passions and pursue them, to nurture their dreams and creativity and do what feeds them, because I want them to be as happy as adults as they are now.