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Homeschool Unrefined

Nov 28, 2022

Join us as we talk with Tanya Faisal all about ADHD and homeschool. We’ll talk about what ADHD actually is, what it can look like, and how we can support our kids.

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Complete Episode Transcript


[00:00:10] Angela: hi, we are Maren and Angela of homeschool, unrefined. Over the past 25 years, we've been friends, teachers, homeschool parents and podcasters, together with our master's degrees and 20 years combined homeschooling. We're here to rethink homeschooling, learning, and education with an inclusive and authentic lens.

[00:00:29] At Homeschool Under You find, we prioritize things like giving yourself credit, building strong connections, respectful parenting, interest led playing and learning, learning differences, mental health, self care, and listening to and elevating LGBTQ plus and bipo voices. We are here to encourage and support you.

[00:00:51] Whether you're a new homeschooler, a veteran, you love curriculum, you're an unschooler. Whether all your kids are at home or all your kids are in school, or somewhere in [00:01:00] between. Wherever you are in your journey, we're the voice in your head telling you, you're doing great, and so are your kids. This is episode 2 0 1, homeschool and ADHD with Tanya Feil.

[00:01:13] Tonya and I talked about lots, the lots of things about adhd, what it actually is, what it looks like, and how we can support our kids with adhd. And then we'll end like we always do with our lt. Ws loving this. Before we get to that we wanted to just let everyone know about our December class in Patreon.

[00:01:35] Mm-hmm. , it's gonna be called How We Winter Break. It's all about the importance of taking a winter break and our best tips for doing so. We're super excited about that because we really are passionate about it. It is, we love breaks, , we're passionate of all breaks. We are. It is Tuesday, December 6th at one o'clock.

[00:01:53] If you join us on Patriot at the $10 level Central. Yeah. Yeah. One o'clock Central. Mm-hmm. . You will get information [00:02:00] and a Zoom link for that. Yes. ,

[00:02:03] we know finding a curriculum that meets your needs is tough, and that's why we're excited to partner with Blossom and Root. Blossom. And Root is a nature focused secular homeschool curriculum, focusing on creativity, science, nature, literature, and the arts.

[00:02:20] Blossom and Root has been gently encouraging and supporting homeschooling families around the globe since 2000. Blossom and Root currently offers curricula for pre-K through fifth grade with new levels being added in the future. Additionally, a three volume inclusive US history curriculum told from a variety of viewpoints is currently in development as of August, 2022, volume one is available for purchase and volume two is available on presale. All profits from this history curriculum. A River of Voices will be used to support storytellers and artists from historically excluded communities. You can find [00:03:00] samples, scope, and sequences and information about each of their levels online at Blossom and Root dot.

[00:03:07] You can also find them on Instagram at Blossom and Root. Blossom and Root has created a special discount for our listeners. Use the code Hs. Unrefined 15 at checkout for 15% off your purchase. We're so happy to be partnering with Out School this season because they are our favorite way to outsource. We know that kids who love to learn don't just prepare for the future.

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[00:04:15] Angela and I love using technology to teach specific skills, and that's one reason we are excited to introduce you tonight, zookeeper. Is your child a reluctant writer? Do they struggle with reading? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, the Night Zookeeper may be just what you're looking for.

[00:04:33] Night Zookeeper is an online learning program for children, ages six to 12 years old that uses a gamified and creative approach to help to keep kids engaged and focused on developing awesome reading and writing skills. I, while having fun at the same. Some of the features we love include the educational games, the personalized feedback on writing from real tutors and the super safe community pages where children [00:05:00] can work with each other and learn together.

[00:05:02] If Night Zookeeper sounds like the perfect learning program for your child, you can try it for free by clicking on the link in the show notes. When you register it, you'll get a seven day risk free trial, as well as a huge 50% off annual subscription. That's a great deal if you ask. We are so excited to welcome back Tanya Fel, who is the creator of the YouTube channel project.

[00:05:26] Happy Home. Tanya is a doctor and a lawyer turned homeschool parent who talks a lot about homeschool curriculum and adhd, and much more on her YouTube channel and on her social media. So please enjoy this conversation with Tanya.

[00:05:42] Maren: Thank you so much, Tanya, for joining us today. We're so glad you're. It 

[00:05:46] Tanya: is my pleasure to be back. 

[00:05:49] Maren: Yes. All right. So do, maybe we should just start with a reminder. Maybe you can tell everyone a little bit about yourself, your story, and Sure. What [00:06:00] you are doing now. 

[00:06:01] Tanya: So, I've been on social media, you know, in the world, the greater world for, I don't know, about seven years now.

[00:06:08] I got on right as we started homeschooling, and I started my homeschool journey because my son was, you know, having trouble in kindergarten. And we had explored what could be causing that trouble and, you know, found out that it was adhd. And as all of that was happening, I thought it would be nice to find community.

[00:06:28] And a lot of the information that I found initially was online. Mm-hmm. from moms who were going through it and. Sharing our story really was out of like gratitude to them. You know, it was like a, I realized how much that helped me and I thought, okay, so if I can share my experience, then it can help other people in the same way, you know, as a mom to mom, kind of, you know, parent to parent level.

[00:06:51] Absolutely. Communication. So since then, I mean, I've continued the YouTube channel and the Instagram account under Project Happy Home, and we just talk [00:07:00] about all the day to day stuff. But also I focus on ADHD a little bit because mm-hmm. , that's really where our journey started. So 

[00:07:08] Maren: did you know a lot about ADHD before you started, before you started homeschooling?

[00:07:12] Or did you have knowledge of it or? 

[00:07:14] Tanya: I come from a medical background, so I had knowledge of it, but I had no personal knowledge of adhd, you know, and it was, I, I think that even in the last five years, we've come a long way in like decreasing the stigma behind these different learning styles and learning abilities and learning, you know, Just modes of brain wiring.

[00:07:36] You know, I think we've come a long way in like being able to be open about what challenges our kids are facing and what challenges we are facing, you know, 

[00:07:45] Maren: as adults. Absolutely. Okay. So you, you started, you started really studying because you had a personal, your, your son, you realized, you realized he had adhd and so you did a lot of research and Yeah.

[00:07:58] And, and [00:08:00] communication and communicating with other parents and things like 

[00:08:03] Tanya: that. Yeah, because I, I mean, all the things I had read officially about adhd Yeah. Can one come from very different camps of thinking about whether you're gonna medicate or not medicate? Yeah. Whether it even exists or it doesn't exist.

[00:08:16] But I found that the most helpful things that I learned were from parents. Mm-hmm. , you know, whether it was on like chat groups, on those official websites about adhd or whether it was like YouTube videos or Instagram accounts, because. I think that while professionals can have a lot of opinions about what is physiologically causing this and how we can treat it and everything, I think parents have the issue of like, so how do I get my child to Right.

[00:08:44] Put their clothes in the hamper , right? 

[00:08:46] Maren: Yes. You know? Yes. Okay. We're gonna get to that too. We're gonna get to things like that in just a minute. But first, let's maybe just start at the beginning and let's talk about what ADHD actually is, because it sometimes feels like [00:09:00] in intangible it's like, well, it's these behaviors.

[00:09:02] Is it just these behaviors? That's what I think there's this perception, but what really 

[00:09:07] Tanya: is it? So that's, I think, a hard question to nail down because there is disagreement about what it is if you're talking about it from a physiologic standpoint. Right? Yep. There's still a lot of medical disagreement about whether you actually have.

[00:09:23] Physiologic changes in the brain or whether you don't. I find that amazing that that's still up idea. I do 

[00:09:30] Maren: too. I do too. I think that's it. It's just amazing to me that there isn't more information out there or research or work on this right now. I think especially, especially now. But yeah, because it is you know, from my own study and research, and you can tell me what you've also learned because this is how we do it.

[00:09:50] Like, we kind of just say, well, this is what I've learned and this is what you've learned and let's talk about it. But it's, for me, what I think about first is, is a [00:10:00] differently wired brain. Yeah. And especially. I think about the prefrontal cortex, which is at the, you know, the very front of your brain and how it's often less developed or and so it's possibly, it's possibly delayed.

[00:10:14] And a lot of that prefrontal cortex part of your brain coincides with executive functioning emotional regulation kind of logic and understanding those, you know, understanding logic sometimes Yeah. And things like that. Is that what you have also found? 

[00:10:29] Tanya: Yeah. I think that there's a lot of research indicate regardless of what is actually going on with neurotransmitters and the, you know, the way the brain is developing, maturing, yeah.

[00:10:40] I think that they've definitely established a lack of working memory in these kids. That too. So, yes. Working memory, being that, exactly what you were talking about, that being able to take this short term knowledge, this short term instruction, this short term visual, and transforming it into a list of steps that [00:11:00] you mm-hmm.

[00:11:00] you know mm-hmm. , if this, then all of these things, that connection and that has a lot to do with prefrontal cortex and how it connects to all of your other lobes, really. Right, right, right. So, I think regardless of what's going on, I think we should focus as parents on like, how does that manifest for us in our kids?

[00:11:18] Like, what is actually happening? Because, like you said, we can ignore, you know, we can talk about the behaviors like the, the fidgeting or the lack of attention, and sort of forget about all the other pieces that come with that lack of working memory. Like, you know, the reaction times being slowed to someone's facial expression, the inability to realize that you've missed a step.

[00:11:40] You know, in what you were supposed to do next then. And just all of these things that can be perceived as disrespectful and lazy and, you know, irresponsible. Mm-hmm. just being actual, you know, brain wiring like issues, right? 

[00:11:56] Maren: Yes, yes. So it, yes, that has, that [00:12:00] has helped me a lot over the past few years to understand that it is, it is to me quite physiological.

[00:12:07] Mm-hmm. Instead of choices, bad choices. Yeah. Or, or just a tendency to not be able to do things you don't wanna do. Like you have to step it up, you know? Yeah. And so it's much easier to understand when it is just, it, it, it does to me seem like now a much more physiological and, and real tangible thing.

[00:12:27] Tanya: I think people should realize it. Like the, you know, it is a disability that if you are an adult and in a workplace and you can, you know, apply for accommodations. So we all hesitate to use the word disability, but I think it's important to realize that like medically and psychologically speaking, like it has qualified itself to receive help for adults.

[00:12:51] You know, like people who are functioning, like working members of society. And I think that that is important because yes, labels matter, but [00:13:00] I think it's important because it's a real thing. The thing that offends me the most is when people say that ADHD isn't real. Yes. And that it's just behavioral and just choices.

[00:13:10] And I think. To know that it's recognized officially by people who give out money , you know, to, like, that's a hard, a hard call for the government, you know, like, I think that that's important to realize that that is, it has passed that bar, that discussion should be over. 

[00:13:25] Maren: Yes, absolutely. Yep. You are so right.

[00:13:27] But, and I do think I get why it feels like, like I said, it does feel a little bit intangible, and I think sometimes that is, because it looks so different for everyone too. So it might not necessarily be just a, a, you know, not being able to complete a task or something. It might, like you said, might not, it might be more working memory not being able to remember or, you know, memorize things that you need to memorize, or it might be, you know, emotional dysregulation or things like that.

[00:13:58] So it's sometimes [00:14:00] hard to pinpoint like, oh, this person definitely has ADHD because they have, they do this, this, and this, because it, you know, it can look so different. But also that's why probably getting a test is really, is really important. Yeah. So that you can, you can identify it and move forward.

[00:14:17] Yeah. So I 

[00:14:18] Tanya: was 95% sure that my childhood had ADHD when I took them in for their very expensive testing. Exactly. It wasn't covered by insurance . Don't get me started. Yeah. And, and it was a huge relief to me to know like, that he met these criteria and it wasn't just me thinking, you know, things about his behavior and stuff and just guessing.

[00:14:42] Even as somebody with a medical background, I wanted to know exactly to the best of our ability. What was going on so that I could hone like how we addressed him and how we lived with him and, you know, how we as parents like adjusted our behavior to best help him. [00:15:00] Yes. I, I, 

[00:15:02] Maren: I agree with you a hundred percent.

[00:15:03] It felt so good for me too. I have kids with ADHD and since then I've been tested and, and have ADHD too. And so also, even though I knew same with you, probably 95% sure this is adhd it does feel validating. And also there's official things that can happen now too. Like you said. There are there are accommodations that can happen now for sure.

[00:15:27] And so I feel Yeah, I I I am so glad we all got tested. So, and, but you're right. It is, it is really expensive and I think that that is something that I really hope changes in the future. Yeah. For people for sure. So what are, we've talked about a lot of the maybe things that are kind of hard for eight year, or maybe we call 'em symptoms or things that you see that make that maybe challenges for people with adhd.

[00:15:54] What are some of the strengths that you've seen in anyone with adhd, maybe your son [00:16:00] or 

[00:16:00] Tanya: anybody else? I think, you know, like you were saying, the, the weaknesses are the things that people pick up on the first. And just to go over, if anybody wants to know a list of those, it's easy to find online, but a lot of the things people notice first are in school, like when a child first has to sit on the line and they have issues sitting on the line, literally, and also paying attention and following directions, completing activities a.

[00:16:24] Behavior and talking that can be deemed disrespectful. Mm-hmm. , I think if you flip a lot of that behavior on its head though, what it comes from is their strengths. Yes. Which is, you know, not wanting to be on the line for a very long time and to want to be creating and producing and doing things and actively learning.

[00:16:43] And then, you know, in terms of the disrespect and stuff, sometimes it's just kids being really questioning a lot of things or questioning, not we say questioning authority, but I think sometimes they're just literally questioning the direction, like without any disrespect intended. You know, they are truly wondering [00:17:00] like, why is this the choice that you've made in this situation?

[00:17:02] Like, why do I have to do it first and not second? Why do I have to stop this and do this now? And I think sometimes when kids with ADHD appear disrespectful, they're actually just being critical thinkers, you know? Really. Absolutely. 

[00:17:15] Maren: Yep. And they're, and they don't, 

[00:17:17] Tanya: Gauge that your face is showing irritation quickly enough to re reroute their next question.

[00:17:26] Yeah. You know, in a school environment and stuff, I think sometimes when you ask the first question, everyone can be like, okay, maybe you're just asking, but then they ask another one and another one. That seems equally disrespectful. But I don't think that's it. I think that's the reaction time thing coming in where they're not reading your face for disapproval, they're just going on with their next thought.

[00:17:44] Maren: Well, and, and I also think Kids with ad don't wanna just say kids, people with adhd can be highly motivated when they connect their big why to what they're doing. Exactly. And so I think for them it's like I, a child might just be [00:18:00] saying, I really need this information or order for me to move forward.

[00:18:04] Tanya: Exactly. There're actually telling you what they need. They're telling you what they need. They're trying to be, I think in one way it's easier to look at it as they're trying to be respectful. They're trying to find the reason that gets them there. They search child. I think that, yeah, no child wants to be yelled at, even if they have this prior knowledge, like, yes, I get yelled at a lot and kids with ADHD get reprimanded so much more than kids without, and that's like a heartbreaking number of times, more.

[00:18:32] You know, and I'm not gonna call myself perfect at all. I definitely will be impatient with certain things because it's a continuous kind of answering of the question. You're not gonna have, as a parent of a child with adhd. You're never going to be in the situation where I just say things the first time and my children just

[00:18:49] You know, like, duck legs go in a And that's something, you know, to get used to. I always say that the most important thing with your kids, whether they have ADHD or not, right? Is that relationship, like [00:19:00] Absolutely. Do they feel when they look at you, and what do you feel when you look at them? Like, is it like this waiting for like disapproval?

[00:19:07] Waiting for like disobedience mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Or is it assuming the best of them? Like, I think of all the things I've ever come up with for myself, you know, how we come up with these things, these coping things. I came up with this mnemonic ABC. And so the A is just always ask the first time, like, don't expect them to not be doing it or not have done it, or not be listening.

[00:19:31] Like don't yell the first time. You know, don't be annoyed the first time. Just ask like you would ask a friend or anything. And I always think when you ask, try to like touch them or really make sure that they're listening. Like they are not kids who are gonna respond well when you shout from, you know, downstairs to upstairs and expect them to like, just get it together.

[00:19:51] Definit. So the A is just always ask. Mm-hmm. and ask like a nice person, you, yourself, you know? Right, right. And then the second one is [00:20:00] the B is just believe. Believe when you're asking that this is going to happen this time. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. like as best as you can, like believe that they have the best of intentions and you do.

[00:20:10] And we're gonna meet there, you know, and it might not happen the first time you ask or the second or the third, but you have to believe that will continue to believe. You have to. Yeah. You have to believe that they want to work with you. They want to be like the best they can be because they do like they do.

[00:20:26] Absolutely. The C for me is always chuck it if it doesn't work, you know, or if you have a negative interaction or like you messed up and said things you didn't mean, or they just, you know, melted down and had things come outta their mouth that they don't mean or whatever. Just chuck it. Like don't carry it with you into the next thing that you have to do together.

[00:20:48] And the next thing and the next thing because. It's in the end a small thing. Like you shouldn't feel horrible about yourself because you had a meltdown, because it's hard to be the parent of [00:21:00] any neuro atypical kid. It is. Absolutely. Yep. And then give yourself 

[00:21:04] Maren: credit for 

[00:21:04] Tanya: that. Yeah. And give yourself some grace.

[00:21:07] It's so much easier to give them grace when you allow yourself some, 

[00:21:10] Maren: you know, . Absolutely. Yep. So, yes, absolutely. And I was gonna say something about, oh yes, this I love the abc and Always Ask is so great because I think what can happen, especially with my children with adhd, messes happen all the time. I mean, I have mm-hmm.

[00:21:27] You know, experiments are going on all the time. White because it's tactile, it is interest led. It is not, you know there's not necessarily a plan at a time, it's just things are happening and question. I think one of the strengths of someone with ADHD is they are often very inquisitive and eager to find answers, eager to find answers.

[00:21:52] And so I think that's happening a lot in our house. And so that does create masses sometimes. And also there's a lot of creativity mm-hmm. Around [00:22:00] people with adhd. And so I think there's, you know, there's our projects everywhere too and things like that. And so to always ask to clean, to, you know, to, let's clean this up.

[00:22:09] Could we clean this up now? Is great because when it happens a lot, sometimes my first reaction is, oh my goodness, again. Oh my goodness. And so I think this is really great to like just start. With Always ask . Yeah. You don't have to elevate it to, you know, level seven right away. Let's start with one.

[00:22:31] You know, let's just stay, let's stay where, let's stay down there in the lower levels of, you know, your emotions because I think we know this is gonna happen and, and, and there it's because of the strengths. It's because of the strengths. Yeah. And then I also think like my, my kids' strengths are definitely in the beginning of those projects.

[00:22:49] Mm-hmm. . And the strength is not in the cleaning up of those projects. Right. That still needs to happen, of course. And we need to build that skill and practice [00:23:00] it and continue to work on it. But my expectation should not necessarily be that they're gonna be as good at cleaning up as they are at starting this really interesting project.

[00:23:13] Right. That's, you know, that's probably just not realistic. And so if my expectation is they get that good at cleaning up, I'm going to forever be frustrated. 

[00:23:22] Tanya: Exactly. Yeah. And I think it's important to talk to them, especially as they get older, but really even as youngest five and six about mm-hmm.

[00:23:30] how do they think you should get there? Like if you have a goal, like if they did this big invention box project and now you have like painter tape and paint cardboard pieces and everything scattered everywhere and you're feeling your blood start to like boil a little, you know, cuz you're at the end of a long day or whatever and you have to do other things.

[00:23:48] I still think it's important to like sit with them and be like, okay, so like I think you can say what your needs are. Like I need this to be cleaned up. Yes. So that I can feel okay. Yes. You know, so that we can [00:24:00] get through everything and do other things in this living room space. And ask them though, cuz they are so creative, right.

[00:24:08] Like, what do you think would be the best way that we could do this? Or what do you think would be the fastest way? Or do you think if we like, you know, set a timer, like who could like finish their half of the room fastest? And honestly, that makes it fun for them and for you. Like it allows you to like, you know, not be this ogre who's always upset.

[00:24:27] You know, like it allows you to just be in it with them. Like, this is a problem, but we're gonna do this like in a together, like year going to be together when we like figure this out. We're 

[00:24:38] Maren: in this together. It's not just you clean this up, this is your issue. Yeah. This is us together where it is a team.

[00:24:44] Right. And then another thing that, you know, I was thinking of when you were, when you were just saying that Tanya, is that I've often like maybe started with let's, can you. At, you know, when they were much younger, they could help with a few things cleaning up, not the whole [00:25:00] cleanup. That's overwhelming.

[00:25:01] It would deter them from ever doing a project again. Mm-hmm. , if they had to do the whole thing even with me. So it was like they could do 10%, 20% of it or whatever. And we have worked up over the years mm-hmm. For that, I don't know the, the stamina. To, to clean up a project or stamina to do anything that is of low interest to them.

[00:25:25] Exactly, yes. That it just, we have to build that up. It can't be something that they just take on a hundred percent right away. Mm-hmm. Without I think almost like some scaffolding or . 

[00:25:36] Tanya: Yeah. It's a, this guideposts along the way like this is that if the, the like, you know, first this, then this is tough.

[00:25:44] That is that working memory piece, you know, it is then this, like, this happens and this happens and it hasn't, and when they're little like charts help and visuals and stuff, I think when they're older, absolutely. . I always have the high five, I think I talked about this last time, where everybody's, you know, responsible for five things before they see me in the [00:26:00] morning and you get a high five.

[00:26:02] I'm just like high five. And that's all I say. Instead of saying, did you do this? Did you do this? Did you do this? You know, like they know what the five are. Everybody has it listed on their bathroom mirror and like you just, that's great. And you start the day with a high five, which I think is really nice.

[00:26:16] And if they haven't done it, you haven't used any negative words to show them that you haven't, you just ask like high five. And then if they can't, they're like, they just run back up, you know? Which is really not, you know, negative, you know, it's like them having a code word almost. 

[00:26:34] Maren: It's a code. I love that.

[00:26:35] It's a code word. Instead of saying, oh, go back and brush your teeth. . Mm-hmm. . Yeah, because all kids get told what to do a lot just innately. Like whether we want that to happen or not, it just is. That's the way, that's the way it is. Kids. Get told what to do a lot. Someone with adhd maybe even more because they, they, you know, We have to repeat things a lot or, you know, they yet, like, [00:27:00] they forget or they get off task or they don't wanna do it or things like that.

[00:27:03] So it just can multiply and multiply and it could be a day full of telling a child what to do. And so I love that the, as much as we can minimize that the better. And so if there's something written down that is so great because they do need the reminders. They will not remember five things Yeah.

[00:27:20] In their brain, but they, they will remember to go look at the five things. Mm-hmm. . So anything that can be automated. Like that is so, so helpful. And things 

[00:27:31] Tanya: like, you know, I feel like the bane of my existence is socks in general. Every time I bring up socks, I'm like, how many problems can I have with socks?

[00:27:38] Mm-hmm. . But beyond them being left everywhere, one of our issues was getting out of the door and always having people who had not put their socks on. And then having this whole thing of like, me seeing they were putting sneakers on without socks and being like, take off your sneakers and go put socks on them.

[00:27:52] And so now I just keep a basket of socks. Oh, that's great. Right there of everybody's size. And every time we do the [00:28:00] laundry, I just like toss a sock in there, you know, because that way I, we've automated this step, so, okay. I've established people have trouble remembering their socks. Mm-hmm. . And so now the socks are always there.

[00:28:11] Now that whole thing is eliminated. Yes. It took the barest amount of effort on my part. And honestly, if they grow up and they still have an issue remembering socks, hopefully they remember to do this. Exactly. And then it solves the problem, you know? Yes. I find like a lot of people will say like, well, how long are you gonna be around and you can't do all these things for them.

[00:28:30] And I'm like, I'm teaching them how best to do it for themselves too. 

[00:28:35] Maren: You know, they can absolutely do this their whole lives. Yes. 

[00:28:38] Tanya: They, they can absolutely have a post-it with five things on their bathroom mirror for the rest of their 

[00:28:42] Maren: life. Yes. They had a problem. Yes, exactly. And we have to think outside the box on that, because I think we've been kind of trained.

[00:28:49] We do. We just do life this way. This is what, this is what people do. People don't have baskets of socks in their, you know, in their joy. But they can Why, why can't they? And so I [00:29:00] think that's, I mean, you could call that almost an accommodation, but I, I don't even necessarily like the word accommodation cuz it's, it seems like you're, oops, sorry.

[00:29:09] You're making an exception for you know, For a difference or something. But I think this is just like we all, we can all do things. Yes. It's a life hack. It's just we all do things that make our lives easier. Yeah. You know, we put our coffee right next to the coffee pot so we, you know, we don't have to walk across the kitchen to go get our coffee in the morning.

[00:29:30] And so like, we're just making life easier in other ways that maybe, maybe someone else hasn't thought of before. And I think that is really 

[00:29:38] Tanya: great. Once upon a time we didn't have room closets, but now we do to keep the broom there where we will be able to get it easily. I mean, it's the same thing. And we have a lot of hangups about making life easier.

[00:29:50] We really do. Like I. I mean, even as adults, people are like, Ugh. Like, do you really need that extra thing or do you really need that? Like, is that, I'm like, why are you [00:30:00] so upset that someone has a special way of cleaning baseboards? Yes. Like if you make them clean their baseboards, hurray, you know, like this extra tool or whatever, whatever it is that makes you a little bit less stressed as you live life, I think.

[00:30:12] Yes. No one should denigrate that. No, 

[00:30:15] Maren: no kidding. I, I, I can't even agree with you more. I think you're so right and it also just takes away the shame of, of what a lot of kids might feel having adhd. It just takes away that shame. Like instead of saying like, I can't even go get the right socks at the right time.

[00:30:33] I can't even do that. That can feel really bad for. . But really it's, it takes away that whole issue. It's like not even an issue anymore. And I think we can, we can translate that into homeschool in so many ways too. Mm-hmm. . I do like, I wanna think about kids when they can't sit still, like you talked about, they can't like sit on the line, but at homeschool it might be they can't sit on the couch, they can't sit, sit at the kitchen table or whatever.

[00:30:56] But I do wanna encourage you that if you have a child like that, even if they [00:31:00] haven't been diagnosed with adhd, maybe they don't even have adhd. A, a child who can't sit still sometimes. They are so their brains are going, so, you know, they're, they're thinking about a million things. Maybe they're even so excited about whatever's going on.

[00:31:16] And their reaction to that is moving around. So sometimes that's the case. But then also sometimes moving around is what is needed in order for their brain to focus. Yeah. So it could be, you know, one or the other. And so I think that's an a life hack for homeschool, for homeschoolers is to just think about how.

[00:31:41] We don't all have to be doing homeschool the same way either. Just like we don't always have to have our socks and our drawers. We don't always have to do the plan that we, that we originally had for homeschooling our child is our children might be telling us they need something else. [00:32:00] Yeah. And so that's, it's not a bad thing.

[00:32:02] It's actually great. It's great. I think it's, you're figuring out you're, yeah. I 

[00:32:07] Tanya: think one thing that's good about social media is that we have so much access to different people's experiences. Yes. But another thing on the flip side is that it's bad. Right. Particularly when it's like a visual format like Instagram mm-hmm.

[00:32:17] Mm-hmm. where so many things can look so beautiful. . Yeah. And so exactly, you know, little House on the Prairie and all of this stuff. And I think that it can make us feel bad about, about the socks in the hallway or whatever we're doing. Yes. That is working for us maybe, but not picture friendly. And you know, people have different experiences, like people have different family dynamics and different ages in their homeschool.

[00:32:43] There's so many things. Mm-hmm. beyond ADHD or any neuro divergence that makes it different. I think I parent my kids pretty much the same. Mm-hmm. because of my eldest having adhd. Like I think I'm much better at being nice , honestly, like that's the word, because [00:33:00] my eldest has adhd. Like, I think, yeah, I had expectations for what motherhood would be like and what my children would be like and what my house would be like.

[00:33:07] Mm-hmm. that are wildly different from what has happened. And in many ways it's been for the good, you know? Yes. Like, because it's have my son having ADHD has taught me that, you know, one, the way I'm perceiving a situation is not the same as the way someone else is perceiving the situation. Yes. That is very clearly brought home.

[00:33:30] So true. And. That I can like pause and try to meet them in a, in a helpful way, in a non judgey way. Like I really try hard, I think I used to say things like, you always, you know, you always don't, or you always do this negative thing would follow. And that I have, I, I still doing things wrong, but that I don't say anymore ever to anybody.

[00:33:53] Right, right. Because I think that it's really important to tell them, you know, like, we [00:34:00] are growing all of us together. I always tell my son, I'm exactly as old a mom as you are a kid. Like, so think of us in the same way though, right? Like, I am learning these things and so are you and we are all moving forward together.

[00:34:13] I think we can all say that we can get better at things without saying that there's any perfect place to get to or that we're terrible where we are, you know? Yes. I think. That's important to know. Yeah. 

[00:34:25] Maren: Definitely. And I, I always, I always think what I'm doing for my kids who are neuro divergent, it's actually good for everyone and vice versa.

[00:34:37] What we're doing for everyone should be good for the person who's neuro divergent too. So I think we need to also just, I think we've kind of narrowed our idea of maybe expectations and the way we even, I don't know, communicate with each other or treat each other that I think can be much more inclusive.

[00:34:56] And thanks to our neuro divergent, you know, the people, [00:35:00] the neuro divergent people in this world who's like, they're helping us understand even just how to, how to , I don't know, be better communicators with everyone. Yeah. Yeah. So I think yeah, 

[00:35:14] Tanya: no, I wanted to say like, the one thing I would mention too is one reality of being a parent of someone with ADHD is that, you know, they will take negative comments so much harder Yes.

[00:35:26] Than, and your typical child would, and that. As a parent, because I know, I, I know that I have said things that I would take back if I could, and I have responded in ways that I could take back if I could. And I have seen how much that affected my kid and then me responding in a way that was even more frustrated because I felt like he shouldn't have had that response.

[00:35:53] Like it shouldn't be this extreme that I said this negative thing. And so it was like piling like one negative thing on top of another, like [00:36:00] the frustration with the initial event or whatever that happened. And then my frustration with his response and I think really learning about how Neuro atypical kids, particularly with adhd, can have this rejection sensitivity dysphoria.

[00:36:15] Yes. This, this incredible feeling of pain and just anguish really about being reprimanded. Yep. Is, is really important to acknowledge and learn about. And I think when we realize how harmful some of the things we do can be caring parents, you know, which most of us are. Yep. It really shifts you. Yes. You know, like always remembering that shifts my responses into like a more even keeled response.

[00:36:43] Maren: I think that is so important to remember. I was gonna just ask you about R S D or rejections sensitivity dysphoria because I think it is real . It is very real. And I think that for many reasons it's very real. And one of those would be that there's just a lot [00:37:00] of, you know just culturally. There is a lot of rejection for, for a child who, you know, learns differently.

[00:37:09] And so there is this sensitivity to it towards it, and I think their brains are also geared towards that sensitivity too. And so, and I've seen that a lot in our house and I do think, like, it's, it's amazing how I have always thought of myself as being very encouraging, very positive, you know accepting and everything and have realized I have so much.

[00:37:33] I mean, there are just so many opportunities to continue to get better at that . Even things that I never would've thought were in the realm of any kind of criticism they actually can be interpreted that way. Yeah. And so yeah, it's important. 

[00:37:53] Tanya: They have documented like the response time too for ADHD kids.

[00:37:57] Mm-hmm. is a little bit just milliseconds, [00:38:00] but like a little bit slower in terms of recognizing someone's facial expression and like responding appropriately. Yeah. And I think even that we don't realize, right, when we say something, and it might be neutral, but we say it with like a tightness in our tone or in a in our face, whereas our neurotypical child might immediately see that in like SCADA and do whatever we were saying.

[00:38:20] Sure. The, you know, child with ADHD might just not have realized that we're serious in this moment and that you were close to reaching your limit for the day or anything like that, you know? So, you know, I think recognizing that difference Yes. Yes. Is so important in terms of being compassionate about, you know, how long it might have taken them to like move forward with the task you were asking them to do or whatever.

[00:38:47] Maren: Yes. And I wonder if that, does that have anything to do? I'm just putting this together. Like, I know it's very, can be very difficult for someone with ADHD to transition, transition to different tasks. So it's [00:39:00] like this to this, like their brain is sometimes hyper focused on something. And so, and to be able to transition to something it can be quite difficult.

[00:39:09] And so I wonder if sometimes that's the reasoning for that. There's just like, they're thinking of this thing and it, and it's really hard to change to the next thing, even if it's a, a, I don't know, a face, A face that they aren't noticing. Yeah. Yeah, so, but we, so yes, and we also need to be very conscious of that, like, transitions can be very difficult for for our ADHD kids too.

[00:39:32] Like we, I know you talked well yes, you were talking about it's really hard for them to focus or sit down sometimes, but also sometimes our kids can get very focused, and this is when they're really into something. Their brain is, you know, kind of in this flow state almost when they're interested in what they're learning about.

[00:39:52] And so I think when, well when we're homeschooling, I think this is a great gift because your kids are [00:40:00] gonna learn so much about the things that they're interested in. Yes. Like you can't really stop it from happening , but also you have to be very aware of Dere that Dere relaying. Yes. Yes. And giving them lots of support at the end of that time.

[00:40:19] When it's time to move on to something else, giving them lots of you know, time to prepare for a change in what's gonna happen next. And then, yeah. So yeah. 

[00:40:30] Tanya: People when they come to my house always make fun of me because I have the Alexa timers on everything. Yeah. So many things, you know, like half an hour before something, it'll be like, in 30 minutes we're gonna have our piano.

[00:40:40] Listen in 15 minutes we're gonna have our, and, and for us that works. Some people like timers, you know, I've heard people tell me when they have a timer, their kid kind of freaks out. And I'm like, you should stick with timers in whatever way works for you. But I promise you there will be one that has to.

[00:40:58] Has to be you. Yes. They might not like [00:41:00] seeing a visual timer, but they might like hearing that the time is coming. You know, they might not like having, I don't know, alarm go off, but they might like a touch on the shoulder being like, you know, we have about five minutes left. There's all these different things you can do.

[00:41:14] Yes. But I think knowing how the, you know, that time is passing is important because time blindness is a real issue. It's real. Yes. Not realizing that time is passing when you're having a good time and not realizing that this time will pass when something not so entertaining is happening. It's frustration of being stuck somewhere.

[00:41:35] Can be very high kids, adhd, 

[00:41:38] Maren: very frustrating. It can be the ultimate frustration. Absolutely. I've also heard that even having a, an analog clock on the wall can be very helpful just visually to see the minutes moving. Yeah. Can be very helpful. We've never really relied on that as much, but I know some people just absolutely depend on that, on the visual.

[00:41:58] So anyway, [00:42:00] and I know there's, 

[00:42:00] Tanya: I have a different timer for each of them. That's the visual one. Nice. The kind where, you know, you turn the dial and it shows in red how much time is left, and then it just keeps going down. But I have a different one for each of them because when we first started to do it, and I tried to say like, okay, everyone's gonna work on math for 30 minutes.

[00:42:18] The stress level for all the different children was very different. Yeah. Yeah. And it was hard to kind of manage nowadays, like I, I truly let them choose what they're working on at any given time usually. Sure. Like if we're at seat work, you can choose whatever seat work you have for the week. Yeah.

[00:42:31] And go forth and conquer. I mean, if you feel like doing math all day, great. If you feel like doing English all day, I am not going to micromanage. Yeah. That's amazing. Having to do eight subjects a day. Yes. But I think that each of them having their own, I just say like, you know, use your timer to help you.

[00:42:46] That's, and I don't use them anymore myself, like with them. Mm-hmm. , I'm like, how long do you think this should take you? Is a good question. And then they can say like, I think it'll take 20 minutes. I think it'll take 10. And I'll be like, try, you [00:43:00] know, try and see if you can do it instead of like, definitely get it done.

[00:43:03] And if it goes off, I always remind them like, okay, well, you know, you can set it again for the same amount of time if you think you didn't get far, or you can set it for like two minutes and see if you can wrap it up, you know, and then it becomes, Like a challenge, not so boring and not so not such a disappointment to themselves, you know, that they didn't finish in time.

[00:43:23] It's like, it's fine. It's totally your timer, like you use it however you 

[00:43:28] Maren: want. That's so, that's so, so empowering, and it goes back to your, oh, you know, believe, believe in your, in your kids. And if they say, this is what I think I can do it in, then, you know, give them that power and, and let them try it.

[00:43:42] Another thing that I've, I've definitely noticed with kids with ADHD and people including myself, is trying things is sometimes the best learning. I mean mm-hmm. , it's so powerful to put that prac, you know, the trying it's almost like, it's almost like an [00:44:00] experiment and you find out yourself firsthand if something worked or.

[00:44:04] It doesn't matter how many people tell you you know, the best practice or the best way to do this, you just have to try it and make lots of mistakes. And and sometimes that's just it. It can look like a lot of tough life lessons. Mm-hmm. . But I would never call any of them fail failures. . It's just really moving forward in a, in it's moving forward in a different direction and learning which way works best for you.

[00:44:30] And, and, and then it's the most effective way because you've learned this path is the way that works. Because I know I've experienced all the other 10 ways and those didn't work, and now I absolutely a hundred percent no. This is the way I wanna go with full confidence. And so I think kids with ADHD when they're given that, like you just gave 'em that opportunity to like make those choices.

[00:44:51] It might not look like a success that day, but I would a hundred percent call it, you know, it a success because they've figured out what doesn't [00:45:00] work or what does work. I mean, who knows? You never know. Yeah. 

[00:45:04] Tanya: One of the most helpful things recently has been we've been putting Pomodoro timers up on the tv.

[00:45:09] Awesome. YouTube on my phone you can search Pomodoro timer. The whole concept is that, you know, you work for a certain amount of time and you take a break and then you work for a certain amount of time, take a break, and you do a couple cycles of like 25 5 or you know, 30 10 and then you take a big long break.

[00:45:23] And I think my kids have had so much fun picking the to Pomo do timer for the day. Like some of them will have like a color move across the TV screen as you get to completion. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , some of them will have a wheel. Some of them will just have, you know, as smr, a Hogwarts study room or whatever.

[00:45:37] Yes. And they love it. And they've named the different Pomo do timers. So some of them are like Simon and Fred and I don't know how, they're just like, graphics so great, but like everything you can do to make it seem like you are. Team environment with them. And yes, the things that are giving us difficulty don't necessarily have to be not fun.

[00:45:58] You know, maybe [00:46:00] there's people who never need a Pomo door timer and they just know how to work for an hour time. Sure, sure. None of us in our house are those people. No. And so this is like a really fun thing. You know, you start the day and you're like, what are we gonna like watch today? Like, you know, who's the character?

[00:46:14] What sound are we gonna be in? Are we gonna be in this slithering room? Are we gonna be in a Hufflepuff room? And so you have this easy but productive way to like, you know, help yourself along in like a way. And I think that's important forever, right? Yeah. For our adult life too. I mean, the things we need help with don't all have to be boring and dull and like, 

[00:46:37] Maren: Yes.

[00:46:38] And I've used, I've actually used a Pomodoro app like that too, as kind of, I kind of think of it as a body double too, which is a lot of ADHD years. Talk about having a body double, just meaning there's somebody could be somebody, something could be a dog, it could be any pet that's near you. That just, it, it's almost just like a [00:47:00] companion a little bit mm-hmm.

[00:47:02] and helps you get your work done. And there's just something about that. I, you know, I often like to work in the same room with my dog and it's just because, I don't know. I can, I feel like I can concentrate more. And this is a real thing for people with adhd and I think those Pomodoro apps are sometimes I put on, oh, we put on YouTube you know, chill hop and it's just a raccoon, you know, going for a walk around a lake and there's music and 

[00:47:26] Tanya: the love.

[00:47:27] That one. I never thought about it in the way you're describing that. It's like a companion, but it totally is. It is. 

[00:47:32] Maren: It is. 

[00:47:33] Tanya: Yeah. It's like having a friend with you. Like I always tell my kids, and again, this is because my son, like always be your own best friend. Like, if you would never beat up your friend verbally, you know, for a mistake they made really, for almost any mistake.

[00:47:47] And I think that's the way it should be for our own self-talk. You know? So for them, I'm always like, when we melt down, when we have a negative thing happen mm-hmm. , like, who's responsible for that? We are ourselves, like we are in control of [00:48:00] ourselves. When you melt down, you're in control of that. When I melt down, I'm in control of that, but.

[00:48:04] We shouldn't then beat ourselves up for it. Yeah. Because we should be our own best friend. We should say like, Hey, that did not go well . Right. Well, like, it's okay. Like, you know, you are loved, you are with your people. It's going to be okay. You love them, you're a good person. Like it's fine. You know? Yeah.

[00:48:23] Like nothing is the end of the world. And I think sometimes, especially when we first come into parenting a child with adhd and you first experience this pushback. Mm-hmm. , you can feel like it's the end of the world. You can feel like, look at all these other people at the park whose kids are just like doing the things and like coming when called and like not throwing a fit because the swings are occupied or whatever.

[00:48:45] And I think really learning to understand that it's not the end of the world. That this is just, you know, an opportunity to honestly be so much closer to your kids. It really is like, Oh, 

[00:48:58] Maren: totally. I, [00:49:00] I, I can't agree with you more. And I do think, like, I do remember that feeling, especially when our, our oldest was diagnosed with adhd.

[00:49:07] It was our first, you know, experience in the family with the diagnosis. And the psychologist just said, you know, she's probably never gonna, you know, when she gets changed at a restaurant or, you know, at a store is not gonna be able to count it right then and there and make sure it's the right amount because it's just, you know, it's too, it's too fast.

[00:49:24] And, you know, it's just the, the whole environment is, is too stimulating. And it would just be, it, it's overwhelming at that point to like count the change. Right. And I just thought, oh no, in my mind just, just despair. But. I now think , oh my goodness, what a small price to pay for the brilliance of that ADHD mind in our family, and the contribution this amazing human is bringing to the world and continues and will continue to bring to the world.

[00:49:59] I'm just like [00:50:00] so grateful for that. And I know, I, I just think kids with ADHD minds just are so brilliant, creative, innovative I think they're gonna be the change makers of the world. They're 

[00:50:14] Tanya: often so friendly. Yes. They're so willing in spite of all of the, the negative kind of comments and reprimands and things.

[00:50:23] They're so willing to have a good time. I think. Yes. You know? Yeah. On for sure. Larger scale. I, in our little co-op group, we have kids of all different, A small little group, but one of the moms in my group and a mom who has I think, incredibly well behaved children, you know? Mm-hmm. has four kids who are lovely little boys, and she did me like an enormous kindness because one day she came up and said, you know, I love seeing how Gabriel, who's so much older than the rest, you know?

[00:50:48] Mm-hmm. definitely just like brings them like an idea, like there's a game, you're in an open field, there's nothing to do, but like, there's a game. There's a whole like adventure [00:51:00] planned, you know? It's always spontaneous and it's always something that engages everyone and involves people and. I see that so often with other kids, with adhd, like his friends, they come up with so many, you know, like interesting things.

[00:51:13] Yeah. Like not the usual, we're never going on just a bike ride. We're never just, you know, at the park there's always like some sort of LA adventure going 

[00:51:21] Maren: on . Exactly. Yeah. They may not sit for the lesson that you had in your mind that thought you thought were was gonna be this great, you know, experience.

[00:51:30] But then later on the day they might come up with this great discussion topic that you have for like 45 minutes and you're like, whoa. That was like mind blowing compared to, you know, what I had planned. And so I just think if we can let go of our own expectations in those ways, they're like, the learning is really limitless.

[00:51:51] All right. And 

[00:51:51] Tanya: letting go of our own idea of how it should be. Yep. What it should look like. 

[00:51:55] Maren: Exactly. All right. All right, Tanya. Well, thank you so much for being [00:52:00] here. I love talking with you about this so much. So I appreciate it so much. Where can we Great to talk to you too. Good, good. Where can we find you?

[00:52:08] Tanya: The best place to find me are on Instagram at Project Tappy Home and on YouTube, project Tappy Home. YouTube has actually just started the the, I don't know what you call them, but the, where you have like a hashtag thing where it's at something. Oh, yeah. So you can use those now on YouTube and find people.

[00:52:26] But if you wanted to hear about ADHD in particular because you have a child with adhd or you look ways to manage one thing or another. Mm-hmm. , I have a specific ADHD playlist on there. Awesome. And then everything else is homeschool related pretty much. Okay. 

[00:52:41] Maren: Great. Well, thank you so much. Thanks so much.

[00:52:45] Angela: Let's move on to our l t. Ws Loving this weeks. Angela, what do you loving this week? All right. I am loving an audiobook, . Nice. It is called Bad Vibes Only. Ooh, I'm [00:53:00] Nora McInerney. Okay. Nora, I just recently found her and love her, so she has her own podcast called Terrible Things for Asking.

[00:53:11] Okay. Yes. And she talks about grief and she's also. Funny. So those two things kind of go together on her podcast. But I don't always listen to her podcast. But her book is just, it's just a series of essays, sort of memoirish love that. She's written a few different books, so I'm probably gonna go back, I don't know if this is similar to her other books, because she's.

[00:53:35] Okay. She's a little bit younger than us. She's probably, I don't know, late thirties, maybe 40. Okay. She's a Minnesotan, so, and her voice is like so comforting to me. So she has that Minnesota accent, but also I love it. It's like, Also her voice is soothing. Mm. So I just love listening to her and I loved her book.

[00:53:57] I related to like all the essays, [00:54:00] I related to them completely. And she's so great. It was funny and fun to listen to. It was like a fun listen. So I love that. And also, she's a great follow on Instagram. She's one of my new favorites and I think her Instagram handle is Nora Bali. And Okay. She's good there too.

[00:54:18] So. And her pockets. Yeah. Favorite all the things that you just described are just that, just like you know, checks off a lot of boxes that I would like and a good audiobook. So yes. Like, I think you would like it mar because it's an easy, fun lesson. It's great. It will take your mind off other things, but also like

[00:54:37] It's relatable. So awesome. Super relatable. Okay, . So, okay. What are you loving? Me? Okay, I'm loving. You know the box office winner, black Panther, Wakanda Forever? Oh yeah. You saw it? I did. Okay. Yes. Have you seen it yet? No. Okay. But a couple people in my family have. It's amazing. It is. Okay. So amazing.

[00:54:59] And I [00:55:00] mean, I, because I love the first one so much too. I just, I came in like just on fire for this, and it did not disappoint. It did not disappoint at all. In fact, I was blown away. Oh, wow. Especially by the acting of the. The whole story is surrounded. I mean, it's based on the women. It is. It is a women led cast.

[00:55:29] These actors are fa No, I just, I know that oftentimes Auction movies like this don't usually get the Oscar, you know? So you know, the actor, the actors don't get nominated or whatever. Yeah. I just think they need to, I really hope that changes this year, especially Angela Bassett. Oh yeah. I heard like best performance ever.

[00:55:55] Her. That's awesome. And Latisha Wright who plays Surey, who, you know, [00:56:00] stepping up into this, you know, her new role. And it is just phenomenal. I I, it's so great. I love that they just put, you can tell they just put their all into this movie that everybody who was involved in it just mm-hmm. just doesn't fit it.

[00:56:14] Nailed it. It was so great. That's awesome. I'm so glad to hear because it. Big shoes to fill it. And after, of course, after Chad Boot Chadwick Mosman died, you wonder how they're gonna handle that. So I'm just so glad they Yes, I do wanna see that. Definitely. Yeah. You're gonna love it. And I know you don't, you might not go to all the Marvel movies.

[00:56:33] No. This is the one, but I will This one. Yes, you would. This one. And anybody else, if you're in that, you know, in that situation where you're like, I, I'm not gonna go see, you know, like Avengers five or whatever, . That's totally, I get that. But this is, you will, I think you're gonna really love this one. Okay.

[00:56:49] That's awesome. That's a great story too. It just, you know, the story in and of itself, just this movie is so great. Mm-hmm. . So even if you haven't seen any of 'em, you'll love it. Yeah. Okay. [00:57:00] All right. Well thank you to our three sponsors, blare Out School at Night Zookeeper. Be sure to check out all of their links in our show notes.

[00:57:10] This podcast is created and hosted by Angela Se and Marron Go. We are listeners supported to get extra content and the Back to School Summit free with your membership. Go to unrefined. Subscribe to our newsletter and get our free top 100 inclusive slash newsletter.

[00:57:33] You can find Mar on Instagram at unrefined and at always Learning with Mar. Find Angela at unfi. Angela.

[00:57:42] [00:58:00]