Have you heard of mental fatigue before? It’s a real thing. Mark Zuckerberg supposedly only wears one type of outfit to avoid such a thing. While that may sound bizarre and cause you to doubt its legitimacy, it’s not a joke.
So now you are homeschooling, but your kid is having a rough time sitting and focusing on his work? Enter the tears, pleading, and fits. Last year we faced this big time… For a child with ADHD or Autism, mental fatigue is very very real.
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Simply seeing work to be done can cause major overwhelm
Even just seeing the amount of work to be done is overwhelming and can start the trip to mental fatigue-ville immediately! When we began homeschooling, I quickly saw this would become one of our biggest hurdles to overcome! Luckily, my own experience with this as a child was helpful in understanding and devising a plan.
I think everyone, or most ASD parents anyway, have seen PECs style calendars. Those can be a help for some kids, but others need more. Maybe it even just depends on the day. I decided I didn’t want to motivate my son to complete work with food, money, or long bouts of electronics (15 mins can turn into major fits when it’s back to work).
So here is tip #1 for conquering mental fatigue:
A motivating Youtube video! They are, usually, super short (not to mention free) and the time is much better spent than it otherwise would be arguing or nagging.
Pick any preferred topic and you are set. Youtube videos are often very short and are great little things to look forward to. For my oldest son, Bowie the bird (below) was a major (MAJOR) favorite. Don’t ask me how in the world they pick what they pick… I’m sure you’ve been there with an obsession or two as well?
Your Turn: What types of videos do your kids find motivating?
Jill is a Christian, homeschooler, "boy mom", and special needs parent. Jill has ADHD and has learned firsthand how adapting environments can be key to finding success! Her current mission is to empower parents whose desire is to homeschool their special needs children and helping them squash their self-doubt! View all posts by Jill C