How to manage studying for math with ADHD

We get a lot of students with ADHD that struggle with studying for mathematics. I’d like to take some time to share some tricks and techniques for managing this learning difference and using it to your advantage. I have a particular insight into this subject because I have ADHD and managed to survive all the way through an M.S. in physics. It took me a long time to figure out what works, for me it didn’t happen until college. I’m hoping to save you some time and share the techniques that worked for me so you can apply them in junior high and high school.

Number one is exercise. ADHD makes it impossible to concentrate on one topic for an extended period of time. You’ll start looking at the math and before you know if you are thinking about something completely different. An hour will go by before you even notice that you’ve been distracted. Endorphins work way better than Ritalin. They calm the mind and greatly increase your ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. So join a sport and sit down to study math right after you get home and take a shower. It’s amazing how simple and effective exercise can be. For me personally yoga works the best.

Number two is to learn the interesting aspects of math that are often left out in the school curriculum. This is where we really excel! Learn how to derive the formula for the area of a circle instead of just memorizing it. Learn how the fibonacci sequence appears everywhere in nature. Once the student becomes fascinated by the subject material the ADHD will begin working in their favor! It’s a little known fact that ADHD can result in states of super concentration when the student is engaged and interested in the subject. Then it can be a real advantage. It is now believed that many “geniuses” had ADHD, including our number one hero Einstein. Start thinking about ADHD as a form of genius, not as a hinderance.

Here at Alexander Tutoring we have a lot of experience with this “learning advantage” and know how to make it work in your favor.