ADHD, Homeschooling and Essential Oils

First off, let me start by saying I am NOT a medical expert. I am not a homeschooling expert. Heck, I am not even a parenting expert. I am, however, an expert in the field of MY eight (yes, you read that right – 8!) children.

I have been with them since their first breath and have been a diligent student of them ever since. They are my jam. I am in my element as a mom. Not because I am particularly awesome at it (though I try my best) but because this is where I was called to be. I never imagined I would be called to mother EIGHT kids, but thank the Good Lord that He doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called!

God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called!

Also, I never thought I would be a homeschooling mom, but, again, HERE I AM. Killing it! (…sometimes literally killing it… there are days I want to throw in the towel just like every other homeschooling mom).

We have been a homeschooling family now for a decade. That makes me feel old. Like REALLY old. Anyone who has followed me long enough knows that in my family there are a large number of ADHD “cases”. I throw up the air quotes there because my first opinion on this controversial issue is that ADHD is HIGHLY over diagnosed and done so WAY TOO early. I have heard from moms all over the country over and over again they have doctors prescribing medication for THREE year olds!

Public service announcement: MOST 3 year old appear to have ADHD!

Three year olds are not suppose to sit quietly in a seat and stare at a workbook for 8 hours. Try it with most 3 year olds…Ain’t gonna end well. Trust me. Now, there are some children who are more mellow and calm by their nature. And some….well, let’s just call them …spirited…. ahem.. I know. I was one of them. One of the perks of growing up in the 80s and early 90s though was that the ADHD craze hadn’t yet settled into the rural midwest and neither had the internet. That means mothers weren’t routinely running down a list of “symptoms” on google at every occasion convinced their child had a scary, life ruining disorder.

As an ADHD adult (who has MANY adult family members with the same thing) I am here to tell you a diagnosis of ADHD isn’t all bad news. In fact, I honestly believe this is what drives me. Its like a motor inside that, while irritatingly HARD to turn off, can be channeled in the right direction and used as a WONDERFUL, God given GIFT.

BUT, as a mother to 3 “ADHD” children … I get it. I totally do. It can be ROUGH! We had always said we didn’t want to turn to medication. Some days we would scratch our heads and wonder why we decided that. Our first, AJ,  (who is now 14) has this type of personality (I say personality, not disorder, because I don’t think it’s a disorder any more than being an extrovert or introvert is a disorder… we are all just wired differently). He was shy, so the public side of it didn’t get in the way very often and most outsiders didn’t notice. His hyper focus on cars had him identifying and pointing out unmarked police cars at 2-1/2 years old because, without being taught, he learned to recognize the slight difference in these type of cars. Still now he notices and is bothered by the smallest details of items that others wouldn’t even begin to notice. His mind is on 24/7 and if he’s into something he has a hard time shutting it off to eat, sleep or anything else. You see what most without this personality don’t realize is that ADHD doesn’t mean that person has a hard time holding their attention, but that they HYPER focus on something, making focusing on anything else almost impossible.

My 3rd son is so much like his older brother it is scary. They even look alike. There is one distinct difference… Ezra has 5 older siblings and shy has never been in his vocabulary. He inherited his momma’s boldness and when you add that to his “ADHD” and a 4 year old’s lack of a verbal filter things can get interesting quickly. He has moments where he is almost outside of himself and can’t control himself. We’ve taught him to take deep breaths and it works… Sometimes.

Enter essential oils!

We have always been quite naturally minded. Because of this it wasn’t really a big leap for us to try essential oils, so it was weird how unbelievably SKEPTICAL I was about them. “So you’re telling me that I can rub this bottle of witchcraft on my skin and magically every problem goes away?” hmmmm….. Yeah, if you’re there, I get it. I was too. And I am not going to sit here and testify that there is an oil for every ailment and that will whisk every problem away like mom’s in a tub a calgon.  I WILL testify that it has helped my family TREMENDOUSLY with MANY things. The symptoms of ADHD being one of those things.

I shared a little snip bit about it on my Instagram and the response was OVERWHELMING. Mom’s out there want something safe and natural to help take the edge off their busy, smart, creative and sometimes exhausting kids. For us oils have. I can usually notices times when my son hasn’t had his “dose of oils” for a while. My 14 year old noticed a difference and asked for them after his first experience. Its a subtle difference, but that is what I was going for! I didn’t want my spunky, smart, creative boys to be sedated into drones. I wanted them to UTILIZE this gift from God to glorify Him. I wanted their beautiful diversity to shine like a light and I didn’t want that light covered or snuffed out with personality altering prescriptions.

I know every child is different. Every family is different. Every situation is different. And if you decided to medicate you child and you think it is the best for YOUR family I support our decision. Because YOU are the expert on YOUR child and I believe most moms are doing the best they can with what they’ve been given. BUT, if you’re like me and want something to help, but not change that amazingly special child I would LOVE to share the oils that helped us.

Vetiver – this was the hands down most common single oil I found in my research to aid with the symptoms of ADHD. This oils is known as a natural tranquilizer. (And not as in knock-you-out-tranquilizer, but chill-you-out). It can help not only with ADHD but also PTSD, depression and anxiety. It smells a bit smokey but when mixed with other oils has almost a manly, aftershave like scent.

 

 

Cedarwood – another oil that top uses are for ADD and ADHD, but can be used as an insect repellent and for psoriasis and eczema. To be completely honest cedarwood smells a bit like potting soil, but is covered nicely with other oil scents.

 

Lavendar – long known for its calming effects, lavender is not only widely used for more uses than I can list (sleep, stress, anxiety, sunburns, scars, burns to name a few), it is also one of them most economically priced oils.  Most people have an idea what lavender oil smells like as it is identical to the familiar scent of common lavender plant flower.

 

Frankinsence – What Christain hasn’t heard of this oil? Given to the Christ child by the Magi, it was a treasured oil of biblical times and for good reason. Oil users are often heard saying, “When in doubt, pull frankinsence out.” That saying holds true due to the many different and varied ailments that frankinsence aids with. It is an immunostimulant and anti-inflamitory. Its top uses are for tumors, seizures, Alzheimer and depression. This oil smells like an antique shop… honestly. Close your eyes and smell it – $10 says you’ll be thinking of your grandma’s attic!

The blend that we are currently using is:

If your kids are like mine and think the roller balls feel weird you can make a spray instead. I use the spray at home and the roller ball it kept in my purse so we are never without it.

If you’re interested in purchasing these oils please click here for details on how to order.

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14 thoughts on “ADHD, Homeschooling and Essential Oils

  1. Nicci, Thanks for sharing this. I am interested in giving the squirrel spray a try with my second child, but I am overseas and have only been able to find lavender EO here so far. So I may have to wait and try it during next school year (we come back to the States this summer). In the mean time, I am very interested in if you have any tips for dealing with ADHD personality challenges during school. I am a Mama of 5 and I am homeschooling my oldest 3 right now. The lack of focus, and antsy, can’t-sit-for-more-than-2.5seconds behaviors coupled with meltdowns , despair, and self-deprecation over simple mistakes are making it really difficult to make consistent and timely progress in our lessons. I think there are also signs of dyslexia and/or dysgraphia (though we are still in “wait and see” mode since she is only in first grade). Since you have and are dealing with homeschooling kids with ADHD personality, I would love to hear if you have any strategies or tips for teaching kids with this challenge.

  2. I have ADD diagnosed as a child. But now you are talking about hyper focus-that is so me. I’m suspectful of at last one of my children and said that I wouldn’t medicate. But it’s really impacting our homeschool. He has no trouble outside of the home but can have irrational meltdowns, lack of focus and attention, I describe his brain as swirly. It’s as if you take a handful of crayons and scribble all over paper and that’s what I imagine his brain to be sometimes. But unless you live with us you would never see it. It like he keeps it all together for the public. At our co-op and church he has no issues. Does any of this resonate with you or anyone?

    • My older son was similar because he was a bit more shy as a small child. I think it affects each child differently depending on the underlying personality.

  3. Thank you for this info, I’m just curious how you would use these and how often? Do you spray their skin or roll it all over them? Do you just do it once or say 3 x a day? Thank you for any additional info.

    • We use it on them about 3-4 times a day and I can tell when he hasn’t had it applied. We usually use meal times and bedtimes since it’s easiest to remember. I usually spray it in my hands and rub it on the back of our 4 year old’s neck and down his spine. My older son (14) applies it himself on his own as he needs it.

  4. Thank you for the info. Sounds like my 8 year old. I’ll ask him to take the trash to the outside trash can and then take it to the road on trash day. I’ll tell him as he is grabbing the trash, as he is walking outside, and ask if he did it when he comes back inside. He will tell me yes (and truly means it) about 75% of the time the trash can is not at the road. And when I ask he will say “no I took it” Then go back out and be truly astonished that it wasn’t at the road. Lol so I completely get the hyper focus!!

    How often do you apply the oil? And where do you put it?

  5. Spot-on! Your PSA cracks me up. Former Pre-k teacher, now homeschooling mom with six children. So true. I also have a child with legitimate diagnoses of Autism and SPD that, while incredibly frustrating(which is not even a strong enough word for it LOL), I can absolutely see the gifts they can be. It’s our honor to be challenged to raise these gifted kids to be able to harness their ‘super powers.’ I’m glad you found some oils that help you. We love a blend by YL called Clarity for our kids. Rosemary is also great for memory recall and brain stimulation that we use during those pesky state-required standardized tests every summer here in VA. 😀

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