As I sit here writing this post, it’s early in the morning. My kids or husband are still asleep (seeing as how there are less distractions for me at this hour), and my little essential oil diffuser is working away puffing an energizing blend of oils into the air so I can wake up (my cup of coffee certainly helps too) and get some work done.
The more I use essential oils for things in my life, the more I fall in love with them. They’re such an asset to our lives, and I love how they just fit in so seamlessly. They’re like these quiet little helpers working away in the background so I don’t have to think about them and all they’re doing. Instead, I can focus on other things that matter.
Speaking of focus… that’s what I want to talk to you about today. Focus and kids, or rather how to use essential oils to help your child focus.
An Early Start To Our Homeschool Year
You see, I decided to start school back early this year. I normally don’t start homeschooling my kids until September because I use the summer to catch up on things we’re behind on, go on vacation, do fun activities with the boys, spend more time with friends and family, work on house projects, and get some extra stuff done here at Growing Up Herbal. Summer is great for us. It’s more freeing. We break out of our routines more, we catch up, we try new things… mostly we have fun together a lot.
Anyway, this will be my first year homeschooling two kids… one, my first-born, Judah, is like me. He’s a bit type-A, a go-getter, organized, and he loves a list of things to complete. On the other hand, my second child, Isaiah, is a bit of a free-spirit. He’s a lot like me too just in another way. He likes to live life fully, he’s interested in a lot of different things, and even though he does well with routines, he’d prefer to fly by the seat of his pants most times.
So yeah… I was a little concerned about homeschooling this year. I mean, I feel like I’ve gotten things settled with the first kid as far as his curriculum and schedule goes, and here we go throwing another kid into the mix. I have to admit, I’ve been a little stressed about schooling Isaiah. He has a completely different learning style than Judah, and I knew he’d be a challenge to me in many ways.
One thing I did this summer was to sit down and get organized with school. I ordered all the books we were going to use (I’m an eclectic homeschooler… we do bookwork and hands-on activities with lots of trips, and we mostly use classical curricula that incorporates lots of stories.), I got a school schedule mapped out so I could spend one-on-one time with each boys on subjects they may need my help on, and I got some systems set up here at home (cleaning schedule/routine, meal plan schedule, work hours – yes bloggers use those, doctor/dentist appointments pre-scheduled, etc.) to keep our lives running smoothly so I didn’t feel like a crazy woman running around with my head cut off most days.
And yes, working from home with 4 little ones and my personality equals lots of scheduling and routines for the many different areas of our lives. It’s how we function well, get junk done, and still like each other at the end of the day. Seriously.
So back to Isaiah, school, and my apprehension. Like I said, this kid doesn’t focus so well so I knew that I may need a little extra help in the attention department this year. Enter essential oils for focus.
How To Help Your Child Focus Using Essential Oils
Seeing how I’ve been personally benefitted by using essential oils in my diffuser I decided to try out a new essential oil blend to help Isaiah (and the rest of us) focus during our school time this year. This blend is from Plant Therapy’s KidSafe synergy blend, and it’s called A+ Attention.
Now don’t get me wrong… I like blending essential oils together, but I mainly do it to create scents that I love in my herbal skincare products, homemade cleaning products, or to create non-toxic fragrances for my home. I sometimes blend oils to achieve a therapeutic action, but it’s not that often. Instead, I’d rather let the experts do that and simply buy the synergy blend… especially when it comes to ones that are safe for my kids (which currently range in age from 1-7). One day I may go to aromatherapy school, but until then, I’ll leave it up to the experts!
So A+ Attention is a blend of 6 single essential oils (petigrain, bergamot, cedarwood atlas, grapefruit, lavender, and vetiver) which help to calm the mind and allow you to focus on the task at hand. There are several different ways it can be used. So far I’ve only diffused it into the air, but you can also dilute it in a carrier oil and apply it directly to the skin (or buy it pre-diluted) or inhale it straight from the bottle if you’re short on time or out and about.
Diffusing essential oils are one of the best ways to benefit from them in a short amount of time. I used to think that applying them to the skin was the best way to use them, but the more I learn, the more I feel that inhaling them is equally as important.
You see, diffusers break the oil molecules down into tiny parts to be inhaled. Once inhaled they stimulate the olfactory nerve and the limbic system which affects our mind and emotions. From my understanding, topical application of essential oils do get into the bloodstream quicker and therefore have more of a total body effect. I should also say that I’m in no way an expert on this subject so definitely double check what I’m saying… and let me know if you find out something different so I can keep learning too!
Back to this blend and how I’m using it to help my kid focus on his schoolwork.
So far, A+ Attention seems to be working well for us. I diffuse it when we’re all gathered together reading a story (currently the Beatrix Potter stories) so that he can do some independent work afterward and stay focused on it. It also helps that his independent work isn’t too long or overly complicated.
We don’t have many days of school behind us so far, but at this point, he’s doing extremely well. He’s excited about his new grade and subjects (he likes to be like his big bro), he’s paying attention to the stories and recalling what he learned later, and he’s doing his independent work well without complaining or whining (Hallelujah! Thank you Lord!) which is a huge praise. This is a blend I’ll definitely keep on hand to use with the kids during school, but I’m looking forward to finding other ways of using it too.
How Does It Smell
Everyone has a different “style” or “scent” rather when it comes to essential oil blends. Most blends fall into certain “scent families” or “categories”, and many times each individual will have certain preferences for particular families. Personally, I like “floral,” “balsamic,” and “earthy” blends best. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like “woody” or “green” blends because I do. It just means that they aren’t my first choice, and they may need to be toned down a bit more for me to enjoy them.
Let me give you a couple examples.
First, I like the idea and thoughts behind moss and ivy. They’re green, earthy, peaceful, and so much more to me when I think about them, but just because I have emotional connections to them does not mean I love their green scents because I don’t. But, combine them with other scents I like such as amber, patchouli, or vanilla, and that changes everything. I’ll love it then, and it will be a better fit for me.
Another example would be in smoky scents like cedarwood. It’s not my favorite smell, but it does remind me of the magic of a campfire. Again, an emotional connection. It’s not what I’d base my favorite scent with, but I do like it mixed in and hidden in the blend in some way. Speaking of which… that moss, ivy, amber, and cedarwood is sounding like something I may wanna try sometime soon. Hmmm…
So, now that you know that everyone has a different opinion when it comes to scents… this one, to me, falls into the “wood” scent family as it has the smoky scent of cedarwood in it. At least that’s what I smell. It doesn’t bother me, but it’s not something I’m going to diffuse in my house before guests come over. I use this blend purely for its therapeutic action on focusing the mind… not for how it smells. Thankfully I don’t mind it all that much, and it’s not a distraction. However, I am the kind of person that works to discipline themselves in trying something for several times before making a decision about it… especially when it comes to natural things like essential oils and the art and science of blending them together. I try to never judge a book by its cover you know.
Using A+ Attention With ADD or ADHD
I know someone’s going to ask me if you can use this essential oil blend to help a child with ADD or ADHD focus more so I’m going to go ahead and answer it.
My thoughts would be yes… in fact, I think the Plant Therapy website says it would be beneficial, but I’m also going to say that I have zero experience in this area.
Attention disorders are complicated matters and require a holistic approach to helping a child through them. Not only would I personally use essential oils for these conditions, but I’d use lifestyle and dietary changes as well as herbal supplements to help bring the body and mind into a more balanced state. If your child has either of these conditions and you want to take a more natural approach to managing or overcoming them, I’d definitely say to make essential oils (and trying this particular blend) a part of your holistic care plan.
Do you homeschool your kids? Do you have a particular child that struggles with staying attentive? How do you help them focus on the task at hand? Share your experiences with me in the comments below!
This post was underwritten by Plant Therapy. All opinions are mine. Plant Therapy offers 100%, pure, undiluted essential oils sourced from some of the top essential oil suppliers in the world. They have single oils and synergy blends as well as a line of synergy blends specific to children. Not only do they offer high-quality essential oils, but they also offer carrier oils, hydrosols, and other essential oil accessories to help you keep yourself and your home naturally healthy.