How To Help Your Child Focus Using Essential Oils

How To Help Your Child Focus Using Essential Oils | Growing Up Herbal | Learn how to help your child focus this year at school with essential oils.

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

How To Help Your Child Focus Using Essential Oils | Growing Up Herbal | Learn how to help your child focus this year at school with 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!

plant-therapy-logoThis 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.

  1. Michelle says:

    I would love to hear if anyone has used this topically and if it helped. I’ve been on the fence about getting this for one of my children, but with being pregnant and then having a newborn in the house, diffusion isn’t an option. (At least from the information I have read for pregnancy/newborns and EO’s it isn’t a good thing to diffuse when a pregnant momma is around or a child under 2). I know a personal inhaler could be an option…but in reality I don’t think it would work too well for certain reasons in our case. So the best option for us is really topical, which I know can be done, just wondering if it would be effective to use in that way.

    • Meagan says:

      I know they sell it in a pre-diluted roll on bottle which would be for topical use so I assume it can be used that way. Personally, I’d think that would work well since it would be absorbed quickly and they’d be able to smell it throughout the day. I’ll have to try this instead of diffusing it to see what I like best. And to directly answer your question… yes, I would assume it would be effective that way.

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you so much Meagan! I so appreciate how you take time to reply! I know you’re a busy momma and wife, so it really means a lot!
        I think I will give it a try topically and see how he does. 🙂

    • Elyse says:

      Michelle, if you are not sure about using topically ( which is the main way I use my oils for my kids) you can look into getting a diffuser bracelet/necklace. I happen to make jewelry and discovered that I can make my own bracelets using porous lava beads. You add a drop per bead and lasts all day. Reapply daily and works great for kids during school

  2. Wendy says:

    I’m wondering, how long of an effect this would have. My daughter will be going into public school, grade 2 this year. She was homeschooled for kindergarden and the second half of grade one. This will be her first year in a big school. She has had issues with focusing and I’m afraid that with so much distraction it will just be worse. At home it was fine, I could deal with it, but in school, especially with no scent policies, I don’t know how we would use this. Could I apply it at home before she leaves for school and would it last long enough to have any effect? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Meagan says:

      I’m sorry Wendy, but I don’t have an answer to your question. I’m not sure how that would work. All I can think of would be to try using the blend on a Saturday when you can set her down for a bit to teach her something or let her work on a project for a set period of time to see if it helps her focus better. Pay attention to how often you need to reapply it topically (since that’s how you’d have to use it on school days). I’ll ask this question on the GUH FB page and see if any other mamas have ideas. Thanks for your comment!

    • Elyse says:

      Wendy, you could use a diffuser bracelet/necklace to have her wear during school. Add a drop per bead and it’s suppose to last all day. I personally have not used this blend yet (am planning on buying it tomorrow) but have heard from many people that use the diffuser jewelry that the oils last all day in them. You would reapply daily

  3. Kristen says:

    I homeschool my four children and we use this roll on oil daily! My 9 yo boy has ADHD and he, by far, uses this the most. He asks for it when he begins his independent work, applies it to his wrists and deeply inhales, and then sets it beside him and inhales when he feels his attention slipping. It has been an invaluable help. He also loves the Sweet Dreams roll on and finds that it helps his sleep quite a bit (which can be an issue for ADHD kids) and the Tummy All Better oil for his stomach issue (also a common, but not universal, ADHD thing).

    • Meagan says:

      Awesome Kristen! I’m so grateful you shared your story here with us. Do you mind me asking how often he has to reapply it or inhale it when he’s working? I know it would be different for everyone, but I’m curious to know if it lasts around the same time… like every 30 or 45 minutes. Also, have you found that the topical application works better for him than diffusing it continually? I wondered if I shouldn’t just mix up a roller bottle and use that instead of diffusing it into the air for all of us to smell.

      • Kristen says:

        He probably reapplies it every 30 min or so. It doesn’t remain as strong as diffusing, but my older daughter doesn’t care for the scent (she likes a Doterra focus blend a friend gave me to try) so I rarely diffuse it. I like the roll on particularly because we are working on giving him tools to manage his ADHD on his own, so he is gradually less reliant on us to control his environment. The roll on is something he can use when he notices his own attention waning, instead of asking for me to change something to make it less distracting. It isn’t a miracle worker, but it is an excellent and valued addition to the other things we are using to help.

        • Meagan says:

          Thanks Kristen! I love that he’s learning to manage it on his own too. Isn’t that part of our jobs as parents… to help our kids learn to be independent. It can be easier said than done though.

    • Michelle says:

      Yes, thank you so much for sharing Kristen!

  4. Kimberly says:

    Hi Meagan,
    I have 5 children at home and homeschool 4 of them at this time( one of them is only 3) I start out the day by diffusing the A+. I have a roller bottle of it made up that I use on the bottoms of their feet if they get ants in their pants. I also have one of the Plant Therapy personal inhalers made up with it in there sitting on the table so that they can use if they need to. We did this last year and it helped quite a bit, a lot actually. I might add that none of mine have ADD or ADHD they are just active children that don’t enjoy sitting still for long periods of time. I have also found that a bowl of nut sitting on the table to let them snack as needed helps too. Thank you for all of your hard work on this blog. I love hearing your thoughts. I wish that I knew mamas like you and some of the ladies that post messages. None of the ladies in my area are quite as like minded. By the way that Answers in Genesis material that you are using is awesome! If you haven’t ever tried the Seven C’s by them, it is great too for a foundation with the kiddos.

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks for sharing Kimberly. Same here. None of my kids have ADD or ADHD, but my 1st grader does seem to have a harder time focusing so I’m learning that homeschooling him will look very differently than homeschooling my oldest. He’s teaching me (and stressing me) a lot! LOL! I’m trying to keep history and science as one class for all the kids, but we’ve just moved into one of the more advanced years for the AIG science (there’s more reading and no “beginner” sections), and he’s having a harder time getting it. He loves stories, but I can tell that he’s going to be more of a hands on learner so I’m having to take some of the AIG science and MOH history stories/lessons and find videos or activities to reinforce what is taught in each lesson to help him get it better. Anyway, I’ve not looked at the Seven C’s by AIG. I’ll definitely check it out though. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Heather r says:

    Hi meagan
    there are a lot of great articles out there to help kids with attention issues but one thing that we really like is letting our guy stand up or it upside down on the couch or whatever position he wants to do besides sitting to do his math it helps him to focus. I know it sounds funny but we were told by a math specialist to let him do that and he would focus better on things like that in math is his favorite subject now. Also we follow HECOA, and it has been an awesome resource for us. They have a not back to school summit coming up with many many speakers, experts in their area. just food for thought and thanks for the tip- we will be trying this out!

    • Meagan says:

      That’s great advice Heather! Thanks for sharing. My 3rd grader likes to stand at the table to do his schoolwork. I used to get on to him more about sitting to do it, but recently decided that it really wasn’t that big of a deal to let him stand. He’s more productive and less antsy if he’s standing so I’m totally happy letting him do that. I do recognize that there are times to teach kids to sit still, but I’m not sure that the entire school day is that time. I heard someone say once that if you want to learn something well, do something else while you’re listening… something with your hands, like squeezing a stress ball or playing with a piece of clay… as it does something with the brain to help you remember what you’re hearing. Weird. I don’t know a ton about how memory, focus, and the brain works, but not being so rigid has seemed to help us.

  6. Leesa C says:

    Hi, Meagan,
    I wanted to mention that our eye doctor, who now does therapy with my 8 year old, let me know that about 98% of ADD and ADHD students actually have eye issues. My son had 20/20 vision but the letters ran together on the page, his eyes did not work together, etc. He is now going to therapy until Thanksgiving to help his brain and eyes work together. I can already tell a difference. I just thought this might interest you if you know of children who have these issues.

  7. Gail @ Rese Activewear says:

    Thanks for such a great blog. I’m slowly getting into the oils scene and think there are some definite benefits to using oils. This is a very interesting idea for me and I appreciate all the information. Best of luck with your homeschooling.

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks Gail. Good luck with learning about EOs! There are a lot of great informational sites out there to help you!

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