Depending on your situation, there’s a lot of things that may have happened with your ADHD child in school. There may have been pressure from the school to medicate him. There may have been threats of suspension or special education classes, or even failing a grade. You may have had countless meetings with teachers over your child’s behavior, lack of attention, poor grades, or more. Or you might have known your child was struggling and the teacher wouldn’t meet with you to try to figure out how to help your child.
Maybe your child hasn’t been in school yet. Maybe you haven’t even officially had him diagnosed. But you know he will be (maybe because he has an older sibling who has been, or a parent), and you know that school is going to be a struggle.
Homeschooling can be a great idea when your child has ADHD, and not just because you can avoid having him labeled by the school.
Here’s just a few of the advantages of homeschooling a child with ADHD:
- Tailored education. Typically, ADHD children don’t learn very well by sitting still and listening quietly, which is what’s generally expected in public or private school. With homeschooling, you can tailor your child’s education to what works best for him. If he learns best by jumping on a trampoline while you go over his math facts, or building a clay castle while you read aloud to him, you can make that happen.
- Flexibility to switch things up. If you don’t know how your child learns best, or if things aren’t working, you have the flexibility to change things up until you find something that does work. If it stops working, you can change it again. Theoretically, you could change things every single day if you wanted – I wouldn’t recommend it, but you could.
- Breaks. Public and private schools have a schedule to stick to. I’m not saying this is a bad thing; it’s not. It’s necessary in order to get things done. But the thing is, sometimes those schedules just don’t work for a kid with ADHD. They can’t always go from one subject to the next without a hitch, and if they’re in the flow with something, they may not want to stop. When you homeschool, you can insert your own breaks between tasks and determine how short or long those breaks will be. You can also change the breaks for vacations, too. You’re not limited to when the schools are off for the day, or take Thanksgiving, Christmas or spring break. You can create your own days off, your own multiple day vacations, and plan your spring break for a week that’s likely to be less crowded and therefore, possibly less stimulating for your child.
- Pace. Along the same line as taking breaks, the pace of public school might not always work for your child. While, generally speaking, classes work at the pace of the slowest student to catch on, there comes a point where the teacher must move on, even if that child hasn’t caught on yet. Alternatively, if a child learns something quickly, they are stuck waiting for everyone else to catch up before they can move on. If you homeschool, your child can set his own pace. He can move as slow or as fast as he needs to, and even if that changes from skill to skill or subject to subject, it won’t matter. You won’t have to rush him when he needs time, or hold him back once he’s mastered something.
- Grade levels can be a thing of the past. Okay, so you can’t necessarily completely ignore grade levels. People are going to ask what grade he’s in, doctors will ask, and it helps to have an idea of where he’s at if you’re buying curriculum. But you won’t have to worry about him “failing” a grade, being held back and made to feel embarrassed when his friends move on, not to mention possibly being picked on. He can work at whatever grade level he’s on in every subject – he might be reading at a 6th grade level while doing 4th grade math, all while he’s technically in 5th grade. And it won’t matter! He’s still learning, and he’ll get “caught up” on his own. You won’t have to worry.
Another potential bonus of homeschooling is that you can sometimes ditch the meds. This is not always the case, however, and you should definitely talk to your child’s doctor before you attempt to do this.
Why do you think homeschooling a child with ADHD is a good idea?