Families are homeschooling ADHD and ADD children in increasing numbers. This growing trend shines light on the benefits of the homeshool environment for children with attention deficient disorders.
Home School vs. Public School Education
Many parents become frustrated trying to make public school work for their ADD/ADHD child. If you have gone through the motions of public school before and/or after your child was diagnosed, you probably know all about the complications. Teachers are not always patient and understanding, and keeping up with the pace of classroom learning can be more frustrating than educational for your child. This has brought many parents to the conclusion that homeschooling an ADD/ADHD child is much less hassle and far more beneficial to the child.
Benefits of Homeschooling ADHD and ADD Kids:
When you think about the key differences between homeschooling and the public school environment, you see the key benefits to keeping an ADD/ADHD child at home for schooling:
- Public school teachers are torn between grading/planning/organizing duties and up to twenty-five students at once. Home school teachers (that’s you!) are only torn between the administrative tasks and their own children. This benefits the ADD/ADHD child because they get more personal attention and immediate help with problems.
- Public school teachers do not get to know children on a personal level and often do not understand the struggles that a child with ADD/ADHD is going through. This makes it incredibly difficult for a public school teacher to respond appropriately and effectively to children with different needs. The home school environment is lead to by someone who knows the child intimately, so you can implement small changes that help the child learn.
- Public school teachers have predetermined assignments and curriculum that every child must learn without variation. Home school teachers can develop their own curriculum and assignments, based specifically on the needs and interests of the child. This makes learning more fun and rewarding for the child, and they actually remember more of what they learn for the long term.
- Public school teachers move through lessons at a pace suitable to the overall class. Home school teachers move through lessons at a pace suitable to the individual child. The ADD/ADHD child is often gifted in some subjects they find easy, while struggling with other subjects. They are typically behind and ahead at the same time in the public school setting. When homeschooling takes over, parents can adjust curriculum so the child learns at their own level for each subject. They are neither behind or ahead, and there is no stress to learn faster to catch up to other children.
- Public schools are starting to cut back on arts and sports. Homeschooling parents have the freedom to teach their children music, art, creative writing, and other arts, and they have many ways to keep children active in sports.
Common Parent Concerns and Questions:
These are some of the big advantages to homeschooling a child with ADD/ADHD, but there are some lingering questions that many parents have about removing their child from public school and starting the home school process.
Following is a quick list of the biggest concerns and tips for overcoming the problem:
- What if I am unable to teach my child everything they need to learn? Will I fail them out of school? If you check with your state to learn the legal requirements for homeschooling, and compare with lists of learning objectives by grade level, you will know exactly what your child is supposed to be learning. The beauty of homeschooling your child is that you can put them at different grade levels in different subjects, allowing them to move at their own pace. You can test them just like they would be tested in school, and you can talk to them to determine how much knowledge they are really picking up. If you are consistent with the curriculum and personalize the approach to your child, they will learn! In fact, they are more likely to learn with you than they would without that personal attention in public school.
- What if I do not have time to home school properly? Many homeschooling parents work full time and hold down other obligations while teaching multiple children at home. You will have very flexible hours as a home school teacher, and it will be much easier to blend those duties into your other obligations once you cut out the strict schedule of the public school. Use online learning programs, as they allow children to do a lot of work on their own. This is a great supplement for days you cannot actively participate.
Homeschool Curriculum Options for Students with Attention Disorder:
Some curriculum options work better than others when homeschooling ADHD or ADD diagnosed children. Due to the distinctly different environment of your home vs. a busy and distracting classroom, most students do well with almost any top curriculum options.
Computerized curriculum often is especially effective in holding their attention and engaging students who learn to love school again!
It is ultimately up to the parent to decide whether an ADD/ADHD child will do better in the public school system or at home. Many children with these struggles do tend to do better when the curriculum and the environmental factors are structured to better meet their learning needs.