Traditional Schools Can Be Challenging for Children with ADHD
Traditional school environments can cause difficulties for students with ADHD. For example:
- A focus on memorization and testing
- A structure that often requires being quiet, working at your seat for long periods of time with limited breaks
- A pace of learning mandated by standards
- Limited resources or time to work with kids who learn differently
Some families have opted to use homeschooling for their children with ADHD and other executive function disorders. Homeschooling offers the ability to customize how your child learns, but there are challenges as well.
Benefits of Homeschooling
Here are some of the key benefits to homeschooling for kids with ADHD:
- You can customize the curriculum to better meet your child’s need and interests.
- You can manage the pace of learning to give them more time to learn when they need it and let them accelerate to prevent boredom when necessary
- You can play to the strengths of the child and make use of the learning style that is a good fit for them
- You can plan activities on a schedule that matches what the child needs – e.g., have the learning take place during hours that allow the child to have the sleep they require
Potential Drawbacks to Homeschooling
Some of the challenges in homeschooling a child with ADHD include:
- Parents’ ability to meet their child’s education needs effectively – e.g., setting up a curriculum and working with them in a way tht will motivate them and sustain their interest
- Lack of access to school facilities – e.g., labs, art studio, gymnasium, etc.
- Potential for social isolation of the child – he or she may become more isolated from their peers in school
- Possible additional stress on the family – homeschooling requires planning, can result in a drop in household income, and may eat into the free time of family members used to have available
Things to Consider Before Homeschooling
If you are considering homeschooling a child with ADHD, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself first.
- Can you afford to homeschool your child? If both parents work, one will need to quit or cut back on their work in orde to homeschool. This can result in a significant drop in household income.
- Do you enjoy teaching your child things? If you don’t enjoy this role in everyday activities, it is unlikely you will enjoy it for the purposes of homeschooling.
- Do you have a solid enough relationship with your child for homeschooling? Homeschooling doesn’t necessarily lessen any of the stresses and strains that you experience in getting your child with ADHD to do normal daily activities.
- Do you have access to resources and support groups in your area that can help answer questions and give you a etter understanding of what is really involved in homeschooling? It’s a good idea to talk with parents who have homeschooled children with ADHD to see how they dealt with the challenges they encountered.
The key is to go into homeschooling with realistic expectations of what is involved and a good understanding of yours and your child’s capabilities.