Hi everyone! Today we’re kicking off a month-long series here at Look! We’re Learning! – 31 Days of ADHD Homeschooling! For Day 1, our topic is: Should You Homeschool Your Child with ADHD?
We always intended to homeschool our kids and we’ve done so since birth. But when Tigger was diagnosed with ADHD, I had to do some serious thinking about whether homeschooling was best for her…and me. After doing a lot of reading and talking with other moms, I decided that homeschooling was the ideal way to teach her, but every family with ADHD may not come to the same conclusion. (Since then, we’ve found out that nearly everyone in our family has ADHD.)
From my experience, there are a lot of pros to homeschooling a child with ADHD, but there are also a lot of cons. If you’re going to make ADHD homeschooling a success, you have to be prepared for those cons. Otherwise, they’ll show up out of nowhere and discourage you from continuing. Here are a few of my personal pros and cons of homeschooling with ADHD.
Pros of Homeschooling an ADHD Child
- Homeschooling a child with ADHD is never boring. You will never, ever, ever want for excitement when you decide to teach your ADHD child at home. In fact, we often “forget” to watch TV during the day, because there’s so much going on in our living room!
- Observing your child everyday gives you a special insight into his or her condition. If you decide to homeschool, you’ll get to observe your child for yourself, rather than having to hear about it from his or her teacher. Watching them do schoolwork has given me an insight into their conditions that has truly helped me understand them.
- You may find out some hidden things about yourself. It wasn’t until I started reading about ADHD and observing my kids that I realized that I also have ADHD. That’s been a long process of acceptance, which we’ll be covering later in this series.
Cons of Homeschooling an ADHD Child
- It can be extremely exhausting. At the end of the day, I am downright exhausted. Physically I’m okay, but the mental effort of keeping them on task and trying to manage their energy around the house is a lot to handle.
- You’ll have to learn to manage your own feelings quickly. I went through a stage when I was blowing up at my kids just about every single day. Children (and adults) with ADHD can become experts at pushing your buttons, and if you’re not careful, you’ll give them an adrenaline boost just by blowing your top.
- Keeping your child interested in learning can be a challenge. Kids with ADHD have extremely short attention spans, so they may not make it through an entire lesson from a textbook. I didn’t realize how much I’d need to adjust my teaching style to include active learning for my kids.
Preparing for the Cons
For me, the cons aren’t enough to dissuade me from continuing our homeschooling journey. But I would liked to have known about them in the beginning. I’ve had days where I’ve been so tired of trying to make our lesson plan interesting that I just dropped school altogether. I’ve also had days when my kids have thrown a tantrum or two and I’ve allowed it to make me lose my temper.
Just in case you’re unsure about managing these cons, we’ll be covering all of these topics during our series. If you want to homeschool an ADHD child, you can do it! But you’ll want to be prepared in advance. Trust me. 🙂
I’d love to know about your journey in ADHD homeschooling! Have you experienced these same pros and cons? How do you manage your bad days? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to come back tomorrow for Day 2: Must Read Books for ADHD Homeschooling Parents!
Homeschooling kids period is a challenge. Then add a kid in the mix that is a jumpy bean, doesn’t listen and has the gumption to test your patience, it can be harder. I know with my youngest son, though not ADD or ADHD, we had to set clear rules, allow some inclusion, more independent work and I had to put my emotional parenting ways aside. This is great advice and perspective! Why? Because in the end it shouldn’t be about me but about the child I’m shaping to be the best he/she can be. My mother in law took in over 200 foster kids, adopted 3 troubled youths and raised kids of her own. However, she knew how to cut off the emotion responses to a child’s tantrum. She had clear cut rules, written out, recited daily and she gave them kids lots of play time. After raising her kids she became a well respected Teacher, then Principle to a Charter School. Now that she is retired, she still teaches, insisting on working with the most troubled youth. I’ve learned a lot from her. One thing she used to tell me is – ‘Don’t take it personal. They are kids. You need to act like the adult.” O_o I was wondering if she was putting me in that kid territory, lol!
Selena Robinson says
That is some sage advice. It’s so easy to take our kids’ misbehavior personally. It can seem as if WE are failing them somehow. So your mom-in-law is right on point. Using clear cut rules and having the kids memorize them are very effective ways of keeping them accountable as well.
Hi Nita, I was wondering if you could elaborate on how your mother-in-law “Cut off the emotion responses to a child’s tantrum”? This is my number one problem, I haven’t disciplined myself enough and tend to respond emotionally to my kids’ emotional responses. Both my 8 year old son and I have ADHD. I realize I need to discipline myself more, but is there any way you can elaborate more on some of her practices, I could use all the help I can get! Were there specific things she did? Thanks!
Michelle G says
Me, too! I am the same way as Jill! Need more info!!
I have 2 with ADHD and that is some excellent advive. I have printed it out for ME to memorize. Too many times I want to have a tantrum right along with them.
I have homeschooled my two girls from the beginning, my oldest ready to turn 12. Neither have been said to have ADD or ADHD but I can relate to all your pros and cons.
Selena Robinson says
You’re right. These are generally the same pros and cons for homeschooling in general; it’s just that ADHD makes them more intense, you know?
Thanks for stopping by!
I homeschooled my now 21 year old adhd son. It was hard, but we survived.
Louise jones says
Yes. Very Intense! I’m so grateful that my mom helps out twice a week to allow us some downtime.
My son has autism as well as ADHD, so we have a lot of days pulling our hair out, but also some lovely days that make it all worthwhile.
I am currently struggling with the 3rd week into homeschooling my son with ADHD. It is one of the most difficult steps to take. I am working on a routine, but nothing motivates him to do anything. I am glad however, that I’m seeing other’s success. This gives me hope!!!
My son just doesn’t want to learn at all because it is all boring BUT like all ADHD people, he is very smart and surprises me at whatvand how much he knows.
The problem with me is that my son and me clash quite a lot because he doesn’t want to and he needs to do his learning. My frustrations come when I feel under pressure from my husband for our son to learn. Unfortunately, because my hubby is FIFO he mostly sees the downside of our learning process and not the days when our son will just sit and do a whole weeks work in one day.
As the weather gets warmer my son wants to learn less and he has a lot more tics and twitches that he doesn’t want to control but he can.
My son was in school but I ended up doing the work he didn’t do at school at home that we just bit the bullet and started homeschooling.
We have only been doing this for 12 months but I don’t want this journey to end.
I’m So glad I found you. : ) I have been homeschooling my 11 year old son, on and off, for the better part of the last three years.
I was at my wits end, Again today, when I found your site, out of shear desperation.
I identify easily, with all that you’ve said so far and can’t wait to read more.
How much do you use technology/screen time?