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!