I don’t write many opinionated posts, but I’m going to make an exception today. When I first started homeschooling Tigger, I tried just about every homeschooling method there is. During that time, I found some homeschooling methods that worked and some that didn’t. Today, I’m sharing my experience with the worst of them all.
Now bear in mind, this is just my opinion. 🙂 I’m not a homeschooling expert, but from my own experience, this is the WORST homeschooling method for kids (and parents) with ADHD by far. By far. What horrible, awful, no good, very bad homeschooling method am I talking about?
School at home.
If you don’t know what school at home is, be glad. If you do, you likely agree with me. And if you’re considering homeschooling, allow me to explain why (in my experience) school at the home is the worst homeschooling method for kids with ADHD.
Why School at Home is Awful for Kids with ADHD
School at home requires a strict daily schedule.
The “school at home” homeschooling method is essentially when you use the curriculum and schedule of the public school system at home. When homeschoolers talk about school at home, they’re often describing a school-like setup, complete with desks, chairs, and chalkboard. Most often, school at home also follows the public school system schedule each day.
Now we have a chalkboard, so I’m not anti-school entirely. 🙂 But the school at home schedule is very difficult to adjust for your kids with ADHD. The school day of the local public school system is typically too long for them to sustain their focus, and it can be too much for you to keep up with, especially if you have more than one child.
I tried using a public school system schedule with Tigger once. We lasted for three days. She was burned out, I was burned out, and it took so much of my energy to keep her on task for the whole day that the other kids ended up just running around. Fail.
School at home requires you to become a teacher, not a parent.
The biggest reason why school at home is so terrible for ADHD kids, though, is that it forces you to step into the role of “teacher”. I’m a homeschooling mom, which means I teach, but I am primarily Mom. And when you’re raising kids who have ADHD, it is critical that you remain Mom.
When I was trying to be The Teacher, I was focused on getting through the lesson plan, not helping my children learn. I found myself shouting at Tigger “Hurry up! We have to cover three more subjects today!” That’s pretty much the best way to ensure your child with ADHD does NOT complete her work.
Public school teachers have an extremely difficult job. They are required to cover a certain amount of material that includes a certain amount of educational objectives for a number of children during the year. They are also required to test these children and help them reach certain test scores by the end of year, regardless of their learning challenges. Naturally, their system of education is going to be different than mine.
My only responsibility is to help my kids learn how to learn. Complicating our learning goals with the additional responsibilities of a public school teacher did nothing but frustrate me and the kids. Now that we’re practicing a more relaxed way of homeschooling, they are truly learning, not just covering material and passing standardized tests.
Have you ever tried School at Home? Did you have a similar experience when you used it? Does it work for your family? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
This post is part of our “31 Days of ADHD Homeschooling” series! Stop by tomorrow for Day 11: Using the Charlotte Mason Method for ADHD Homeschooling!
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This post is part of the “Homeschool Choices” linkup from iHomeschool Network! Stop by to read my fellow bloggers tips for choosing your homeschooling approach!