I love homeschooling Grasshopper. It’s an amazing opportunity. I feel everyone should at least give it some consideration when deciding on an education plan for their children. There are many reasons homeschooling is a great option for most kids. There are even more reasons to consider homeschooling your child with ADHD.
1. Teacher to Student Ratio
Homeschooling means your child isn’t thrown into a classroom of 20+ kids all fighting for the attention they need to succeed. With one on one attention (or 1:2, 1:3.. however many kids your have) your child no longer has the frustrations of competing for help from the teacher. If you have a child with ADHD, you know how quickly frustrations can lead to a meltdown.
2. Make and Adjust Accommodations
Our kids with ADHD need several accommodations. Some are simple, like using some thinking puddy or a fidget cube to keep their bodies moving. Other’s might call for some mother’s intuition. If you see frustration levels starting to rise, it’s much easier to pause the lesson and say it’s time for a break when homeschooling. Public school teachers can’t simply stop a lesson and send their class outside to run on a whim. Even if they allow your ADHD child to take a break, the lesson goes on for the rest of the class, meaning your child is now behind.
Sure your child might utilize an IEP at school, but it can be difficult to assess how well the IEP is working when you’re not there to observe. When homeschooling, you see first hand what might need to change. You’re also able to make those changes immediately. No need to wait for the next IEP meeting for feedback from the teachers.
3. Teach to Your Child’s Learning Style
Public schools don’t place students into classes based on learning styles. Every student in the classroom is taught the same way. They’re all expected to learn the same way too. Homeschooling means accommodating and teaching to the way your child learns best. This is especially important for children with ADHD.
I’ve been able to teach Grasshopper in a way that keeps his body moving. Many of our lessons have him moving, doing projects, or using manipulatives. This is how he learns best. I am able to tailor his lessons to how his brain processes information. I also carefully choose the order in which I teach each subject. For instance spelling and reading are his most difficult classes (he also has dyslexia) I always do one of these two classes right away, before he gets tired. I never do them back to back to allow for a break between the two most difficult classes.
4. Bully Free Environment
Homeschooling allows for a safe setting. There are no social pressures in the home. If he’s struggling in an area academically he’s not pulled from the class for extra help. He’s not teased or bullied for being different. When his struggles brought on by ADHD cause meltdowns he’s not made fun of. Being home takes away the stress of trying to fit in with your peers while trying to learn at the same time.
5. Protect Their Heart
Grasshopper struggles a lot with his self worth. This is not uncommon for kids with ADHD. It’s also not uncommon for them to lie, feel stupid, or dumb.
By homeschooling your child with ADHD, you are there with him through his struggles. You are there to remind them that there is nothing wrong with having ADHD, it’s simply that God made them a little different. You can reassure them and help them learn to manage their feelings of frustrations in a healthy way.
Parents are the best to see the root problem behind behaviors. Are the current struggles a result of the ADHD, or is it an issue with their heart? Knowing this will help you better know how to help your child.
As a parent you will also be able to encourage your child in a way that public school teachers simply can’t. You are able to remind them of God’s love for them. Help them pray about these things and their struggles. At home, we can teach them to look to Jesus.
6. No Homework
When you homeschool, the day is done when the schoolwork is done (usually about 3 hours for us). No more spending 7 hours at school only to bring home another couple hours worth of assignments. This is quite honestly a nightmare for ADHD students. At the end of the day, their minds are spent. They need to run and play.
Is Homeschooling For My Family?
If you’re reading this and your student is struggling in school. Maybe it’s time to consider the possibility of homeschooling. No doubt you have lots of questions and wonder where to start. If you want to hash out some of the questions running through your mind check out my Consulting Services. I would love to help answer any questions you may have.