Have you ever wondered what is wrong with that child who can’t sit still or hold on to his seat? Be warned, as there are chances that he or she probably has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a form of brain disorder that affects one’s attention span and behavior control. As ADHD afflicts 5 percent of kids worldwide, this is the reason homeschooling is on the rise as most schools lack the resources to handle such students. So, should a child with ADHD be homeschooled? Well, check out this blog article and read further to find out more.
Things to consider before homeschooling your ADHD child
It is safe to say that homeschooling is not for everyone. Despite the myriad of issues with public schools, there are a few important questions that parents need to consider before getting started on homeschooling for their ADHD child.
- Is teaching your cup of tea? As a teacher, you have to teach and explain things to your child, and that often means having to placate him or her to sit down and focus. For example, how to string a proper sentence in English or making sense of math concepts like multiplication.
- Do you have the budget to homeschool? For a homeschooling to be truly effective, you need to have sufficient resources. Things such as books and classroom equipment don’t come cheap. Also, what happens if one parent quits his or her job? The loss of income also means that there will be more financial burden especially if that parent is the family’s sole provider.
- Is the bond between your child deep enough that will allow homeschooling? Suffice to say, whether or not a child behaves or otherwise depends on this age old factor. That is because children listen to those who they admire, love, and respect. If you cannot even get your child to sit down and listen to you, how are you even going to teach them reading and math? Being either a parent or a teacher is hard enough. Balancing both roles is that much tougher.
- Where to seek some of the best local resources that can bring out the best in your child? For this question, you may seek out a child education specialist for help. He or she may guide you on preparing your child’s homeschooling teaching materials that will meet their specific needs, goals, and temperaments. Either way, you may surf the internet for online forums or support groups dedicated to homeschooling that provide much needed advice and support in this area.
The Learning Journey
There are several learning methods used to teach an ADHD child.
The Charlotte Mason Method – Subjects come to life in a lively and animated way through this method based on written story forms by authors. Instead of using dull and long-winded textbooks for teaching, this teaching method stresses a person’s character and personal development.
The Unschooling Method – Curiosity may kill the cat, but not in this teaching method as a child’s curiosity is taken to a full advantage since this gives him or her the liberty to choose what, when, how, and where they learn. For example, a topic such as water is presented in several interesting angles so that your child can cultivate an interest in the subject matter.
Whatever the chosen method, parents should go with the flow and work with techniques that suit their child’s current goals and capabilities. For example, visual learners work best through using highlighters, colored pens, and eye-catching graphics in contrast to kinesthetic learners absorb better through interactive learning methods such as games, experiments, field trips, and role-playing.
Parents need to help their children to develop their passion and skills. For example, if your kid is interested in riding horses, why not try to educate your child in that subject matter? Or alternatively, use horse-riding examples to help them learn math or science concepts.
Naturally, both ADHD children and computers go hand in hand together since most are attracted to the kinesthetic nature of online home courses that offer interactive and educational software; through sound and animation to develop both ear and eye coordination. As a bonus, some online courses even incorporate fun and rewarding games at the end of the session to help the child unwind after a long day of studying.
In other words, online learning is the best bet for busy parents who do not have time to coach their children one-to-one. For example, frustrations when teaching due to a stubborn child or because you are busy cooking dinner.
Homeschooling is one of the best ways to make friends. Most people think that homeschooled children are anti-social beings who sit in the house all day. But in reality, homeschooling gives a child much more social freedom than being in a regular school.
That is because children who attend homeschool often join hands with others to participate in extra-curricular activities such as social activities, co-ops, volunteer programs, and other social events. We bet your child will never miss special occasions like prom night or their graduation ceremony.
Benefits of homeschooling
Customization of curriculum
Studies have shown that the benefits of homeschooling an ADHD child can be rewarding. Parents can customize a child’s curriculum to fit the child’s mood for each particular day. For example, parents may try to give more work to a child who is having a good day. On other less sunny days, parents can cut their child some slack and just let him or her play games.
If a recess break is needed, parents can halt the lesson to give a child time to refresh themself before resuming. Parents can incorporate fun and exciting techniques such as motion learning. A good example, parents teaching English while a child is playing classical Bach on the piano.
Parents can focus on the child’s strengths. Is the child a good writer, or is he or she more artistically inclined? If that is so, parents can know what to incorporate into a child’s lessons the next time to suit his or her niche.
As a child gradually progresses, parents can speed up a particular lesson so that he or she can optimize learning. Or else, parents can slow down the pace if a child is still struggling halfway.
Nevertheless, homeschooling parents can limit distractions due to external factors such as the sounds of fluorescent lights buzzing. ADHD children are also sensitive towards noise made by others, especially in a classroom full of other children. For that, putting them in regular schools is out of the question.
The Drawbacks of Homeschooling ADHD Children
Studies have shown that many homeschooling parents cannot meet their child’s educational needs. Typically, many are not specially trained or equipped with the knowledge to handle an ADHD child. After all, not every parent is a certified childhood education specialist. Also, since ADHD is a learning disability, homeschooling parents need to do lots of research to prepare the right curriculum for their child.
Homeschooling also takes up a lot of time for both parents. Some parents need to quit their full-time jobs or cut out their leisure time to spend time with their children. That places financial, mental, and emotional stress on both parent and child. Hence, such as if one parent is the sole breadwinner of the family.
Homeschooling children also do not have access to special school facilities like gymnasiums, science labs, and art studios since their parents have to make do with limited classroom equipment due to budget issues.
Another issue faced by parents of homeschooling children is their inability to handle ADHD. Often, ADHD children are rowdy and run around amok when distressed or agitated. Imagine them running around the house screaming at the top of their lungs with their parents chasing after them frantically. Now, wouldn’t it be bad parenting? Parents of ADHD children need to have the necessary skills to bring their wayward child back to the ground.
Also frequently talked about was the issue of how homeschooling can affect the social life of ADHD kids. Just like a regular child, ADHD children need to socialize with kids of their age. If not, they will feel cut out from the rest, which can eventually deteriorate their condition since socialization is vital for personal development and growth.
Homeschooling children cannot coexist with others despite having support or network groups. These organizations bring other children to meet with them so that both parties can study, play and eat together. As attractive as this option seems, it is not the best bet as ADHD children have problems with impulse control and hyperactivity. Regardless it is in a classroom full of other people, or in an outside playground setting. For example, an ADHD child getting into a fight or accidentally knocking others down while they are running around.
In a nutshell, regardless you want to homeschool your ADHD child or not, the choice is fully up to you. Because there are many things to consider and be dealt with before you can kickstart your ADHD child’s homeschooling education. After all, the road not taken can be rewarding, but full of twists and turns altogether.