Homeschooling has become a popular educational choice for parents seeking a more tailored and flexible approach to their child’s learning. For families with children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), homeschooling can be an excellent option that allows for personalized instruction and accommodations. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of homeschooling ADHD children, provide practical tips for designing a successful ADHD homeschool curriculum, and offer encouragement to parents embarking on this journey.
Can you homeschool a child with ADHD?
Homeschooling can offer many advantages for children with ADHD, as it provides a customizable learning environment that caters to their unique needs and challenges. By adjusting the curriculum and learning pace, parents can create an atmosphere that helps manage their struggles.
Is homeschooling better for ADHD?
Homeschooling ADHD children allows for one-on-one attention, fewer distractions, and the ability to adapt the learning environment to suit the specific needs of the child. In contrast, traditional classroom settings can be overwhelming for children with ADHD due to large
r class sizes, distractions, and rigid schedules.
Benefits of Homeschooling an ADHD Child
Homeschooling allows parents to customize the curriculum based on the child’s strengths, interests, and learning style. This personalized approach can enhance your child’s engagement and understanding of the material.
Homeschooling permits adjustments to the daily schedule to accommodate the child’s peak learning times and build in breaks when needed.
At home, parents can create a quiet environment that minimizes distractions, promoting better focus and learning outcomes.
Encouraging Physical Activity
Regular physical activity helps channel excess energy and enhance focus. Homeschooling ADHD children provides opportunities for more breaks and outdoor activities.
Reduced Social Pressure
Social interactions in a traditional school setting may lead to anxiety and stress for children with ADHD. Homeschooling allows for controlled social interactions, which can foster healthier relationships.
How to Homeschool a Child with ADHD
Homeschooling ADHD children requires careful planning and understanding of each child’s needs. Here are some practical tips to help create an effective homeschooling environment:
Set Clear Goals
Establish clear academic and behavioral goals for your child. Make sure you and your child understand what success looks like. Incremental progress should be your focus for children with ADHD.
Create a Structured Routine
Children with ADHD benefit from structure and routine. Design a daily schedule that includes specific time blocks for different subjects and activities. Consistency is key to fostering a sense of security and predictability. When the routine is not working make changes that will improve your child’s attention and focus.
Use Multi-Sensory Learning
Incorporate various sensory experiences into the lessons, such as visual aids, hands-on activities, and interactive learning tools. This approach can improve memory and interest for children with ADHD. Many online programs have interactive visual aids that may capture the interest of your child especially well.
Use Fidget Tools
Allow your child to use quiet fidget tools such as stress balls or fidget spinners during lessons. A child with ADHD may benefit from sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair, or from other types of movement while learning. If your child is watching online instruction, allow him to do it while on an exercise bike or treadmill.
Teach children specific techniques to help manage impulses and increase self-awareness. These may include deep breaths, naming their emotions, and role-playing. Teach delayed gratification by encouraging your child to wait for rewards or privileges, which can improve impulse control over time.
Do you need a special curriculum for an ADHD child?
While specialized ADHD homeschool curricula are available, they are not necessary for every child. The key is to adapt the existing curriculum to accommodate the child’s learning needs. One alternative approach that has gained popularity in recent years is online learning.
Online learning platforms offer a flexible and interactive option for parents homeschooling ADHD children. Online homeschooling programs are usually customizable and offer progress tracking tools that may help identify areas needing additional support. Some platforms may include adaptive learning techniques and accommodations designed to support specific needs of children with disabilities.
How to Modify Your Curriculum for ADHD
Whether you choose online learning or not, here are some strategies to modify your homeschool curriculum to suit your child’s needs:
Pay Attention to Reading Difficulties
ADHD students can often struggle with reading due to challenges with sustained attention, processing speed, and working memory. It’s crucial to address these difficulties by employing specific reading strategies.
Break down lessons into smaller segments and allow time for the child to process each part before moving on to the next.
Incorporate Hands-on Activities
Engage the child in hands-on activities that bring the subject matter to life. Use math manipulatives or conduct lab experiments to make learning more tangible.
Provide Regular Breaks
Short breaks between lessons give children opportunities to move, release energy, and refocus. Take a break in the middle of a lesson if it becomes necessary.
Implement Visual Organizers
Use visual organizers such as charts, mind maps, or bullet points to help the child grasp information more effectively.
Set timers during lessons to create a sense of urgency and help the child manage time more efficiently. Improve time awareness using a product designed to serve people with disabilities.
Monitor Screen Time
While online learning can be beneficial, it’s essential to strike a balance and avoid excessive screen time. Combine online learning with offline activities to maintain a well-rounded educational approach.
Example of a Homeschool Schedule for ADHD
Below is a sample homeschool schedule for a high-school ADHD child. Adjust to shorter times for younger children. Remember, flexibility is essential. You may need to adjust the schedule to fit your child’s needs. Morning is often the best time to tackle critical subjects such as math and language arts. But if your child has a different peak time of day, move these subjects to that time.
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM Morning Routine and Breakfast
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Math (with frequent breaks)
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Movement Break (outdoor play or stretching)
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Language Arts (reading and writing)
11:15 AM – 11:30 AM Snack Break
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Science (hands-on experiment)
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch and Physical Activity (e.g., bike ride or walk)
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM History (with visual aids)
2:30 PM – 2:45 PM Break (quiet time)
2:45 PM – 3:15 PM Art or Creative Project
3:15 PM – 3:30 PM Movement Break (dance or yoga)
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Review and Wrap-Up
Are there homeschool programs for children with ADHD?
Yes, there are programs specifically designed for homeschooling ADHD children. These programs often incorporate strategies tailored to the learning needs of children with ADHD, including hands-on activities, multisensory learning, and frequent breaks. Research and evaluate different programs to find one that aligns with your child’s strengths and preferences.
ADHD Homeschooling Tips
Be Patient and Flexible
Homeschooling ADHD children can be challenging, but maintaining patience and flexibility is vital. Be prepared to adapt your approach as needed.
Acknowledge your child’s efforts and achievements, no matter how small. Children whose success is celebrated are usually motivated to continue a strong effort.
Collaborate with Your Child
Involve your child in the planning process and consider their input when making decisions about their learning.
Join Support Groups
Connect with other homeschooling parents of children with ADHD to share experiences, gain valuable insights, and find encouragement.
Encouragement for ADHD Homeschool Moms
Homeschooling ADHD children can be both rewarding and demanding. Remember that you are providing children with a personalized education that can impact their growth and development. Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, or online communities when needed. Allow yourself grace during challenging times.
Advice for ADHD Children Using the BJU Press Curriculum
The BJU Press curriculum can be a valuable resource for homeschooling families, including those with children with ADHD. Here are some tips to help you make the best use of the BJU Press curriculum for your child with ADHD:
Break Lessons into Shorter Sessions
Divide longer lessons into shorter sessions to prevent overwhelming your child.
Use Visual Aids
Leverage the included visual elements to reinforce key concepts and improve understanding.
Encourage Frequent Breaks
Allow your child to take breaks as needed, especially during more challenging subjects.
Supplement with Hands-on Activities
Enhance learning by incorporating hands-on activities related to the curriculum topics.
Focus on the Child’s Interests
Tailor the curriculum to include subjects or topics that align with your child’s interests and passions.
Homeschooling ADHD children requires dedication, flexibility, and patience. But with the right approach and support, homeschooling can be a powerful tool to nurture the success and well-being of children with ADHD. Remember that every child is unique. Finding the best homeschooling approach may require trial and error. Embrace the journey and celebrate the progress your child makes along the way.
• • • • •Valerie is a wife and a mother to a busy elementary school student. In her free time, she enjoys reading all kinds of books. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Bob Jones University, minoring in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State University. Valerie has 15 years of experience working in research laboratories and has coauthored 8 original research articles. She has also taught several classes and laboratories at the high school and college levels. She currently works as a Data Analyst and a freelance writer.