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Homeschooling the ADHD Child

The challenge and the blessing

Homeschooling isn't easy. Homeschooling the ADHD child is a challenge. If you are up for it, homeschooling your child with ADHD can be a blessing for you both in more ways than you can imagine.

Many parents of ADHD children are looking into alternative education options and have found that homeschooling their ADHD child offers the personalized instruction and flexibility that their child needs.

homeschooling the adhd child

If you are the parent of an ADHD child you are probably already familiar with some of the issues you will face. Here are a few characteristics you might encounter and how to adjust for them.

1. Attention - ADHD doesn't just mean a short attention span, sometimes it means a near obsession on a subject of interest. If your child has a very short attention span, take frequent breaks. If your child get engrossed in a project, allow them to work through it and finish the grammar lesson you had planned at another time.

2. Wiggle worm - since you don't have a classroom full of other children who can be bothered by your wiggly child, let them wiggle. Better yet, plan activities that encourage movement during lesson times. Have them recite math facts or spelling words while doing jumping jacks. Act out stories. Have science lessons outside.

3. Mastery of a concept - Once an ADHD child "gets" a concept, repeating what they already know seems like torture to them. On the other hand, it might take 1000's of times over many months to get a concept. Move on from what they know, and concentrate on what they have yet to master.

4. Messiness - Model organization. Make checklists (use pictures for non-readers) for everything...getting ready, school assignments, how to clean a room. Work with your child when organizing papers, notebooks and work spaces.

5. What? - You give work direction and your child gives you a blank look like she totally didn't understand...or says, "What?" All I can say for this is take a deep breath and have patience! Have your child look you in the eye and calmly repeat your instruction. Really...sometimes they can't help it.

6. Sense of time - Your child doesn't have a good sense of time. Use a timer for essential tasks. Make a game of it. Ask how long they think something will take then set the timer. Say, "Let's see if you can have your clothes on before the timer rings."

7. Emotion - ADHD children can have very volitile emotional patterns. Again, like on #5, take a deep breath and remain calm. There is no sense in getting "spun up" yourself. It rarely has a positive effect on your child's behavior and more often than not, it makes them more emotional. The good news is, once it's over, it's over. ADHD children tend to move on quickly like it never even happened. As a parent, this is SO difficult! Many days I am on my knees about this.

Homeschooling the ADHD child allows for adjustments to accomodate these characteristics of ADHD while still providing and excellent education. Another way you can help your child is to present information differently. Most ADHD children learn best when they can use the right side of the brain to gather and process information. Of course they will need to use the left side of the brain and strengthen areas that are weak, but if everything they encounter is a left brain task they will quickly get frustrated and give up.

For more on homeschooling the ADHD child and right brain teaching and learning check out the Related Article links on the right.

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