Homeschooling a Child with ADHD
Homeschooling offers great benefits and flexibility that are perfect for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Providing your child with ADHD an education that can be catered to their needs helps them gain confidence and perform better academically. Children with ADHD often have educational, behavioral, and social issues in school. In a traditional school setting, they have to navigate a classroom environment filled with multiple distractions and non-negotiable rules.
On this page, you will find information on how to homeschool a child with ADHD, how homeschooling compares to public schooling for kids with ADHD, and how to choose the best homeschool curriculum for your ADHD child.
Can ADHD Affect Learning?
Any disorder with the core symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity is going to affect how a child learns. So much of traditional academic success is tied to how well a student can attend to tasks and deliver on teacher and classroom expectations. Individuals with ADHD may exhibit any of the following behaviors (and many more) that can affect learning in a classroom situation:
- Fidgeting during instructional time
- Difficulty waiting for a turn in group situations
- Inability to follow through with instructions
- Shifting tasks before completion of the previous one
- Misplacing items needed for completion of tasks
- Difficulty in listening to others without interruption
- Getting distracted or irritated by classroom noises and activity
- Becomes bored easily if the material if not moving fast enough
ADHD and Homeschooling
Homeschooling, in contrast, removes many of the challenges that students face in a traditional school setting. Fidgeting, for instance, matters very little when it isn’t disturbing nearby classmates and has even been shown to improve attention in kinesthetic learners. Waiting for one’s turn, too, is less of an issue when homeschooling alone or with only one or two siblings.
Most of the other issues can be addressed and modified with assistive technologies, modeling, and 1-to-1 guidance. After all, many children with ADHD are highly creative and inventive. The key to a successful experience when homeschooling a child or teen with ADHD is to find ways to capitalize on his or her strengths while minimizing weaknesses.
Children with ADHD benefit from a specialized education plan. An “outside-of-the-box” approach to learning offers your child a refreshing change from sitting in a classroom or at a table reading textbooks. In a home setting, where school bells, background noise, and other distractions are limited, students are more likely to have improved focus and retention while learning.
One way to use your child’s strengths to his/her advantage is to consider online homeschooling for ADHD.
ADHD: Homeschool vs Public SchoolBoth homeschooling and public school have different benefits (and drawbacks) for students with ADHD. Homeschooling your child allows you to customize the curriculum to fit your child’s specific needs. Public schools, on the other hand, give children access to gymnasiums, science labs, and art studios which can be expensive to compensate for when homeschooling. To compare both educational options and help you make the right choice for your child or teen, visit our Public School vs Homeschool for ADHD page.
Helping Students with ADHD Learn to ReadNot every child with ADHD has a specific learning disability, but it can certainly affect learning as a whole. Traditional reading instruction often expects lengthy periods of focus–something students with ADHD are usually not capable of. A noisy or high-stimulus environment can also limit the effectiveness of reading education. To learn about strategies that can improve your reader’s chance of reading success, visit our ADHD and Learning to Read page.
Best Homeschool Curriculum for ADHD
In most states, parents have the flexibility to mix and match to create the ideal package of homeschool curriculum for their ADHD child. Often, students with the disorder have unequal skill levels in subjects. They may be exceptionally adept in mathematics, for instance, but be working 2-3 grade levels below their norm in reading and writing. The ideal curriculum for these learners is usually not a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Computer learning allows a flexible schedule that children with ADHD can benefit from; they can start and stop as needed, work at whatever time of day they are at their best, and take frequent breaks.
An online curriculum:
- Minimizes outside distractions
- Allows you to choose from different activities that keep your child engaged
- Reminds your child of tasks/lessons he has not completed yet
- Allows a student to move quickly on subjects they excel at or repeat concepts where they need additional review
- Capitalizes on visual learning strengths
How Time4Learning Curriculum Helps Students with ADHD
Time4Learning’s program has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. Our unique approach facilitates learning for students with ADHD. The learning activities are presented via animated, interactive, multimedia lessons that feel more like video games than learning exercises.
The funny sound effects and quirky cartoon characters delivering the lessons keep students engaged while they work through individual learning paths that are created based on skill mastery rather than grade level.
Throughout the lessons, students are prompted with questions, both to make sure that they are paying attention and also to be sure that they’re understanding the material. Printable worksheets, graded activities, and assessments reinforce the content to maximize retention. Additional reasons that families homeschooling a child with ADHD use Time4Learning include:
- Lessons and activities are multisensory and work with a variety of learning styles.
- It builds on existing skills in reading, math, science, and social studies.
- It allows for placement of different grade levels in different subjects.
- New learning opportunities are introduced in a safe, supportive environment.
- Learning is balanced with fun!
Choose your subject and grade level to experience demos of Time4Learning’s interactive curriculum.
See what parents are saying…
By Tamika, Mother of a boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
“It is truly a joy to see our child go from ‘struggling’ to ‘excelling’, and to hear him say “Is it Time for Learning yet, Mommy?”