Are you considering a homeschool curriculum for ADHD? If you have received the dreaded phone call from your child's school about his behavior, this is actually a great option for your family. Perhaps your child has never been in the school system. If you have already been homeschooling your child but have noticed some difficulties, an ADHD-friendly curriculum may be just the answer.
ADHD and Your Child
Often misdiagnosed, public schools tend to label kids as ADHD when they simply have a different learning style or are unusually active. You should not rely on the school system to diagnose your child. If you feel the need, you can have a doctor give you a diagnosis.
Once a real diagnosis is made, you can choose where to go from there. Some parents decide that medication is necessary while others feel that they can handle this issue themselves. This is a personal choice that only you can make after assessing your situation and the options available to you.
Deciding to Homeschool
It is estimated that about 60,000 ADHD children are being educated at home. Some may question if this is the best option for a child whose diagnosis has labeled him as learning disabled. Research shows that homeschooling can be the best option for ADHD kids for a few very good reasons.
Benefits for ADHD Kids
One benefit of homeschooling an ADHD child is that a child who learns at home is typically free from the "learning disabled" stigma that may make her feel as if she just isn't smart enough to learn. Once a child has this mindset, it can be devastating. At home, a child is loved unconditionally instead of feeling like there is something wrong with her.
Another significant finding is that a lower student to teacher ratio is consistent with higher academic success. One study showed that homeschooled ADHD children are academically engaged at least twice as often as public school children because the student-teacher ratio is naturally low.
In a typical homeschool environment, each child has more attention focused on him. He is also able to focus better because he can work in a relatively distraction free environment. It is also easier for him to get immediate feedback on work he has performed.
Additionally, as a homeschooling parent, you can easily make adjustments in the teaching methods used. This allows you to tailor your child's curriculum to meet her needs and her particular learning style.
Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum for ADHD
Now that you have decided on homeschooling for your ADHD child, the next challenge is finding a homeschool curriculum for ADHD children. There are many programs out there. Just remember to be flexible. If one program isn't working for your child, be willing to try another one.
Some parents prefer to design their own curriculum from the myriad of books and products on the market. Each subject can then be customized to the level that your child is at. Some companies even offer placement tests to help you see what grade level your child is at for each subject.
If you are new to homeschooling, or just don't have time to sift through catalog after catalog to find the right materials, you may find it less stressful to purchase a packaged program. Some of these programs can be very costly, but often they include the benefit of being enrolled in an actual school as well as record keeping and even assistance if needed.
Your first step should be to contact a homeschool support group. Ask the members what curriculums they recommend for an ADHD child. Likely, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a support network of parents with a similar situation to yours.
Often homeschool support groups also hold yearly curriculum fairs that allow you to purchase used curriculum. An added benefit to this is the ability to get feedback from families that have actually used the materials.
To get you started on your search for a homeschool curriculum, here are three ADHD-friendly companies to check out. They vary in price and course material, but all three allow for the ADHD child to learn at his own pace, pressure free.
- Time4Learning is an affordable program that is completely web-based. Benefits of this program are that your child will receive one-on-one learning which will help him to thrive academically. Time4Learning also has a forum for current subscribers as well as for those considering joining. At $19.95 a month, this may be the most affordable program you can find.
- The Jubilee Academy offers a Christian online curriculum for pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Tuition is around $899 a year with a few other fees. Payment options are available.
- Laurel Springs School offers a distance learning program for grades kindergarten through 12. You can choose from web-based, project-based and textbook-based curriculums. Tuition ranges from $1600 to $2100 per year. There are also per-semester and per-course options as well as a discount for additional children and a payment plan.
Only you can decide if a homeschool curriculum for ADHD is best for your child. As you research your choices, keep an open mind and an open heart. You can help your child meet her full potential.