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The Highs and Lows of Homeschooling Children with ADHD

15/01/2021
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Once again many of us find ourselves homeschooling our children. This puts a strain on many families, especially if you are also working. Homeschooling is challenging at the best of times, but even more so if you have a child with ADHD. A survey by ADDitude after the first national lockdown asked parents specifically about their experience of homeschooling. Here are some key points that were made.

Homeschooling works really well for children with ADHD because…

children with adhd smile

We get to know our children better than ever before. Homeschooling allows us to learn more about how our children learn and what motivates them. It gives us a more in-depth view of what a child’s education involves. It also allows us to understand the importance of friendship for our children.

We can really see how learning at your own pace benefits learners with ADHD. We can build our own timetable and fit in breaks when it suits us. We are not limited by the constraints of the school day which can be too rigid for an ADHD learner. It’s easier to build a personalised learning plan where a child can choose their own daily structure and make their own decisions about which activities to prioritise. Without strict timetables, students are able to bend learning to their ADHD brain, not the other way around.

It’s also worth noting that some parents of children with ADHD found their children do better without the distraction and peer pressure that can occur in a school setting.

This is why homeschooling doesn’t work so well…

Without the school structure, it can be difficult to motivate children to complete their work. Online lessons can be difficult to focus on and some kids find it hard without the presence of the teacher. It’s really frustrating when technology fails. Some children find it hard to be separated from their friendship groups.

Sometimes children with special needs just won’t work anywhere else but school. If it’s not possible for your child to attend school and you are experiencing this, don’t force it. Speak to someone at the school about using a different approach. One suggestion is unschooling. This is pupil-led learning based on what a child wants to learn. It may not follow a curriculum, but it provides many benefits for children who need an alternative way to learn. Click here for more information.  What is unschooling?

adhd child with glasses

Homeschooling and Working From Home

If you are juggling homeschooling with working from home, YOU ARE AMAZING! Here are six tips for how to manage. They are useful for all parents, not just those with ADHD in the family:

  1. Cut yourself some slack. Unless you are some kind of superhero, you probably won’t manage to get through all of your workload as well as that of your children.
  2. Prioritise the tasks which definitely need to be completed. This applies to both your workload and that of your children.
  3. Create a timetable so everybody knows what is happening next.
  4. Remember to be flexible too. As long as you are all happy and achieving in some way, you are successful.
  5. Spend time both together and apart. Lockdown is a great chance to bond with family members but it can also be difficult if you spend too much time together. Make sure everybody has activities they complete in their own space.
  6. Build breaks into your timetable and make sure you take them. You will be more productive if you’re well-rested.

If you would like further information about how to manage homeschooling during the lockdown, have a look at this blog we published during the first lockdown. How to balance homeschooling with other responsibilities.

It’s important to remember that although things might seem really tough right now, this situation will pass. We have done it before, schools have done it before and we have already proved how resilient and adaptable we are. We can do this again and we will come out the other side feeling proud of what we have achieved.

Get Expert Help

At The ADHD Centre, we offer an ADHD Test Online for you to know or confirm if you or a loved one happens to have ADHD and if you would like some further guidance and support on managing your ADHD then please contact us at The ADHD Centre on 0800 061 4276 or via connect@adhdcentre.co.uk.  

The ADHD Centre also offers holistic ADHD treatment and cares for both children and adults. We are also affiliated with other ADHD clinics and organisations to maximise our services. Are you living in the UK? Lovely! We also offer an ADHD Online Assessment via Zoom for Healthcare. So wherever you are in the UK, know that the ADHD Centre is always available for your ADHD needs.

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