This is a picture of one of the people who has captured my heart. He is my son and he is smart, kind, giving, silly and lots of fun. He has ADHD and that has presented some challenges in our homeschool journey. This isn’t an easy post to write because I know there are people who don’t think ADHD is real. I am going to write this post anyway because I know there are others out there that would like to make homeschooling easier for them and a child who has ADHD. I am going to share with you what I did to make homeschooling easier for my family. I was all about sitting down to do worksheets or work on a book. Often times my son wound up frustrated and bored. He didn’t like it and it was a fight almost every day. I stuck to my guns, I really thought I new what was best. I really wanted my son to learn and I thought following the public school style was the way to go. Soon we were both frazzled, at wit’s end and ready to give up. I just didn’t understand why it was so difficult. I turned to homeschool groups looking for answers and support. What I found surprised me, all of these families were learning different ways, they were going at there own pace.
I learned that I didn’t have to follow the public school way or even their schedule! I sat down with my son and asked him what he didn’t like about what we were doing. He told me sitting down for hours at a time every day was boring and made him feel sad, this was the way he explained it in his sweet 5-year-old way. I began researching different curriculum and soon found a lot of hands-on activities. We did science experiments, played word games, math games and I even allowed him to do some of his work on the computer. Soon my reluctant learner was thriving! As he got older and we found ways to help us manage his ADHD symptoms we also were able to change our learning style. My son had learned to read because I allowed him to do it his own way, one example is I let him move around while either he or I read.
I soon discovered Charlotte Mason and fell in love with her method. I was worried though what if we tried it and I loved it but my son didn’t and we ended up back at square one. We tried it and he liked some things about it but not others, we compromise. Very soon we had a hybrid curriculum that worked for the two of us! Now, we mostly use Charlotte Mason (more than half now) we still do things my son loves. The best thing I have ever done for my son is listening to him, be flexible and allow us both to thrive by having a say in his education. I think it’s so very important to listen to your child no matter what but I think when dealing with a child who has ADHD it is the absolute best thing you can do.
If you have a child with ADHD I say please allow them to be a part of the decision-making process of their education, learn what their learning style is, try different things, go out of your way to have fun and don’t give up. It will make homeschooling easier on both of you and I think you will find you enjoy it so much more!