Conventional schooling, at first glance, seems to be a bad idea for a child struggling with ADHD – long periods in class; no time allotted to “let loose;” homework that doesn’t accommodate to the child’s learning style; a few break times; long hours of just sitting down; and without much reprieves. Most of the time, that first glance would be correct. “Some parents augment their teaching with online learning; others work collaboratively with other parents and community groups to create educational, social, and extracurricular activities for their kids,” saidDona Matthews Ph.D. The question that beleaguers the parents the most, in regards to homeschooling, is “How do I cater to my ADHD child or children while providing the quality of an actual school?”
Teaching to a child affected with ADHD is enough to challenge as it stands, as well as entrusting him/her to an actual school, but weighing the pros and cons of doing it yourself is a whole other story: from supplies to the actual relationship with the subject, there are many factors involved.
Andrew Adesman, MD, Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, stationed at Steven and Alexandra Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center of New York, cautions prospective homeschooling parents that “it is not for the faint of heart.” Also, he said that “It requires a fairly substantial commitment on the part of the parent.” He adds that even in the best of households, homeschooling may not be what a child with ADHD needs.
An Assessment Before Homeschooling
According to Kathy Kuhl, who authored “Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner,” the said parents and guardians planning on homeschooling should ask themselves these four questions before they pull their children out of formal school.
Do you want to teach? The first question that should be asked is whether if you’re up to the task. Do you like explaining how things work, like how cookies are made? Have you got the patience needed for this task? Those are the first questions you may want to ask.
Can you afford it? With homeschooling, the least that may happen is that one parent may have to stop work to attend to the child in question. However, homeschooling still entails the expenses for equipment in an actual school: books, school supplies, and the like. Kuhl even observed that everyone she knew who homeschooled has bookshelves installed.
Do you have the kind of relationship that will accommodate homeschooling? Parents/guardians should assess how they are with the child in question. Can they rely on them to do simple tasks? If the answer is no, they may have to reconsider about homeschooling. “Parenting in general is hard these days. Parenting a child with special needs is often harder,” saidDan Peters Ph.D.
Are there useful local resources available for the homeschooling parent? Depending on where the household is located, there may be excellent homeschooling resources, Kuhl relates. State or local sources may help you with advice for this endeavor.
What Homeschooling Can Do To Your ADHD Kid
Homeschooling has been reported to have multiple benefits to a child with ADHD. The benefits are as follows:
Customizable curriculum, fit for the child’s needs. You can hasten the subjects at will, in sync with how fast the child learns. According toDona Matthews Ph.D., “You can make time for creativity, play, outdoor time, nature exploration, community involvement, the arts, science experiments, or project learning.”
Customizable schedules, unlike a regular school, to accommodate the child’s quirks and needs
No set criteria to follow, so the child isn’t stuck in the same routine for too long.
Limited, if no distractions.
What Can Happen If You Choose Homeschooling
As with everything, homeschooling also poses several pitfalls to the household in question. Here are some of them, enumerated:
Marital strain. Homeschooling demands for the parent to do the homeschooling his/her time, which may dig into the couple’s “alone time,” related Kuhl.
Double the strain; instead of only filling for your child’s educational needs, you would also need to adapt to his/her psychological needs
Lack of access to facilities such as gymnasiums, science facilities, art studios, and the like, hindering the child’s learning opportunities.
Dimmed social skills. As with every disorder that can isolate the patient, they may feel cut off from the outside world, from their peers.
Overall, as with all things, balance is the key to making sure homeschooling works out for you and the child in question. You will have to make sure your child gets to still have the best of both worlds, despite the condition at hand.
“A child’s ability to overcome daily challenges are best met when parents, educators, and mental health providers are on the same page”, saidAnnabella Hagen, LCSW, RPT-S.
Bullying is one of the long-standing issues that cause sorrow to many people, according to therapists. “Bullying is not only isolated as a childhood problem, but also affects adolescents and adults as well,”Kristen Fuller, M.D. After all, the act tends to make the victims want to get away from the place where they have been bullied. If it is an adult, he or she may quit the job they have always wanted to have peace of mind. If it is a kid, the parents may decide to pull him or her out of the school where the bullies are and enroll the child to another school or trying homeschooling.
Considering you live in a town where finding a new elementary or high school for your kids is impossible — or you cannot move to that location because your livelihood will be left behind — homeschooling is the next best option. Your bullied child can stay away from the bullies, for one. You don’t have to get up every morning to prepare them for school as well because any part of the house can turn into a classroom.
The thing is, more and more parents turn out to find some aspects of homeschooling a bit disappointing. After all, this new education system entails your kids won’t be studying with their peers. As you know, some children perform best when they see their friends doing the same thing. Since they are at home, they may prefer playing more than listening to their tutors. Then, you may wonder, “Is this genuinely helping my kids?”
In case you need to stick with homeschooling at the moment, here are a few things you can do to deal with the disappointments that come with it.
1. Look For The Best Teachers
The first thing that you may want to do is to make sure that your children have the best tutors among the teachers that their previous school may have recommended to you. I am not exactly talking about the accolades that each teaching professional has gotten or how many years of experience they have. The teachers you need are the individuals whom your kids will want to listen to during their classes.
Say, find out if your child has a favorite tutor at school. If he or she has, you can ask the higher-ups whether you can hire that person for private tutoring or not. Considering your kid is not fond of any of his or her past teachers, you may ask for recommendations from other parents whose children are being homeschooled as well.
2. See If You Can Become Their Tutor As Well
If the kids do not respond well to whoever comes to your house to teach them, the next best decision is to become their tutor. The truth is that not all states allow this idea. However, let’s assume that you live in Washington, North Dakota, New Mexico, North or South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania.
The essential requirement is that the mom or dad should have a high school diploma or passed their GED exam to qualify as a tutor. In Washington, to be specific, the parents need to take a home-based studying course or have gone to college before the state allows them to teach their kids.
3. Invite Your Friends’ Kids To Hangout With Them
Another thing that you can do is to ask your friends to bring their children over to your house. The purpose of doing so does not entirely have to be educational, considering they may not even be homeschooled like your kids. You may think of it as a playdate. Laura Brodie Ph.D. explained that “Conscientious homeschoolers must exert effort to ensure that their children interact regularly with people of all ages and backgrounds, so that they can learn to handle the difficult social situations that will continue throughout life.”
The reason why it is essential is that your children need to be around other kids to avoid feeling lonely. They have to learn how to mingle with their peers and share their toys with them and whatnot. Homeschooling may be best for your kids right now, but there will come a time when they will have to face the world outside of the comforts of your home. Before that happens and shocks them, you better allow the children to hone their social skills as soon as possible.
I know that some parents may be doubting the essence of homeschooling now, especially if you had gone to regular school only when you were studying. Despite that, this new educational system has been set up to help the children who either get overwhelmed by the circumstances that take place at school or need to be on-the-go due to their parents’ work. As whatDona Matthews Ph.D. said, “Most research findings show that structured homeschooling leads to higher achievement test scores than regular schooling.” Follow the tips mentioned above to overcome your issues with homeschooling instead of immersing the kids back to the conventional system before they are even ready.
There are numerous perks and benefits of homeschooling. One would be not having to wake up early to prepare for the school bus to experiencing no worries as to the whereabouts of your child. As parents, it is your responsibility to raise your child to be good citizens. But for some parents, it may be difficult to enroll your child into a regular school as there may be limitations such as frequent travel that disables them from committing their children to regular schools. But with homeschooling, your child can now learn basic maths to mastering high school psychology in your home.
Fortunately, homeschooling is a valid and accepted means of giving your child education. According to J. Richard Gentry Ph.D., “Rather than believing that children who read early are exceptional outliers, experts are now recognizing that early reading may really be the norm if parents know what to do and have a few easy tools.” Through homeschooling, your child can still get his or her diploma from the same curriculum with the benefit of conducting classes in the comforts of your home. If you currently homeschool your child, or if you are considering homeschooling your kid, you should be aware of the pros and cons in this kind of set-up. You should know that homeschooling comes with its challenges.
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be a dull and ordinary experience for your beloved children. There are a lot of things you can incorporate in your ‘child’s homeschooling to make the experience a novel one. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “You can take advantage of learning opportunities as they become available, and you can choose the teaching approach that works best for you and your child.” Here are seven ways on how you can make homeschooling a fun experience for your child.
Figure Out Your Kid’s Learning Style
Since you are going to conduct your ‘child’s lessons at home, it is essential to observe and be aware of your ‘child’slearning style. Each person has his or her learning style. Your child’s preferred learning style allows him or her to understand the lessons better. Try to utilize your child’s learning style as much as you can, but also incorporate different learning styles to challenge your kid.
Don’t Hinder Your Child From Meeting New People
One major disadvantage of homeschooling is the hindrances to your child’s social skill development. Since your child doesn’t have much exposure to people, he or she has reduced social interaction, which may affect your ‘kid’s social skills. ‘Don’t stop your child from meeting and interacting with other people. There are many alternative ways of how you can aid in developing your ‘child’s social skills.
Take Your Kid Out On Field Trips
Field trips pose many educational benefits. Aside from aiding your child to learn lessons first-hand, this is also an alternative way of developing your child’s social skills. If you feel like your child is getting bored from your home set-up, it may be time to schedule a field trip for a change of scenery and to excite your child to the prospect of learning.
Invite A Teacher Over
You can also increase your ‘child’s interactions by inviting a teacher over. You can request a music teacher so that your child can expand his or her skill set. Another thing you can do is to ask an art teacher once a week to create fun activities for your kid. Inviting a teacher to teach your child can also assure you that an expert in handling your ‘child’s education.
Create A Reward System
Give your child something to be excited for and look forward to by creating a reward system. It can significantly motivate your kid to finish his or her lessons. Reward or give your child a prize for a job well done. For younger children, you can let them pick from candies, stickers, and toys. For older children, you can extend their bedtime, buy them new clothes, or take them to see a new movie.
Incorporate Games Into Your Daily Lessons
Make your lessons more fun and unique by incorporating little games into your lessons. Sitting all day can be annoying for your kid. Try to make your lessons entertaining by using toys when counting in math lessons. You can also use online videos as part of the experience, or allowing your child to act out a scene from your history lessons.
Occasionally Give Your Child The Choice
One great way of making homeschooling fun is sometimes to let your child pick a subject of his or her interest. You can do this by having your child pick out which book to read or figure out which topic to write about. It can encourage your ‘child’s learning because they have the freedom to choose. But ‘don’t forget only to do this occasionally, so your child learns the importance of discipline.
These are just seven out of countless ways to make homeschooling fun. You can always experiment which techniques will be useful for your kid. “Based on decades of scientific studies, we know there are only a handful of techniques that you need to understand to enhance learning in multiple subject areas,” according to Jessica Koehler Ph.D. As your child age, his or her interests also change. Remember to pick up and be aware of your ‘child’s preferences. You can incorporate those likes into your daily lessons to make homeschooling a fun experience.
A recent study shows that children with less interaction with people have a high chance of becoming introvert? The same study reveals that young individuals who are not able to connect with other persons are at risk for suffering from a major depressive disorder. Dr. Andre Sourander, a professor of child psychiatry at the University of Turku in Finland, reported that “children who are bullied in early childhood have an increased risk of depressive disorders and need psychiatric treatment later in life.” This fact can be problematic on your part especially if you have already decided to choose home-schooling for your beloved child.
Remember that the moment you start to homeschool, your kid will have a lesser opportunity to meet other children who are of the same age. At the same time, they may also find it difficult to relate to others because they feel isolated at home. For this reason, you have to be more careful when it comes to dealing with someone who is currently homeschooling. Below are some of the tips and tricks that you must remember now that you have chosen this kind of academic life for your child:
Always Ask About His Day
Do not forget to inquire how your child’s day went after he has completed all the assigned lessons. According to Jessica Koehler, a school psychologist, “Suggest that your kids continually ask about the how’s and why’s of why things work as related to whatever they are studying at the time.” Feel free to ask questions that will make him open up so that you can maintain effective communication at all times. Let him know that he can always talk to you at any time of the day. Never make the mistake of shutting him down whenever he starts to open up as it can make him feel rejected. If this continues to happen, he may become depressed. Keep your questions simple and avoid asking those that are intimidating or difficult to understand.
Be Patient And Understanding
Many arrangements can be possible when it comes to homeschooling. In case you have decided to become the teacher to your child, the first thing that you must learn is to set limits during the class. Treat your kid as a student, which means that you have to be objective so that he can get the lessons. As a teacher, you also need to increase your patience and understanding. Do not easily get mad if he has a hard time learning. Just like a regular academic teacher, be fair in dealing with him.
Observe His Actions
Another important thing that you need to do is to look at the way he acts so that you will know if something is wrong. It does not mean that you have to be paranoid. Otherwise, it can only make the situation worse. What is essential at this point is for you to start noticing whenever there are some changes in his behavioral patterns. Try to discover the factors that can affect his behavior and personality. In so doing, it will be easier on your part to know whether or not he already has depression. Nonetheless, remember that you can never make the diagnosis yourself. Look for a professional who can do it.
Encourage Him To Exercise
Homeschooling can promote a sedentary lifestyle for your kid. Unfortunately, it is not good for him, and it is the primary reason why you must encourage him to become physically active. Teach him the various home exercises that he can do before or after his studies. Inspire him to get fit while he is still young. Take note that the body releases happy hormones during and after an exercise. As such, he has a good chance of fighting depression if he will continue engaging in physical activities. You can also exercise with him to keep him motivated.
Call A Therapist
If you believe that your child’s condition is starting to get worse, the next step that you must do is to get in touch with a mental health expert. Call a therapist who can assist the case of your child. Let this professional handle the different ways on how to attend to the needs of your depressed kid. Keep in mind that it is essential to listen to the advice of the therapist. Make sure to take notes during the sessions so that you will know the progress that your child is making every day. Do not be afraid to ask questions from the therapist during the meetings with you and the child.
Feed Him Well
According to another new research, diet can also affect the mental condition or psychological behavior of a particular person. According to Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP, “Scientific research shows that eating healthy can drastically change your mood and improve your way of life.” For this reason, you must see to it that your kid does not miss any meal for a given day. Remember that his food intake can dictate the way he acts and talks. If he lacks the proper nutrients, then he has a high tendency of acting cranky. If this continues to take place, he may start losing interest in his studies as well as in connecting with some of his friends. The goal is to ensure that your kid can eat three meals a day.
Homeschooling is not a bad thing, but because of a different setup, you must learn how to do it the right way.
Looking back, the panelists at the 2014 Los Angeles Depression Workshop did not mince with words when they said that the disorder is incurable. It is true – no matter how much you spend on anti-depressants, they cannot save you from depression. According toMargarita Tartakovsky, M.S., “Depression is an insidious, isolating disorder, which can sabotage relationships.” Instead of feeling down about it, though, you should know that many individuals got to overcome the illness without drugs.
Below are a few practical tips on how to beat depression on your own.
1. Face Your Issues
The first thing you need to do is to deal with whatever makes you feel hopeless. “Remember, hope is one of the things that leaves when a person is depressed. But hope can be reignited through small successes along the way, reinvigorating the memory of better times — times that can be just around the corner as you begin to win the battle over depression,” said psychologistJane Framingham, Ph.D. There is genuinely no other way around it. Even if you consult the best psychologist or psychiatrist, they will likely tell you that your healing will be based on your openness to accept your new reality. Otherwise, you may not be able to move forward.
2. Contradict Negative Thoughts About Yourself
Say, you developed depression because the man or woman you devoted many years to left you for someone else abruptly. Ideas about not being good enough for that person or being unlovable may then try to enter your brain. Considering you want to overcome your condition, though, you should contradict every negative thought that comes to mind. You are fantastic; you deserve love as much as anyone. It’s time you remind yourself of that.
3. Don’t Be Scared To Ask For Help
The problem with some depressed folks is that they choose not to call for help even during their gloomiest moments. The reason is not always the same, but the most common one is that they fear of getting turned down by their loved ones who don’t understand their issues. “The biggest misconception patients have is that their depressed feelings, fatigue, irritability, inability to concentrate and loss of interest will last forever; that there is no relief in sight”, saidRosalind S. Dorlen, Psy.D, ABPP, New Jersey clinical psychologist. Nevertheless, you ought to remember that the people who genuinely care for you won’t throw questions before lending a hand. They will do it the other way and wait until you are ready to speak up.
Do yourself a favor, will you? Keep these things in mind whenever you feel depression creeping back in your life. Good luck!
Nowadays, many parents have decided to choose to homeschool for their kids. This set-up is ideal for parents who keep on traveling because of work or for those who are too busy with their businesses to the point that they cannot commit to enrolling their kids to a regular school. “Teaching toddlers to read at home is the silver bullet for school reform,” saysJ. Richard Gentry Ph.D. Fortunately, this kind of set-up has been validly recognized by the State as a valid means of acquiring an education. Therefore, homeschooled kids can still get their diplomas and gain knowledge for all subjects included in the curriculum.
If you are one of the parents who has decided to choose to homeschool for your child, then you are probably aware of the challenges that come with it. The reality is that homeschooling can bring a lot of issues in a marriage or family life. You may end up having arguments with your husband about it or even get criticism from the people surrounding you. We understand how these issues can be stressful for a busy person like you. As such, we are going to share some tips and tricks on how you can handle them the right way.
Here are some of the ideas to keep in mind:
Talk To Your Child
Before you enroll your kid for homeschooling, it is imperative on your part to make him understand about this choice. According toJessica Koehler, a school psychologist, “Suggest that your kids continually ask about the how’s and why’s of why things work as related to whatever they are studying at the time.” Let your beloved kid know why you want him to stay at home for his studies. Remember that such a set-up can be complicated for him, as he would not get a chance to do the regular things that other kids of his age do in a traditional school. At the same time, you must never forget to talk to him regularly even if he has already been into homeschooling for years.
Open Up With Your Spouse
If there are some problems in the relationship brought about by differences in views about homeschooling, the best thing to do is to talk to your partner about it. As much as possible, be honest in starting a conversation with him to avoid some bruised feelings. Aside from this, it is also best to act nice when your husband is opening up to you about the problems that you have. Remember that the only way to solve the marital conflict is to discuss it at the right time.
Ask Advice From Others
Another thing that you can do is to seek the advice of parents who are also in a similar situation as you are. Let them know about your questions so that you can get the correct answers. Make sure to avoid making assumptions because it can only complicate things for you and your homeschooled kid. If possible, have an open mind in receiving comments or suggestions from other people. Do not take it against them if they point out some things that you have been doing wrong. Instead, be grateful for their concern because they only want the best for you.
Homeschooling can be fun and exciting as long as you know how to handle it. As whatDona Matthews Ph.D. stated, “There are many homeschooling styles, models, and approaches.” Always think twice before you take a step when it comes to your child’s education. What you do today can affect his future.
When you know that your little angel has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and other neurological issues, the therapy becomes your main priority. Although there is no cure for such conditions, you want to help the child at least handle the symptoms and triggers on his or her own. You cannot be around the kid 24/7, as ideal as it may be.
Another priority that almost ties with that is giving your child with special needs a taste of normalcy. You put her in school, assuming that being around same-aged kids might be good for daughter. At times, she will get ready without a fuss. Other times, the child throws tantrums all the way to the classroom.
In reality, if your little boy or girl does not seem to get any better in a school filled with many kids, you can try homeschooling him or her. The lack of strict teaching methods may allow your child to learn better. Furthermore, you can work closely with the therapist. “Many parents of gifted learners are choosing to homeschool their kids in order to ensure a better match between the child’s learning needs and the curriculum being offered,” saysDona Matthews Ph.D.
Here’s what you can do to find success in both homeschooling AND therapy.
Know How To Prioritize
Consider how you want your child’s 24 hours to pass. What subjects will you tackle in the morning? When can a teacher come? When should your kid go to therapy?
The thing is, you cannot reprimand anyone with special needs to follow the timetable you made just because you are the parent. You can create the schedule as a guide, yet you still need to figure out what they want to do at a specific hour. This way, the kid will not retreat in their own world and pay you no mind.
Understand What Scheme Works Best For The Child
What’s great about homeschooling is that you are free to decide on the times when various subjects should be taught. You will receive a copy of the curriculum and essential learning materials, but it is up to you how you prefer to divide the lessons.
That gives you the freedom to teach several subjects to your child every quarter. It goes in line with the therapist’s belief that children with development disability understand things better once you allow them to do the same stuff for a while.
Think Of Their Behavioral Improvements
“Parents inherently worry about their children and parents of kids with special needs have additional reasons to worry,” saidDan Peters Ph.D. Kids with special needs honestly require more time than any non-disabled child to understand school lessons. Instead of focusing on that, you should consider how much progress your little one makes outside of the educational setting.
For instance, does your constant presence enable the child to respond whenever they hear your voice? Are there fewer meltdowns now? Can he or she play with other kids already? These are the kinds of improvement that can – and should – make you proud as a parent.
“Research from cognitive psychology provides a wealth of information regarding how to improve learning,” said psychologistJessica Koehler Ph.D.
When homeschooling a child who has special needs, your best helpers are not only the SPED teachers but also a therapist. The former may know how to educate your kid, yet the latter can help develop their behavior through therapy. Make no mistake about that.
Probably the biggest issue that parents are worried about once they decide to homeschool their children is that it might severely affect their socialization skills. “Society often makes it seem that people need to have many friends, attend social activities often, socialize by initiating and maintaining conversation often, and so on,” statesHeather Gilmore, MSW, BCBA.
With the vast advantages of homeschooling (a notable one is the increasing number of kids who were homeschooled landing an Ivy League university education), it’s no wonder that a lot of parents are now well convinced that it is a viable option for their children’s future. But what about the lack of socialization? There seem to be debates left and right about the damaging effects of homeschooling to children’s social skills. Are home-based learning systems really robbing children of the chance to mingle and interact?
Does Socialization Suffer?
Academically speaking, homeschooled kids are far more superior than those children who are sent to traditional schools. According toDona Matthews Ph.D., “Some parents take responsibility for teaching their child for part of a day, with the child attending school for some subjects or extracurricular activities, like sports or math or music.” However, it cannot be disqualified from parents the concern about their kids’ exposure to other kids and having constant communication with members of an academic institution.
Parents have this notion that the moment they subject their children to homeschooling, they are turning them into isolated, lonesome individuals, stuck inside the home without people to socialize with. But it’s not what it seems. And on the contrary, it’s the other way around.
Socialization and Homeschooling
So what it is then? Home-based learning systems engage children in numerous opportunities to interact efficiently and productively with other people without having the negative experiences that come along with it in typical school settings. The abundance of gangs, bullying, emotional and physical torture, and violence have been reported to be growing and are directly affecting children’s well-being and educational stature. Is this the kind of socialization parents think of that they are depriving their kids of?
When the world outside threatens the very essence of your children’s existence, aren’t you more worried about that than stripping your kids of superficial socialization?
Homeschooled children have more or equal opportunities in participating in fruitful socialization. “Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in groups, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers,” saysBrian D. Ray, Ph.D. Unlike what the majority thinks of kids being trapped inside the four lonely walls of the house, homeschoolers have the convenience and the choice to be selective of their friends and groups to hang out with. Parents can stay in touch with other homeschoolers who their children can communicate and play with, do meetups, enjoy field trips and outings, gather in museums, zoos, planetariums, playing sports, rehearsing theater pieces, painting, participating in community activities, volunteering, and the list goes on.
Homeschoolers get to do the same activities that kids at regular schools get to do, thereby enhancing social interaction within the safety and comfort of their own home.
How Homeschooling Socialization Works
Here are a couple of ways for parents to connect their kids with other homeschooled children:
With the increasing population of homeschoolers across the country, the rise of support groups for kids schooled at home is becoming more and more popular. These organizations arrange a wide variety of opportunities that enable socialization during organized activities in parks, field trips, and meet-up classes.
Want to take socialization further into the wild blue yonder? There are summer camps available that facilitate interaction with other homeschoolers where they can learn about farms, outer space, and Mother Nature.
Nothing like a quick game of basketball to perk up socialization in homeschooled kids. A lot of park affiliations have outstanding programs for numerous sports activities for the whole year. There are even recreational centers that have daytime classes specifically modified for homeschooled teams. Check with your local center for more details.
These activities to enhance socialization are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot more parents can do to let their children engage in opportunities to make new friends and have meaningful friendships.