Homeschooling ADD and ADHD Children

Homeschooling a child with ADD or ADHD is possible but can be trying at times. Lots of patience and love are required for success. Read on to learn more about how to provide the best home learning environment for your ADD/ADHD child.

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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) occurs in up to 20% of children, according to a 1999 study that was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Children who have this disorder have problems focusing their attention and are easily distracted. This creates difficulties in the classroom and leads many parents to attempt homeschooling. Homeschooling an ADD/ADHD child is a realistic goal, especially if you create lesson plans that cater to your child's needs.

Lessons for ADD/ADHD Students

Most students have enough trouble focusing on lengthy assignments and activities. ADD just multiplies this problem. With shorter lessons, your child will get the most benefit from your teaching. If you notice your child is starting to lose attention, instead of disciplining them or continuing with the lessons, allow them to take a short break. During this time they can stretch, walk around, or even have a small snack. Allocating several short breaks and even a recess time into your homeschool day will help your ADD child stay focused during the actual lessons.

Let Your Child Help

Ask you child which subjects they would like to learn about and if there is a certain order in which they would like to learn them. This gives the student partial ownership of their education. If your child starts to misbehave during your homeschool time, gently remind them that they chose their schedule and ask if there are other modifications you can make as a team to help them learn their lessons. Keeping them involved will help them stay interested in the lessons and topics you explore together.

Interactive Activities

Activities that keep a student's hands busy help to keep their mind focused on what they are doing. Ideas for activities can be found in teaching resources available at the library or online. These activities do not need to be extravagant or use expensive materials. You could even incorporate household chores or activities such as baking (which uses measurements, for example) into your lesson if you are teaching math. As you progress through the school year, you will find more and better ways to keep your child busy yet focused on their school lessons.


If you want to ensure your child is truly grasping the skills they are being taught in the homeschool environment, you may want to consider an online tutoring program. Internet centers often employ state-certified educators. They have received a formal teaching education which will aid them when working with a special needs child. Many homeschool parents use online tutoring lessons as a supplemental educational resource for their child.

If you join a homeschooling support group, other homeschool parents may have additional suggestions for teaching an ADD/ADHD child. Also, your child's physician may know about resources for parents who are trying to homeschool a child with behavior problems. The most important factor when teaching a child with ADD/ADHD is patience. With time and love your child can learn their lessons at home.

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