Homeschooling - FamilyEducation
04/28/2007 at 10:55 AM



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I have been considering homeschooling my 7 year old son.  He has ADHD and ODD  Education is not my background, so I am concerned that I can teach him what he needs and get him to cooperate & complete his work.  I am not happy with the way some things have been handled at school.  He is a bright boy and I want school to be a positive experience.  Any parents with experience homeschooling kids with ADHD?

Lisa Pierce
Work At Home United
Personal Mentor & Proud mom of 3 Boys!


Hi Lisa,  I see in the preview of this post that it is not broken up by paragraphs, so please excuse it's longevity.  I have homeschooled my oldest son, now 20, who was not diagnosed with ADHD with LD in reading and writing until he was in 4th grade.

Back when he was in kindergarten  I got a phonics curriculum for us to do together for about 45 minutes a day during the week. He still had problems with beginning reading after that.

His first grade teacher said he was a bit delayed in a few areas, but his artwork suggested higher intelligence because he was using advanced art techniques the other kids weren't.

My son asked me to homeschool him after one year in public school because he said he was bored at school and that anything he learned, he learned from me at home.

The teacher was right, my son was gifted, but it wasn't picked up until I had him tested to assess how he did after 2nd grade at home.  He was at the 7th grade level for math and science, and a bit below grade level for spelling and reading.

We struggled with several different language arts curriculums, and by the 4th grade, he was refusing to do his work, a kind of mini rebellion  (he was a well behaved kid all around otherwise), so I had him go back to public school.  He lasted 2 weeks before the public school tested him and considered him 'slow', with LD in reading and writing, and ADHD. They said nothing of his being gifted.  They said it's a good thing I was going to homeschool him because he couldn't function in a regular classroom. When tested in the special education department he saw some verbal  abuse of a down syndrome child and did not want to ever go there again for testing or education.

So, I had him privately tested again, paid for by our health insurance. Good thing he likes to be tested!  The Dr. said he had what he needed to be anything he wants to be. She was right, but we had a lot of hurdles to overcome. His giftedness masked his LD's early on, while his LD's masked his giftedness in the many tasks he tried to do in traditional public school.

I didn't get much advise in the way of problem solving, just diagnosises. I didn't have the internet for most of the early years- I scoured homeschool catalogs and library books about homeschooling.  As we went along, I figured out how to solve several problems with attention issues, and especially learned incredible patience, especially after learning that my son was probably much brighter than I was all along!

Science, math, and computers are his best subjects, though he did well in grammer and literature once we addressed his needs.  For writing I allowed him to go online with other smart kids and adults to write about computer programming (which he taught himself), and other things about computer technology.

It is very possible to homeschool a special needs child with the understanding that it may be more of a lifestyle of learning verses a school set up at home. It depends on your child's learning style combined with your teaching style. This could also benefit your younger children, if any.  You have the world at your fingertips now- and the benefit of myself and other homeschooling parents that will come along here, so it's a great possiblility you can get support for many of the challenges possibly coming up.



My daughter is 9 & has ADHD. We've been homeschooling her since 1st grade. It is a challenge working with a child that has ADHD, but as his mom you'll do it better than any school could. The key to homeschooling a child with ADHD is working with them, not against them. Public school wants them to sit still 6 hours a day. At home you can give him breaks when he needs them. Public school expects all kids to learn at the same pace & in the same way. At home, you can work with his learning style & allow him to work at his own pace. You can use the things he's interested in to help him understand concepts he's struggling with. You can do hands-on projects & activities to get or keep him interested in a topic that he would otherwise find boring.

Look into the homeschool laws for your state. As long as your state doesn't require that you are a certified teacher it's okay that education isn't your background. There are tons of resources to help you with any subject you may have trouble teaching him. A good place to find your state laws is After you know what your state requires you'll need to figure out the method you want to use. There are many methods of homeschooling. Do some research & figure out which one you think will work best for you & your son. Remember to be flexible. You may need to change the way you do things once you've started. Just keep adjusting things until you've found what works best for him.

I'm not saying that it will be easy to homeschool, especially if your son is anything like my daughter, but it will probably be better for him. One of the main reasons we homeschool is beacuse I know that I can do a better job than our public schools. Public schools in my area are not really equipped to deal with a child like mine. My daughter is gifted & has severe ADHD. Her Dr actually told us that she would not be able to function in a public school due to the severity of her ADHD. It takes some patience, an understanding of ADHD, knowledge of your child (likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, learning style, etc.), determination, and work, but it can be done & is very rewarding. My daughter has made so much progress, both academically & in her behavior, that I wouldn't dream of putting her back into public school. I know that if I did, she would be one of the kids who falls through the cracks in the system.

If you really want to homeschool him, don't let fears hold you back. Do what you think is best for your son.


Homeschooling your own child can be difficult when you plan on playing professor yourself.  A better idea is for you to hire tutors to home school him and then spend a few hours a day going over homework and helping him. 

A child with ADHD needs more attention and if you are not getting that in the school system then exploring other alternatives is the right thing to do.  You want to ensure if you do choose the homeschooling route that he gets involved in community activities and can maintain a circle of friends his age as that is as much a part of growing up and developing as a person as school work is.



I have homeschooled my doughter, who is 8, for this school year and I am contemplating putting her back in public school next year.  I withdrew her from school because they kept telling me she had add, her dr. has not even now diagnosed her with add or any other learning disability.  Her main problem was not completing her work.  After a month of trying to find other ways she could get help at school to keep from getting behind, the teacher still insisting the whole problem was add, i decided to homeschool.  I have to say I have  a whole new respect for teachers now, if nothing what I have noticed in this time frame of working with my daughter is that she does not do anything quickly.  She's smart, she can do the work, she just doesn't do it at the pace expected of her at school.  Although we have tried different things to help her in this area it just doesn't seem to help.  She really wants to attend public school for a number of reasons and I think for more than just the educational aspect she needs to as well.  My fear is she isn't going to be able to work at the pace she's expected and we're going to have the same problems.  Also, is the school going to label her or treat her differently since I did withdraw her from school.. Some opinions or advice please, I'm making myself sick over this.  


I encourage you to homeschool. That is a fantastic thing you are willing to do for your son. You know and love your son more than anyone else. You do not need to have a background in education to homeschool. The first thing you need to do is find out the laws for your state. I would recommend that you try to find support groups in or for your area. There are some wonderful online groups also. There are many website that give information and support as well. There are some chatrooms that are for homeschoolers too. These women (mostly) are very helpful.

After you bring your son home you should give him time to deschool. Take that time to get to know him and what he likes and dislikes. Spend time reading about homeschooling and the many various styles. Find out what style works for you and your son. You do not need to get tutors to teach your son. You can teach him and at the pace, and in the style that works for him.

If you have further questions feel free to email me offline. My email is:



It sounds like you have done a great job with your daughter. Congratulations. Sadly, many times it seems that when teachers have trouble with chiildren in their classes they label them ADD or something else. Sometimes it is so they don't have to deal with them and sadly sometimes it is because they just don't have the time since there are so many kids in the overcrowded classroom.

You daughter seems to just take things in a pace that is her own. At 8 years old that is ok. She is not an employee with a deadline, she is a child who's job is to learn. You want her to keep that desire and rushing her and labeling her will not help her.

Have you been able to get support form other homeschoolers in your area? Is there a group near you? I mentioned in another post that there are many wonderful online groups and websites. Try to make contact with other homeschoolers. You mentioned that she wants to go to public school and it looked to me like you were saying that the reasons were not all educational. Lots of kids think they will miss out if they homeschool. They think they will lose their public schooled friends. My kids thought that and sometimes still do. Helping them retain these friendships (if they are ones you already approve of) and also helping them make new homeschool friends will help. Friendships are important to kids, but basing their education on that is not necessarily the best thing for them.

I know you want what is best for your daughter. Be encouraged! You are doing a great job. You just need encouragement and support.


I would suggest finding a local support group to talk to other homeschoolers in your area, and maybe checking out several different books - maybe one on classical homeschooling, and one on unschooling. There is a ton of inforamtion on the internent. I am currently homeschooling a 4th grader, 3rd grader, kindergarten, and I have two babies - I have learned many things over the years - but it took some looking into to!



You don't need an education degree or background to homeschool your son.  There are so many ways you can make learning fun for him - and that's the most important thing!  He'll surprise you with how much he picks up, almost despite you!  My son is 8 and has no desire to go to school.  He's very bright, but also very self-motivated.  He makes up games to decide how many pages of math he wants to get done today.  He awards himself points when he reaches his goal, and bonus points for exceeding it.  The points don't mean anything to anyone but him, and he doesn't keep track.  He just likes to "earn" them.

There are so many resources available, many of them free, especially at this age.  Support groups are wonderful - they help you relax and realize that it's hard to do harm to your child by homeschooling, unless you really don't pay attention to him.

I'm enjoying making the most of every day - every experience.  Soon, my son will either want to go to school, or will be in college - but I'll know he understands values and has learned to value his education.

There are also wonderful cyber school options available, as well, in case you're too worried about "what will I teach?"  Once you start to homeschool, see him blossom and taste the freedom, you'll want to continue. 

My best advice is to relax - for both of you!  School can be any day, any time.  Spending a few hours at the library on a lazy afternoon chosing books and videos can be so much fun.  And no swarms of parents/kids to manage.

Regarding getting him to cooperate with you - set the guidelines togther - will he work better with a structured day, or freedom to decide when to do things?  Maybe a few hours of school in the morning, a break at lunch, and an hour or two in the afternoon.  Or maybe he can save some "book work" until your other boys are home and doing their schoolwork (if they're older).  Giving him free time is a "reward" for doing his work and gives you time to do household chores, work, etc.  I work from home, as does my husband.  We manage it all quite well with an active 8 year old.

(Buy less materials than you think you'll want!  A single workbook woth several subjects is a great base - you can add books and videos to supplement.  they have them at Wal-Mart and Sam's club for about $5 each - an inexpensive investment and a safety net.)

And remember - if it really doesn't work and you exhaust all options, he can go back to public school.  Maybe the habits he learns at home will help him read just to the bigger school picture.

Best of luck-Tonya



Hey there.  I read your post and had to respond.  I grew up an ADHD child.  I was home taught from 3rd grade on.  I now have 3 children ages 23, 13 & 8.  Each of them have been or are being home schooled.  My oldest daughter is working on her Masters and had a full academic scholarship throughout her college years. 

I would encourage you to read as much as you can about multiple intelligence learning.  It's a great way to teach all students.  Not just children labeled with learning disabilities. 

I have never regretted home teaching.  It is a wonderful way to be with my kids.  We thoroughly learn our subjects and have a blast.

Good luck!




If you think you want to homeschool him, I'd say go for it. I homeschool my 12yo, 4.5yo, and have a 2yo (as well as a 9yo in p/s). You can go at his pace and let him learn in a way that works for him. If you look at the big picture, the worst thing that can happen is you will homeschool him for a year and then put him back in public school. I agree with the person who suggested that you deschool for a while with him too. Hang in there and if you want to chat more, feel free to email me off list at


Dear momof3boyz

I started homeschooling a year ago, I have 2 boys that the teachers were saying they had LD. My 2 boys have very different learning styles, and the teachers did not want to take time to work with them. One of the boys has a hard time comprehending anything that is not right in front of him, the other boy is very creative. I have found that using the Konos curriculum and the Bob Jones University Bible Truths curriculum works for my boys. I am able to work around their different learning styles. They still learn the same thing, just each one has a different take on it, And That Is Not Wrong. I suggest to you a great book called "Thinking About Homeschooling" I found it to be a great resouce. If you are in Colorado, check out CHEC,

Elizabeth Benham


Hi I have homeschooled my 8 year yr old  boy and it can be difficult but it is well worth it when u know that he is getting the right teaching and discipline.  I was worried if i could do it to but if you get the work books for his grade it has all in there that you need to teach him.  I get my material from Christian Book Stores.  They have great stuff.  I wish u the best of luck.


Hi Lisa- My son also has diagnosed ADHD with the same issues you are facing w/ your child...(although I'm not sure what ODD is.)  I am a public & private schools teacher, going back to teach this year for the first time in 7 years.  I have done everything nutritionally, for my child...which I highly reccommend (if you haven't tried this already.)  We still have, and I guess will always have, issues in dealing w/ ADHD, and I have seriously considered homeschool.  Because there are issues surrounding behavior & getting along w/ other kids, I have decided that school w/b the best opportunity for him to develop those skills.  Homeschooling doesn't provide the constant social environment that school does.  Also, there are many opportunities for you to stay closely involved w/ their education (i.e. volunteer @ school, teacher's aid, dedicate a time after school to sit down and wk. w/ your child on h.w. and review the day, keep in constant contact w/ the teacher so you can work together on optimal behavior and school habits....most teachers are willing to do this as it makes the school day go smoother for them.)  Bottom line....stay are the captain of your child's ship whether they're in school or at home.  Most of all, take time to 're-fuel.'  Having a child w/ ADHD can be exhausting (wonderful but exhausting)  and you need to take care of yourself first so that you have what you need to take care of them!  Best of luck!  Julie


Hi Lisa:

Although I'm not a parent myself, I go swimming at the local YMCA, and at around 1  o'clock during the 12-2 open swim period, there are two women who come in with their kids, and they are homeschooled.  When I first saw them, I wondered why these kids weren't in school, but after talking with them, they told me that they are homeschooled.

One of the mothers told me that she didn't like the school district, and I don't blame her. I also told her that there's too much violence in the schools, Teachers are being attacked by other students, the kids are coming to school with guns and knives; teachers are also sexually abusing the kids, and so forth. This past February, a high school math teacher had his neck broken by a 15-year-old kid who was trespassing in the school.

If these parents choose to homeschool their kids, that is there choice, and of course, I go along with it and respect it. Now that the Y has a summer schedule, the open swim between 12 and 2 is for adults only, and I guess I won't see these homeschooled kids again until probably September.




I wish to homeschool my child also. I feel the same way as the previous poster, that labeling a child with LD or ADD is a teacher's way of saying she doesn't want to deal with them. I am so happy to see the new laws on diagnosing ADD by a teacher.Previous to this parents have been threatened with CPS for refusing to medicate children. I was wondering if anyone homeschooling their child medicates them also. I have also read online of CPS being called by the school when a parent decides to homeschool? This is insane!

Hello I am anew member.I started home schooling my child 13 last year he is happy and doing well.He was acually ask to leave school and start home schooling because of a severe behavural problem.We just finnally discoverd he has ADHD and is now on medication.We are going to home school him this year and graduallly mainstreem him back into regular school.Through the years we have ben through alot. My advice on home schooling is that it is wonderful exspecialy  for children with attention disorders.Thanks for your site it great to talk about things sometines


i dont like homeschooling because u wont have any friends


Hey mom of 3 boys!

You don't have to teach him!My daughter is homeschooled, but I have her on ECOT! It's where a computer teaches them! But they still have real teachers! And on ECOT the kids get to socialize even though they can't see eachother! They have discussion boards, Elluminates( a virtual classroom) and even field trips! So if your planning on homeschooling you 7 year old but don't think you can teach him, don't fret! ECOT is great! Think about it and look into it!


I am not teacher but I help w my son 14 years old and he has ADHD.

I teach English and Science...I was laid off from my Arizona school district and I have picked up tutoring while waiting to find my next classroom...if any of you need help...look for teachers like me...that need money while in between or even retired...I know the kids parents that I tutor for enjoy being able to take an hour off to do shopping or relaxing...etc...but they also enjoy homeschooling their kids...good luck to all of you...I know there is nothing more I love doing then to see kids learning and it can be done at home too!

It takes a lot of patience and consistency when working with these kids...and I tutor kids that are and english and one on one activities along with hands on activities have always helped these kidds the best...later donna

How do I find out more about ECOT?

Can Anybody tell me top 5 countries containing the most home based students and the most virtual/schools/colleges and universities who allows students to get enrolled and study from their home? Can i get to know the figures as well please I really need it. Please Help ???

Homeschooling is a nice option but there are things that parents should know before giving head start to home schooling.