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Should A Child With ADHD Be Homeschooled? What To Consider

February 8, 2023
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    Statistics suggest that homeschooling rates have gone up in recent years. Many families homeschool their children, and everyone has a different set of reasons that influence their decision.

    When you have a child with ADHD, homeschooling may require some additional considerations. So, what should you know about homeschooling kids with ADHD, and how do you know if homeschooling is suitable for your child? If you're ready to get started, what's the next step?

    In this article, we'll go over the potential benefits of homeschooling a child with an ADHD diagnosis, how to decide whether homeschooling is right for your child, and what to do if you're ready to start your homeschool journey.

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    Homeschooling Kids With An ADHD Diagnosis

    Research on homeschooled children indicates that many children who are homeschooled display higher levels of academic achievement. Alongside an increased sense of safety, more control over a child's learning, and removing children from schools with bullies in applicable situations, this is a common appeal for parents. What about benefits more specific to students with an ADHD diagnosis?

    Benefits of homeschooling a child with ADHD

    Every child is unique. Regardless of whether a child has ADHD, all kids have diverse needs and strengths. However, there are some common benefits of using a homeschool program for kids with the disorder. Potential benefits of homeschooling a child with ADHD can include but aren't limited to the following:

    Higher levels of support

    In a traditional school setting, classes may have up to 30 kids or more. Homeschool allows you to provide support and one-on-one instruction at a higher level. ADHD symptoms can hinder a child's focus, and many parents enjoy that they can redirect a homeschooled child back to the task at hand when this happens.

    Catering lessons to different learning styles

    You may notice that local schools tend to give verbal instructions and lessons to students. The problem is that not all children are auditory learners. Children with ADHD are more likely to experience differences in auditory processing, which can impact their ability to understand instructions in school environments. Additionally, you may find that a child with ADHD learns best when lessons are hands-on. When you homeschool your kids, you can cater to a child's learning style and accommodate concerns like auditory processing issues.

    More control over the sensory environment

    ADHD and sensory issues often go hand-in-hand. Similarly, sensory input in traditional school settings can be disruptive and distracting for a child with ADHD. Background noise, such as a rustling backpack, other kids talking, or something else might throw a child with ADHD off. By contrast, parents can give a homeschooled child a sensory environment that works. You can remove unhelpful sensory input and provide beneficial sensory input at home (e.g., white noise or fidget toys) or receive help from an Occupational Therapist if they are significantly impacting your child’s quality of life.

    A child's needs are met throughout the day

    Does your child have a medication schedule? Do they need to move around more than most kids? If so, homeschooling allows you to ensure your child's needs are met throughout the day. Even if kids at a public or private school have accommodations, it is, unfortunately, the case that some needs slip through the cracks.

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    The ability to move at one's own pace

    One of the central advantages of homeschooling is the flexible schedule it allows for learning. With ADHD, kids can get bored easily. Unlike typical public school environments where they need to wait for the rest of the class, a homeschool environment allows children to move on to the next lesson or take a break as soon as they're ready.

    On a similar note, if your child requires more time on a specific topic or assignment, homeschooling allows them to take their time.

    Is it right for your child?

    How do you know if teaching your child at home is right for your family? Homeschooling is a big decision, and parents need to take a number of considerations before they start. Here are some things to think about before you start your homeschool journey.


    In conventional education settings, students are usually at school for around 6-8 hours per day. Homeschooling requires parents to take on the role of a teacher for part of the day and requires a substantial time commitment. Ensure that your family can give this to your student.


    Your child with ADHD may have trouble paying attention and staying on task. While this can be part of the reason why parents opt to remove students from private or public school environments, it also means that you'll have to take special care to structure your child's day. Think about how you will navigate impulsive behavior, self-control, and other potential behavioral concerns for a homeschooled child if relevant.


    Not every family has the financial ability to homeschool their kids. You will need to buy the right materials (which can differ depending on the homeschool program you use) and consider the cost of field trips and other activities. If the venture into homeschooling requires you to reduce hours at your job, you want to make sure that this is feasible.

    Social opportunities

    Social skills are vital for children. Students in public and private school settings often develop and maintain social skills by connecting with their peers during the school day. If you choose to homeschool your child, it is crucial that they have social opportunities. Enrolling a child in activities such as dance lessons, art classes, sports, or anything else they're interested in can help parents bridge the gap.

    What to Do Before You Start Homeschooling Your Child

    Once you've decided that homeschooling is right for your family, it is time to prepare to make the transition. Every state has different requirements for parents who want to homeschool their children, so keep this in mind and find out what they are in your area. In addition to state requirements, here are some tips before you start homeschooling an ADHD child:

    Find a curriculum

    If your child is homeschooled, they still need to take standardized tests to ensure they're on track. Accordingly, homeschool parents must find a curriculum that meets the mark. There's more than one way to build or find a homeschool curriculum for ADHD kids. Some kids thrive in online learning environments and succeed in online homeschool programs, for example, but other children require a different approach.

    Talk to other homeschooling parents

    It can be highly valuable to talk with other homeschooling parents. If you are new to home education, ask seasoned homeschooling parents what they wish they would've known before they started. They may have tips and experiences that surprise you. Consider joining online or in-person support groups for individuals who homeschool their kids. That way, you will have social connections and support from other families with homeschooled students.

    Discuss homeschool with your child

    Explain what homeschooling will look like to your child. Tell them how you'll structure the day and what expectations will look like. Gauge your child's understanding of what learning at home will look like in contrast to their current school experience. How do they expect a school day to go while learning at home? Do they have any concerns about leaving their current school setting? Is homeschooling something they want?

    Understand your child's learning level

    As a parent, you probably already know many of your child's strengths as well as areas they might need more support in during the school day. When moving from a private or public school setting to homeschooling, however, you want to know precisely where they're at and what is expected for their grade level so that you can help your child stay or get on track.

    What is the best homeschool curriculum for ADHD?

    With or without ADHD, the best homeschool curriculum depends on the child. Hands-on learning tends to be preferable for kids with ADHD in many cases, and many kids with ADHD benefit from additional support while they learn, which are two things to keep in mind. Some kids with ADHD will struggle more with online homeschool curriculums than with other approaches. If parents can’t provide as much support in this context, or if kids can’t get up and move around as frequently because so much of their work is online, for example, programs that are primarily online could pose a challenge. Think about your child’s specific needs and whether the homeschool curriculum you have in mind can be adjusted to meet those needs. If not, consider another option. To ensure you make an informed choice, you can look at the homeschool curriculums available to families in your area and compare features before you sign up.


    Home education is becoming increasingly popular. It is possible for parents to teach a child with ADHD at home, and there are various potential benefits to doing so. Homeschool students are often able to learn at their own pace, control the sensory environment they're in, and get a higher level of one-on-one support. Before you start homeschooling your child, make sure that you consider factors such as cost, time, and social opportunities. Talking with other homeschooling parents, discussing homeschooling with your child, and understanding your child's learning level are all valuable actions. While homeschooling requires time and effort, it is worthwhile for many families.


    Dr. Brittany Ferri, PhD

    Brittany is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who holds a PhD in Integrative Mental Health. She is the owner of a writing and consulting company called Simplicity of Health. She has direct experience in program development, behavioral health, pediatrics, and telehealth. She has published five books, lectured at 20+ OT/OTA programs, and has been quoted as a health expert by NBC News, WebMD, CNN, and other outlets.


    Dr. Brittany Ferri, PhD

    Brittany is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who holds a PhD in Integrative Mental Health. She is the owner of a writing and consulting company called Simplicity of Health. She has direct experience in program development, behavioral health, pediatrics, and telehealth. She has published five books, lectured at 20+ OT/OTA programs, and has been quoted as a health expert by NBC News, WebMD, CNN, and other outlets.