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Old 04-06-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

Do you HS a child with ADHD/ADD type 'special needs' or the like? If so, could you share your story with me? What made you decide to HS? What do you use? How do you make it work to help your child actually LEARN? How to you harness that ENERGY?

My oldest has ADHD - no doubt here! We HS'd for 1st grade, he was in PS for K and is in PS for 2nd. Basically, neither option has been optimal for us HS or PS. In PS he's making gains THIS year, but it takes a LONG time and he's behind the other kids by a lot to the point where he is going to need summer school and still probably will be behind next year. For the year we HS'd he got even MORE behind...I struggled with curriculum choices and learning styles and I think we floundered a LOT! For K his teacher didn't like teaching K and admitted it...so that year was just OK. But, we lost ground.

So, we just can't really get a good grip...so share with me your success...
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:19 PM   #2
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Re: Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

I used to be a LifeSkills and special needs teacher so I have had the opprtunity to work with some wonderful kiddos. I do not personally HS, but know many families that do. My older brother has severe ADHD and my mom struggled with whether or not to HS him, and chose PS. Josh had a very hard time in school, especially with reading and focusing long enough to finish tasks, but he loved making friends and my mom thought he needed that. He really disliked school work until he was old enough to play sports. He loved sports so my mom used it as motivation for working hard in school. He also loved video games and comic books, so my mom bought him games that required reading to move up a level and it worked! Probably frowned upon by some, but it was probably video games and comic books that allowed him to learn to read well and he no reads for enjoyment as an adult! My brother was told he would always need medication to control outbursts, anger issues, and what we call "beebopping" (constantly bouncing around), but when he was in 8th grade he made the decision on his own to be weened off the medications because he felt he could use coping skills to control his ADHD, and has not taken anything since. He is now 27 with two children, a wife, and a great job. He sometimes still gets frustrated, but he knows how to handle those situations. So for him, PS was good because of the interactions he found and he worked harder to stay with his peers. I think it would depend on what motivates your little one. However, I could see how homeschooling would be excellent as well, especially if you were able to find something he really loves and use it as a learning tool! Also, through my teaching I have found it VERY common for ADD kiddos to be behind until about 3rd grade, then they typically catch up and do well. Of course that cannot be said for every child, but it is certainly the curve we saw at my school. I am really no help! Good luck with your sweet boy!
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:44 PM   #3
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No you are a help words of encouragement thank u!!!
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:20 AM   #4
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Re: Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

My mom hs' d kids with add. The timer helped along with a checklist. Break lessons in really short time chunks. Like ten minutes even. When the timer goes off move on to something else. If the first subject wasn't finished come vack to it later that day.
Run, run, run between sessions.
Use hands on methods that engage rather than textbooks if possible.
Short spurts allows for more focus. Which leads to greater productivity.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #5
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Re: Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

I'm not really "here" anymore but I couldn't ignore this post. I will say there are homeschooling boards where you will find more info specific to homeschooling kids with special needs that might be helpful, it is pretty dead here now but you can PM me or email me anytime, I'm always open to talk.

Anyway I think we have talked before but I homeschool two special needs kids. My oldest is 12 and has an "alphabet soup" diagnosis. He is ASD, ADHD, SPD, dysgraphia, anxiety, and probably some things we haven't managed to properly diagnose yet. He has been homeschooled, received walk in therapy from the school, done the schools developmental preschool (that didn't last long it was awful), done private therapy for years, done one year of charter school which was nice but not ideal and homeschooled again. He just finished 6th grade and I would say that in the vast majority of subjects he is at or above grade level, his weaknesses are writing (both handwriting because of his gross motor delays and dysgraphia and actual writing because he has some higher level planning issues) and spelling but he is getting there. Typing is really taking the place of writing for everyone so that helps, so long as his writing is generally legible I worry a lot less. As far as helping him learn, a lot comes down to figuring out how he learns best and working from there. Curriculum has changed over the years.

My youngest is bipolar but in children bipolar looks a lot like ADHD and his original diagnosis was ADHD and ODD. He still has the ADHD diagnosis even though it isn't exactly right. For him hands on learning has been the key. This is the first year we have been able to do worksheets at all, he doesn't learn from them anyway. Writing at all is not a focus. He can write forever in a journal, he loves it, but try to force him to write and he shuts down. With learning we have had to go with what he is willing to do. In K that was mostly my reading to him and math manipulatives. I did use a phonics program. By 1st he was willing to do copy work. We have expanded from there and he is 1 year ahead of his peers, just working his way. The key is choosing the right curriculum and keeping him tired. I run my kids every morning before school. I also allow him to choose his own science for now, we are only doing 3rd grade anyway.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:23 AM   #6
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Re: Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

dp
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:12 PM   #7
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Re: Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

My son is 6. He does not have an official ADHD diagnosis but it's obvious that he has some energy...LOTS of energy. His mind races a mile a minute and he thinks of a million different things all at the same time. But he's super smart. Like photographic memory smart.

It took me a while to figure out the plan that works best for him (and me). We do classes 2 days a week and homeschool the other 3. On the days he's home we focus only on the basics...math, reading, handwriting. It takes 30 minutes tops to complete all 3. I'm a huge fan of Hooked on Phonics for reading. Both of my kids are way above grade level thanks to that program. We use Singapore Math and Mathematical Reasoning as well as HWOT.

The BIGGER part of the puzzle is controlling stimulation. So we have to limit electronics...he basically hardly ever watches TV, plays tablet, or computer. I can't get his focus back if he has those things so we just don't do it. If he's over stimulated then it's even harder to have him focus so if you have littles running around or other distractions like your phone going off it won't work.

If we're doing memory work or something boring we'll bounce a ball back and forth to give him an outlet for his energy. You've just got to get creative. I know my son would be in SO much trouble in public school and he wouldn't be meeting his academic potential.

I can't say this enough but read, read, read. We go to the library twice a week. Maybe follow some of the Ambleside Online book lists. He'll get into a book and you'd never know he was a ball of energy. He especially loves mysteries. Sometimes he'll get hooked and read several chapter books a day.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

My son doesn't have the ADHD diagnosis(though he has it, we just haven't gotten him diagnosed) but does have SPD and potentially high functioning autism. We decided to homeschool prior to the diagnosis, but now know it is the best option for him. He would have floundered in PS because of his needs.

He is a very smart boy but can't stay focused on anything very long. We try and use things that work for him to teach him. We use All About Spelling for spelling because it is hands on and allows for him to "do" something to learn to spell. I try not to worry about the "bad" days we have because on "good" days we get a lot done.

He can't sit still for more than 5 or 10 minutes, so we work with that...I let him bounce around, walk, move in whatever way works for him, etc. When he is struggling to actually write his answers to his math, I do them orally with him and I write the answers. We use rewards like video game time, special shows, etc to motivate him to do the things he doesn't like. He REALLY enjoys science, so I try and find things that are science related and let him do as much of that as he wants.

I have also discovered that if something is too easy for him, then he will act out/up more and he needs to be challenged in order to focus. I let him read for fun whatever he wants while requiring other reading for school stuff and I do a lot of reading aloud to him for school stuff. We also have to do school without his siblings running around/distracting him. We turn all electronics off and limit the external input so he can better focus on the task at hand.

It has been a learning experience for both of us and we are better able to meet his needs now at the end of the year than we were at the beginning of the year when we didn't really know how to cope with his needs.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:22 AM   #9
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Re: Do you HS a child with 'special needs' ADHD/ADD or the like?

So, we have 5 kids and he's the oldest. Even if we HS'd again there's no way to keep the littles at bay. That was a big part of the problem last year. They were always needing something. I couldn't find anything that would keep all of them busy long enough for school time. Nap time wasn't long enough. We couldn't get up early enough. After bed time for them he's too tired. So, IMO I don't know how to make that happen for him. I don't know HOW to remove all the distracts in any setting for him. I feel like he HAS to learn to function with them to some extent b/c they will always be there. Either in our family or in the work place...and I know that't the future NOT now...but I really don't know HOW to remove them all. My kids are really young so there's no really - go entertain yourselves for hours on end type of thing that's going to happen realistically.

In PS that is a problem the teachers have pointed out - the distractions. We are trying to be creative on how to minimize those and help him work through and around those. So, I'm open to suggestions there too.

It's a frustrating place to be. At least he's happy...and at least he's grasping the concepts...he's just having a hard time putting them back down on paper when it comes time for that. Sigh...

I've looked into K12...maybe not for next year, but for when he's a better reader and self-manager of his own time with a little help from me. I know a lot of people here don't like it. But, he really likes the computer. And he likes to manage his own progress and move on when he gets something or spend more time when he doesn't. I'm thinking of doing that when he nears middle school since I know teachers there aren't as accommodating as they are in elem. school. Then, he can't fight with me about assignments and can self manage and the other kids wont' get in the way of 'school' as much.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:23 AM   #10
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Im pretty certain ds2 has adhd, it's one of the reasons ps isn't an option for us. Im not willing to medicate him and around here children who aren't medicated who are "disruptive" will be expelled
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