The Homeschool Debate: Is Home-Schooling Best For Children With ADHD?

The homeschool debate is one that will never go away, many are steadfast about the traditional school method, and others that have had the last straw with the education system are desperately looking for alternative educational methods. For children who have ADD, ADHD and anxiety issues parents are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of special services given to support their children.

Children who aren’t getting the right education for their needs and go to schools that don’t take their learning methods into account end up miserable, more anxious and certainly don’t learn to their best potential. In many cases, seeing the child’s unhappiness with the school is enough to make parents take the plunge and homeschool instead.

With a class of thirty children or more, there is pressure on teachers to move at a certain pace to cover all of the necessary elements. However, teachers are limited in their powers; they are unable to move children ahead if they are advancing well in a subject or take more time over the subjects that are harder to grasp. With a homeschooling system in place, children can work at a pace that suits them and without blaming the school for failing, the power is now with the child to excel.

Benefits of Home-Schooling for Children with ADD/ADHD

As any parent of a child with ADD/ADHD knows, attention can come or go and can vary day by day, with home-schooling, parents and tutors can customise the curriculum to suit the child’s mood, working to their best potential whether that is problem-solving game playing or imaginative and creative daydreaming.

Unlike school, where breaks are restricted, it is much easier to read your child’s attention and understand that they may need to exercise in order to refocus in a subject. In fact, many tutors have found innovative ways to incorporate movement into learning to embrace kinaesthetic learning to its full capacity in an environment where it is safe to do so.

The school environment can also be very unsettling and distracting for children with ADD/ADHD; the fluorescent lights can bring on headaches and noise of other children can be hugely disruptive. In a home-school setting, parents can work to their child’s strengths, understanding what environment the child needs to focus and be their best.

Negatives of Home-Schooling for Children With ADD/ADHD

While structure and routine are vital for a child with ADD/ADHD, it is much harder to enforce this in a home setting, access to toys and leisure activities are close, and it can be tough to adapt to the same environment being used for work and play. With traditional schooling, it helps children to integrate with routine and differentiate between work and play.

One of the most contentious arguments in the home-school debate is that of the importance of social interaction. For children with ADD/ADHD, it is vital that they learn social skills that can often help them to deal with the disorder. In a school environment, these social lessons come thick and fast, whereas home-schooling may leave your child feeling cut off and make them see their difference as a negative which may bring on anxiety and stress.

As well as the difficulties of adapting to homeschooling for the child, it is not plain-sailing for parents either; they have to work hard to provide everything; education, family life, happiness and well-being and make sure nothing is missing for the child. Dealing with ADD/ADHD can be hard in leisure time, but it has a new meaning in education too.


While home-schooling has support mechanisms such as tutoring or group home-schooling, it can be a drain on resources and finances, whereas, schools have facilities and specialists that can be too expensive for families to provide. Home-schooling certainly offers the benefits of flexibility that is needed for children living with ADD/ADHD but if problems will always manifest in a peer setting is it best this is addressed in school to help them in later life?

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how best children with attention difficulties can thrive through home-schooling, traditional school or tutoring. Are home comforts best for anxiety? Does the peer setting of schools help children with ADD/ADHD succeed? Tutors, what are your experiences with ADD/ADHD and what methods work best for you? Let us know in the comments section below.


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