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HomeLearning DifficultiesHealth & DevelopmentLife After High School

Homeschooling kids with LD or ADHD: The pros and cons

Page 3 of 3

By Kristin Stanberry

What kind of support can I expect from the public school district?

State laws and requirements regarding homeschooling vary tremendously from state to state. It's critical for you to understand your legal rights and responsibilities before you start homeschooling. You will want to learn about the laws governing general education as well as special education.

Many parents want to know how to translate a child's IEP at a public school into a homeschool curriculum — and to otherwise address the child's specific learning disability and/or impairments related to AD/HD. Depending on the homeschooling laws in your state, your public school may or may not be willing and able to assist you in bridging that gap.

As you research your state law regarding homeschooling:

  • Find out what you are required to communicate to your school district and/or state department of education before, during, and after your child's homeschooling experience. This might include oversight by the state and/or accountability to the state through reporting, standardized testing, etc.
  • Learn what kind of support and collaboration your school district is required to provide you and your homeschooled child. Very few states provide special education support to homeschoolers, although there are exceptions.

Resources to help you learn about the homeschool laws in your state include:

  • A local homeschool networking group. This is a great way to connect with other parents who are knowledgeable about the laws in your state and policies in your school district. This can help streamline your research into your legal rights and responsibilities.
  • Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
  • Your state department of education

Do your homework

There is no magic formula for homeschool success, and your decision to homeschool (or not) will be as individual as your child and family. As with any decision concerning your child's education, we encourage you to tap into trustworthy resources and information (such as those mentioned in this article). Talk with parents of other homeschoolers in your community. And, above all, trust your good judgment about the well-being of your child.

Kristin Stanberry is a writer and editor specializing in parenting, education, and consumer health/wellness issues. Her areas of expertise include learning disabilities and AD/HD, which she wrote about extensively for Schwab Learning and GreatSchools.

 


Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

03/1/2010:
"Several homeschoolers who I interviewed for my book said homeschooling reduced their stress, not just their children's stress. Support is important. Your Home Education link is broken, but two other ways to find local groups are: homeschooling.gomilpitas.com and hslda.org Don't neglect online support, either. "
04/20/2009:
"How can free first grade books and tests be obtained? I would like too help my granddaughter when she is with me. I believe she will be with me a great deal this summer and loves to play and study with me. We have all 200 of the high frequency words on flash cards, still studying them. I need first grade work for the summer days. Thanks so much for you're informitive site. You see, sometimes when divorce is involved, even see you're children's books is difficult, sad but true for many people."
04/16/2009:
"I homeschooled my children for one year after having discussions with the teachers and principal about the fact that my children were 'pegged' in the community as being ok to bully. With the more disciplined one, things went well. With my ADHD child, things were slowly deteriorating. I must admit I was weak in the ability to come up with different approaches when one wasn't working. I would recommend homeschooling to certain disciplined parents but would suggest the children really need you to be involved in some sort of homeschooling network. We need to teach our children how to behave in social situations with groups of peers and parents need the support and help in home school specific problem solving. I should probably end my story with saying we switched school districts and the experience is night and day. The teachers in the new district seem to better understand that the limitations are not poor attitudes and adjust for differences instead of punishing them for being extra work. The kids are blending well with their peers and making good friends in this district perhaps because the teachers show my kids the same respect as everyone else. I know the way I get treated as their parent is night and day. My formerly depressed kids have now bloomed and their ability to concentrate and learn has taken off. I can't believe the difference the learning environment made."
04/16/2009:
"Pretty good article. But, I wish you'd print more articles for people who are already homeschooling. My son has Asperger's and a few other issues. We've been homeschooling for 8 years, and although I entered into this venture reluctantly, it has turned out to be the best thing I could have done. We only use materials and programs that will allow him to work entirely at his own pace. He may speed several grades ahead in one subject, and lag behind in another. Homeschooling keeps him challenged, but not overwhelmed. No longer spending time fighting the school system, we have plenty of time for clubs and other activities. Socialization has never been a problem. I found it difficult to locate a homeschool support group in my area that was a good fit for us, but online groups have been an excellent alternative. Group therapy sessions at a local hospital have put us in touch with other kids who have issues similar to my son's. It's not surprising that many of them also homeschool."
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