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Overwhelming Education, or an ADHD Homeschool Family experience

I have had the worst time getting this blog entry started. One of the things they don’t tell you about growing up is how little you will actually “know” or how much of life is truly trial and error. Even when it’s something you’ve done for years, a slight change means that, once again, you are feeling your way blindly through a darkened room. For us, right now, it’s homeschooling.



Boychild is a senior this year, but, since we homeschool, things always look a bit different for us. Senior year is no exception.


We’d ended the last school year late. He’d slowed down on some of his classes, we took it easy, but finally we got it out of the way. With that, we had a whirlwind few weeks, culminating in a trip to Florida and the county fair on our return. At the end of the last school year, there were things happening within the homeschool online program community, and we decided the time had come to move on from Acellus. Boychild was struggling to stay engaged with their classes, and he decided that he had a different plan for what he wanted his senior year to look like.


So, I let him have the academic freedom to help craft what his senior year was going to look like, and it’s ended up being a combo program for him. We’re using Time4Learning and Khan Academy. We also ended up overbooking ourselves in an ADHD learning frenzy. 3 classes on Time4Learning, 2 classes on Khan Academy, and 3 project based classes through our homeschooling partnership. Three days a week, he has set classes in the middle of the day. In total, for those counting along at home, that’s 8 classes and 3 major projects THIS SEMESTER.


We are overwhelmed and we did it to ourselves.


I meant to get back into steady writing back when the school year started, but it feels like every day has been a whirlwind of keeping track of schedules, grading schoolwork, setting assignments, and that’s all combined with making sure he has an idea of what college will be like, both academically and socially. I didn’t expect it to turn into a “DON’T BE LIKE ME” lesson as well.


At my age, I should know better too. ADHD impulsiveness stretches to so many things, from emotions to food to shopping. And I am desperately trying to make sure he learns what I didn’t know until I was well into adulthood. These are not moral failings. Executive function issues are not laziness. Quicksilver moods don’t make you unstable. Distractibility doesn’t mean you don’t care. And all of those are OK.


And, while that doesn’t fix the overwhelming issue we have now, I hope he sees that even his mom can make mistakes and let the ADHD take over. More important than being right (though I am USUALLY right) is the ability to fix and learn from what goes wrong. His ADHD will get away from him at times, too. He can’t stop that. But it won’t be the end of the world, and there will be ways to make it better.


Until then, we slog through the remainder of the semester. Wish us luck! And come back in November for Pun Month!

 

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