The Road Untraveled – Homeschooling Children With ADHD
Imagine having so many thoughts and ideas going through your head that your body physically struggles to keep up. You brain moves so fast sometimes that it confuses your body to the point of shutdown. The only thing you know to do to gather yourself back together is to just sit there and cry. You don’t know why you are crying, but you are. Crying because the schoolwork is too hard, because someone said something mean to you, or because you feel like you are never going to get a grip on what is going on around you. You are just crying and as you are crying, you are feeling the thoughts, pressure, and confusion slowly leave your mind. Your body begins to relax. After what seems like hours of crying, you are finally able to lie in your bed, on the couch, or even rest your head on the table and feel at peace for just a moment.
For just that moment everything is still and quiet, and the only thought in your mind is how nice it feels. However, that feeling only lasts for a few moments before the jumble of ideas flowing through your head starts and the process may start all over again. It will end the same way in a few hours, in a couple of days, or maybe even weeks. Just imagine that.
When I first started homeschooling, I was determined to do everything right. I have three children and only one was school age. In my head, it sounded like a great time to start. My oldest, who has ADHD, was in the second grade at the time, so I thought that this would be the year that we would stop with medicine and do everything through natural, homeopathic methods. It was perfect: my husband was deployed, so I would have plenty of time to focus on the issues that came up.
HA! Looking back at my mind frame really makes me laugh uncontrollably! I had no full understanding of what ADHD was. No research on natural methods to deal with the issues that may come with ADHD was done. I was just jumping in the water without knowledge of how deep it was. Needless to say, we had plenty of nights where my son would sit and cry uncontrollably, with me right next to him wanting to do the same thing from sheer frustration of NOT knowing what to do to help him. So I would just sit there and sometimes hold him and sometimes just look at him and let him cry, not giving him any love at all.
Well, I would like to think that I am wiser now and have a much better understanding of ADHD and different ways to work with my son. I still believe that he is not to be on medicines, but the difference now is that I have educated myself, as well as (this is the main factor) listened to Gods directions. See, I had the right idea of what I was hearing God telling me, but I was doing it in my own way and when I wanted. So this time around I continue to pray and focus on what directions God is telling me while researching different ways to help my son help himself. This has proven to be the best course for both of us so far. Funny thing is that my son is not the only one dealing with the adjustment. I am also seeing the things as a parent that I need to change or become more diligent in, for example schedules or time management.
I am by no means saying that I am a professional; I am just sharing my views and experiences in hopes that many of you who are struggling, lost, or confused can feel that everything will be okay. When I decided to homeschool, I did not have the same support system for children with ADHD as I had when we first started on the natural or organic methods. So I can truly understand some of your frustration. I only pray that my thoughts and experiences will encourage or motivate everyone who reads this.