Carol's Web Corner
Frequently Asked Questions
We don't homeschool. What can we do?
How do I get started in homeschooling?
What if I don't have the patience to homeschool?
What about treating ADHD kids with medications?
I want to order your book or tapes. I can't find it on your web page. Where do I get it?
1. We don't homeschool. What can we do?
Of course you homeschool. You just call it helping with homework. All of the tactics and strategies that work for me when I teach my ADHD son at home can be applied in your home as well. The suggestions I make on my teaching tips page and in my book of incorporating motion and games into learning can be used with any subject you're attempting to teach the ADHD child. I know that you are trying to teach this child at the end of what is usually a VERY taxing day, when he or she is tired and less likely to be cooperative. But that makes teaching with motion all the more important. Do your best to find your child's predominant learning mode and incorporate it in every learning moment.
For the child in the traditional classroom, you must appreciate how VERY difficult it is for our ADHD kids to keep control of their impulses in a room with many children. The noise level and the panorama of things in motion will elevate their level of excitability. The distractions are almost dizzying for them. They are almost destined for trouble. I've heard it said that a teacher trying to teach this child in such an environment is like trying to thread a sewing machine while it's running. Some school systems will really work with you on these issues and others will simply claim you're not disciplining enough.
For help in a traditional classroom setting, I recommend that you get
your hands on a book called "How To Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children" by
Sandra F. Rief. It is written by a classroom teacher for classroom
teachers. It is full of incredibly practical ideas to use in the typical
classroom setting. There are an awful lot of books out there with totally
useless and impractical information -- this is not one of them.
2. How do I get started in homeschooling?
Home schooling is a BIG undertaking, there is no denying that. Yet, there are many resources available to assist people who are considering getting started. I have included phone numbers of several suppliers of homeschool curriculum, support materials and so on to get you started.
Support Groups: ALSO, find a support group. They are invaluable. Some people think that a support group is primarily to provide field trips and opportunities for kids to socialize with each other. Many see this as their purpose and you will most likely find this as a component of most support groups. Others think it is a support group is for the moms. I personally find the mom support aspect to be my greater need. I need to bounce curriculum ideas off other moms. I need to ask how they handle the two years old's needs when another child is being instructed. Many people attend our local support group just to determine if they really even WANT to home school. You don't have to be an active home schooler to attend most support group meetings or functions.
Getting Started Info: I found a web site that I really like at http://homeschool.crosswalk.com/ They covered a lot of issues that should be thought about prior to home schooling. Also, order some of the catalogs mentioned below and you'll find bunches of How to Get Started books. Most libraries are carrying some these days.
Legal Issues: Check out the Home School Legal Defense Association's web site at www.hslda.org This is an organization that does nothing but protect the rights of home schoolers nationwide (actually worldwide). They can inform you of your particular state's laws regarding home schooling. Be assured that home schooling is legal in all 50 states. I have always been a member of HSLDA but I came from a state that was particularly hostile to home schoolers. Through court action supported by HSLDA, that state is now one of the best for home schoolers.
Curriculum: There are a zillion places to get curriculum. The problem will not be "Where can I find something to use?" but rather... "How in the world will I choose from all that is available?" To get you started, here are a few suppliers...
Catalogs showcasing many publishers and products at once are:
Full Curriculum by ONE PUBLISHER:
Unit Study Approach Programs
Science Equipment and Materials (these catalogs are fun!)
These are just some of the many suppliers that are out there. Your area's homeschooling convention is another great way to browse curricula.
For our family, home schooling has been the best situation in which my son could learn. We have had a ball. It took me about 6 months to "find our groove," to decide that I could be teacher and boss as well as MOM. So don't be in too big of a hurry. Home schooling is very forgiving while you and your child find the right niche for yourselves.
I hope this gets the ball rolling for you.
3. What if I don't have the patience to homeschool?
I must tell you that this strikes most homeschooling moms as funny. That's because the question assumes that all of us who do homeschool must have patience. Oh, how we wish it were true! If patience were required before homeschooling begins, virtually NO ONE would be homeschooling today. It's a day to day process. It's a growth process for mom and dad as well as the children. It is a quality that develops over time. (But is never fully acquired!) I believe it is part of God's plan for how families, being drawn together, bring out good in each other and improve each other - often by exposing our weaknesses. The world's view is that families need more time away from each other to properly "socialize." But I find no merit for this view either Biblically or in the way it has played out in the world.
4. What about treating ADHD kids with medications?
Let me give you all my negative thoughts about drugs with a "However,..." at the end.
Without a doubt, drugs are highly over-prescribed for ADHD kids. There are many other alternatives that could and should be tried first. I recently heard a comment that struck me. Where are the young Einstein's and Thomas Edison's of today? Chances are that we are keeping them medicated to the point they may not produce the kind of creative-based innovations that they otherwise would have. While homeschooling is not an option for many families, it is nonetheless, an outstanding environment for the ADHD child. Properly executed, it is education at its best. Instead of medically altering the child into a state where he can fit into and function within the "traditional teaching approach," homeschooling allows the education to be constructed around the child. I strongly believe that many children are simply high-stimulation-needs children being forced to learn in the worst possible environment for their learning and living style.
Ritilin is a very powerful drug. Because my son has had 13 surgeries for a birth disorder and remains slight in build to this day, we were hesitant as a family to put him on a drug with a reputation as an appetite suppressant.
Now...all that said, there is a big "however" coming. However, I have read of families with ADHD children who have startling symptoms. I know that if I had a child with such symptoms, I would run to a doctor seeking drug related help. So while I am highly cynical of the current level of drug use for these kids, I am still firm in my belief that it must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Not only are some children more severe in their symptoms, some families cannot withstand
the added stress that even mild ADHD brings. ALL factors must be weighed. And I am not willing to condemn other families for making a decision to use drugs. There are simply too many factors involved.
5. I want to order your book or tapes on teaching add/adhd children. I can't find it on your web page. Where do I get it?
While you can't order these from my web page, you can find the links for book and tape ordering (and other resources) on the Resource Page.
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Entire site copyright (c) 1998-2009 Carol L. Barnier. All rights reserved. Site is for general information only. Specific situations require specific approach developed by the parent and, when appropriate, other professionals.