School choice

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    • #189831

      My son is 10 years old and in 5th grade. He has ADHD inattentive type and dysgraphia. We have struggled with school refusal on and off in 3rd and 4th grade, but overall I loved his school and the teachers and the accommodations they gave him and he was making As and Bs. Then Covid hit. Virtual school was a nightmare mostly because sitting on Zoom calls was torture for him. I thought about sending him back in person but he begged not to go back. So I ended up withdrawing him and we are homeschooling. It’s going fairly well so far. He says he likes it better than in person or virtual school.However, he does argue about doing some of the work. I want him to go back to school next year in some capacity. We have applied to a micro school geared toward twice exceptional kids. (He is also gifted, at least in math). It’s a mixed age group of kids fourth through 11th grades – will be about 20 kids total next year. Project-based and the kids vote on their learning themes. It’s 3 days a week, so the other 2 days we would homeschool. Our original plan was for him to go to the public middle school where his brother went. It’s large, but his brother liked it. The pros of going there would be that he could join band or orchestra (he plays violin and piano)and he could join soccer, which he enjoys. He already has friends going there, and could meet lots of other people. However, I worry about him trying to navigate middle school and the executive functioning skills that are needed for juggling 8 classes. I just want him to be happy, to not hate school, and to be prepared academically and socially for high school. Any insights on what you would do if it were your child, or even better, what you think would have been good for you if you have ADHD would be greatly appreciated!

    • #189852

      Not sure honestly how to deal it, but whatever that is you are undergoing to your son. Stay positive and hopeful that soon you both get through that.

    • #189860

      Hi there.

      I never had a child with ADHD, but I am 60, and have a child without ADHD, who is 33. Oh…I myself, have severe ADHD.

      This is a tough question, because your guy is only 10, but he’s approaching the dreaded “middle school age”.
      I know he’s young, but I would give a great deal of consideration to what HE wants to do. He may not be sure yet what he wants. Can you guys visit both schools a couple of times, to get a better feel for them?
      Maybe have a family meeting or two about the decision? Listing the positives and negatives.
      I do think it’s very normal for your son to rebel about some of his homework. How many of us really liked all the subjects and assignments while we were in school?
      I think it’s wonderful that you have both worked out homeschooling, and that he was able to thrive in that situation, but I tend to agree about your decision to move him back into a school environment next year. The social adjustment to others his age is so important, and often kids with ADHD have a hard time socially anyway.
      Personally, I think I would tend toward trying him in a micro school environment next year, and changing that if you need to later. It might be good to have the homeschooling, which he is used to, for some days in the week.
      Those are just a few thoughts of mine about your situation.
      I’d be very interested to find out his desires, hopes and fears about the next school


    • #189898
      Penny Williams

      His social and emotional health is just as important as academic (I’d actually argue more so). And he’s at an age where you need his buy-in for any plan to succeed. A conversation outlining the pros and cons from his perspective and parents’ perspective is a good place to start. If he feels strongly one way or the other, I’d lean there. In my opinion, doing mediocre academically (even with gifted IQ) but feeling confident and really good about himself is far superior to doing really well academically and feeling really lonely and/or down about himself.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #190639
      Dr. Eric

      The secret with bigger public schools is to make them feel smaller.
      If he can key in on one staff member who gets to know him and legitimately notices if he is there or if he is having a bad day, all of a sudden he is not a number, but a member of a community.
      Coaches, band leaders, and club advisors are worth their weight in gold in this regard.

      At some point, even if the answer is with another staff member, the connected staff member can help him navigate and even pass him off personally to the correct person.

    • #191812

      It’ll be hard for him if he is in a big public school.

    • #192884

      When I was in middle/highschool, there were homeschool kids who came to our school just to participate in Choir/band. Maybe that is an option with your school district?

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