View Full Version : Ready to pull my son and homeschool

05-07-14, 04:28 PM
I am new, I need advice and I know this is the place to go.
My son (9 years old) was diagnosed with ADD two years ago. He is super well behaved, is kind and caring, a good listener, scores high in all domains, is very responsible, but daydreams a lot when it comes to independent desk work.
His teacher said he is great other than the daydreaming piece-no blurting, hyper activity, class clown, etc...
That said, the social piece is killing me. I can't take it anymore. I just want to cry. He just wants to be accepted and have a friend and it is NOT happening. The kids are mean and ridicule him. He eats lunch alone, he sits under the slide at recess or on a swing because no one will play, he is never picked for groups or invited to parties./playdates.
I listen to him after school and he cries and I try not to cry.
Is school really that great?! I have been told not to homeschool by family because they say he needs to be socialized but I send a confident loving boy to school and he comes home defeated and sad, lonely, says he is worthless.
I really could use some parenting advice on this topic.
What to do?
I just worry because he is a sweet sweet boy and I see him growing older and realizing that he is a social outcast. And he just wants to be accepted.
Thank you!

05-07-14, 05:12 PM
I'd pull him, the damage can take a life time to get over and as much as schooling can affect his ability to hold a job. Selecting activities he can interact that are more structured can go along way. Cub scouts, martial arts etc.. there are groups of parents who home school and they do plan events. Look into it, it may be the best decision you could make.

05-07-14, 05:26 PM
In my opinion, home-schooling ideally needs a highly-social, outward-focused family for him to be part of. If you yourself dislike or tend to avoid being social, I think you'd need to overcome that to the extent to which you're able. A varied experience of adults who don't all belong to the same groups or agree with each other is essential, to my mind. Better healthier engagement with society, rather than reducing society's influence.

Ms. Mango
05-07-14, 06:33 PM

Have you taken your concerns to the school? They often have social groups or other ways to get kids together.

05-07-14, 07:00 PM
He has been in a social group for two years.
He is nice, just acts immature and also is not good at defending himself or being assertive. I think that is his downfall.
I am very outgoing, my husband is not. I just drag him along :)
My son is extremely social (or at least when others are willing to engage with him) but isn't into sports-we have tried- and that is where the kids are! He likes chess club, science club, swimming, lego league, etc..

05-07-14, 07:04 PM
There is an imprecise but good enough idea that children with ADHD are often about as socially mature as someone 30% younger. Being socially more like someone who's 6, playing among a group of 9-year-olds, explains a lot.

05-07-14, 07:26 PM
Absolutely. This I have read. :)

05-07-14, 09:24 PM
Where we live homeschooling is big (which is surprising because our schools are pretty good). People homeschool for many reasons but in our area it is so popular there are groups of homeschoolers who meet daily. They set up classrooms in their houses. One day they may go to a house where the mom is a math genius. The next day to someone who knows history. Lots of places here (gymnastics, karate, art classes) have special times set aside during the day just for homeschool groups. I think if you have any of those resources it would be easy to work on the social stuff in a safe setting. The thing I hear over and over again is how homeschool moms enjoy knowing their kids' friends. One of my friends just posted pictures from the homeschool prom. They have about 25 kids in their group but what an awesome group of young people!

05-08-14, 01:01 AM
I am not a parent, but I can speak from a kid's perspective! Maybe it will be helpful, maybe not. I hope I can give you some insight though. From my experience I can comment both on the academic and social aspects of homeschooling, and the academic and social aspects of different kinds of schools. I went to public schools and charter schools, and was home schooled. I also have ADD inattentive type, which it sounds like this is the case with your son with his tendency towards daydreaming and troubles with social interaction, despite the lack of outbursts and such. Ok, so here goes:

When I was in second grade, my parents and teacher decided to have me held back. It wasn't due to my grades, which were fantastic. It was because I was deemed "not socially ready" to move up. Like your son, I was the target. I was bullied a lot. I was lucky enough to make one friend, but being held back and switching schools simply left me friendless at school for a number of years.

Like I said, I was acing all my classes when I entered public school. This is because I had been home schooled. This may be biased because my mother is now a teacher, and has a natural talent for it..but I think that home schooling often gives kids an academic edge because they get the individualized attention and curriculum that best suits their learning style. If they are active in a social group of some kind they might make a friend or two. I made one friend in girl scouts while I was home schooled, and we are still friends to this day. Girl scouts wasn't really for me, but I did love camping and we did that, so I did get to pursue some of my interests.

Getting back to the social aspect, holding me back didn't make anything better. It made everything worse actually. My one school friend was now in another grade so I didn't have that support during class time that I once had. Further, the kids who had been picking on me had another thing to pick on me about. Turned out I wasn't "so smart" after all. The one thing I had to say that was good about me...and now that had been essentially rendered worthless. I was also older than most of the kids in my class. Only by one year, but it did make a difference. I ended up being teacher's helper most of the time because I was too mature (my teacher mentioned this to my parents and on my report card) and too smart to be in that class. I didn't make friends.

I really don't buy into the whole "30%" theory. I happened to be more mature than most kids my age, which is actually why I had a hard time making friends. Other kids thought I was weird or boring. Additionally, I had different interests. I liked doing art, singing, playing guitar, reading about history, and writing stories. Other kids wanted to play sports (nothing wrong with that, but I was just physically inflexible and awkward :) ! ). The 30% theory might apply to some ADD people, but I doubt it applies to everyone.

I started making friends when I was finally allowed to interact with people of different ages (older and younger and same age), and with people who shared my interests. This happened I was allowed to attend an arts middle school and high school.

My thought is that maybe you could temporarily pull your son out of school and teach him what he needs to learn, but also give him room to focus on his passions.

In the meantime, maybe you could search for a school that lets him focus on his interests. I may have been one of the most socially awkward kids of all time, but I made friends once I found people who shared my passions. It turned out many of them were also "socially awkward" because they were considered "weird" by the rest of the "normal" group who loved sports.

Also, ADD people also have social issues because they have a hard time paying attention to what others are saying, especially if they don't care about the topic at hand. If your son feels more welcomed at school because his interests are seen as valid, then maybe he will be able to spend more time focusing on how to cope with this issue, rather than just feeling terrible because nobody likes him.

I know that I felt terrible about myself for many years because I wasn't accepted at school. It took a huge toll on my self esteem. I'm still dealing with this whole "lifetime of inadequacy" thing. This is obviously very biased, as I don't know your son...but I feel like that kind of environment might do more harm than good. ADD will wreak havoc on a person for a number of other non-social reasons, if you can alleviate the social issue then all the better.

05-08-14, 04:04 AM
I am generally not a fan of homeschooling except in cases like you have mentioned. Its important to try and meet up with other homeschooling families so he does get that social piece but I agree with you. He shouldnt have to suffer as much as he is. If it were me, I too would pull him out. You dont have to homeschool forever but perhaps homeschooling through the elementary school years would give him an academic edge and allow him the time and space to build self confidence. Ginnie is right, these sorts of situations can take a lifetime to recover from and you have to protect him until he is able to defend/protect himself. Kids are mean and I cant stand it either.

05-08-14, 06:34 AM
my DD (8) is a lot like your son. She swings by herself everyday at recess and the times I have gone to have lunch with her no one talks to her either. Last week it was her birthday and no one wanted to sit with her - I was there and it broke my heart. She never gets invites to parties or playdates. Unlike your son though she just doesn't see the exclusion that I do.

In the fall both kids are going to start a small public school - we are now in private and are switching for many reasons. I would be homeschooling in an instant if I could get my husband to agree. There are many opportunities for homeschoolers where we are and I have friends that seem to do such great things with their group - sometimes I am jealous :-)

You have nothing to lose by trying - your son is already unhappy and if you have the chance to turn this around I say go for it.

05-08-14, 10:33 AM
Thank you so much ladies for your advice! This has been heart wrenching. When my son was younger he didn't seem to notice. Then it became apparent to him that he wasn't being invited anywhere, that the kids were teasing him and had friendships that he didn't. To see him cry in pain makes me tear up just writing it. I just don't understand. He is nice, sweet, kind, caring, considerate, all great qualities! I feel like they are weaknesses as well-maybe it is a boy thing??
My husband is on board with homeschooling. He is such an involved father who can't stand to watch the hurt.
We live in MN in a suburb of the cities. I looked online and found a site that has a calendar of homeschool activities. There are listings for ever day of the week, sometimes multiple listings.
I think you are right kiwimum, it can't hurt to try!
Thank you all again. I knew we would have school issues but never dreamed that the most painful part of this diagnosis would be the social piece. :

05-08-14, 02:55 PM
Well, it would be nice if we all lived near each other. I actually looked for a group online to meet to see if any parents had kids like ours in this regard to meet.I have not had success and I am in a big city...

Kiwi mum...I have a 10 year old (girl). She's a bit behind socially (ati times not always) but I do see her picked on via the ignoring type of way by some girls or maybe bc she is active she my be allowed to play w the boys but maybe gets a nickname. She used to not 'get it'...I think she is starting to. In her favor, she is resilient and pray she remains so. It takes a lot of social coaching in my house and going over situations or how to handle XYZ...

Yesterday I dealt with an upset 10 year old who had 1 of the 4 girls she sometimes hangs around with 'ignore' her completely in the conversation. Mine actually told on the girl--but the girl's reasoning was it was done because 'you (mine) were mean to me before so I wanted you to know what it felt like.". Sadly, mine truly had no idea what she was referring to or when....:(

But...My point in posting is...I hear you. There are days when I am beside myself. It's a lonely place sometimes...for our kids and us...:( I am worried about 5, 6, and 7th grade...that is what we are approaching...Good luck to all..

Sometimes I wonder if 'starting over' at a new school would help.....

05-08-14, 05:13 PM
A regular school isn't the best setting for everyone. I think it's worth a shot. I would get TONS of advice and information from other homeschool parents so you can prepare him as well as he would be in a regular school.

What treatments is he on?

05-08-14, 05:14 PM
I actually asked her psychiatrist if he knew of any groups for children like her but there is nothing, well not by us anyway.

My DD has a lot more than just ADHD going and in fact goes for testing next week to see if she is on the spectrum.... and after I spoke to DH again today he said he would really consider homeschooling depending on what the results were.

ccare erin and Vandeluca we do what we have to do for our kids.... sometimes I just look and look for answers and find nothing but I know there is something else going on.

Hugs to both of you x

05-10-14, 07:43 AM
I am so thankful for this site! You all are so incredibly helpful!
I feel very alone in this much of the time. It is nice to have support and understanding.
Thank you!

05-10-14, 12:57 PM
ccare erin,

I am not a parent but I was a public school teacher and know a lot of families who have home schooled their kids for lots of different reasons. I think it's a great idea for your son. Since there are so many activities available in your area, that a good sign it's a well-organized and probably diverse group!

Also, may I suggest finding a good therapist for your son? He's going to be going through a big transition if he is getting pulled out of public school and he's already hurting from the treatment of the other kids. I think a neutral place where he can express himself and be given social strategies would help. Perhaps a therapist who works with ADHD and ASP kids since they would have plentiful toolbox for the social aspect.

Goodluck! You and your husband sound like awesome parents!!