ADHD students may face a number of unique struggles in the classroom. Not only can they struggle more with boredom, including struggling to focus on tasks that they do not consider compelling, but they may need to take more breaks during the day, spend more time moving, or have the freedom to focus more heavily on tasks and subjects that do catch their attention. Not only that, ADHD students may have a higher risk of comorbid disorders. These include learning disorders or challenges with emotional regulation.
Choosing the right school for ADHD students can make a huge difference in students’ ability to absorb material and, ultimately, have a satisfactory educational experience.
Private schools are often a better school choice for ADHD students.
Smaller Classroom Sizes
In private schools, you will often find smaller classroom sizes, which can prove highly beneficial for ADHD students. In a smaller classroom, there are fewer distractions. Students can, as a result, focus more easily on the tasks in front of them.
In a smaller classroom, students also receive more individualized attention from the teacher. Teachers can tailor their lessons to the individual needs of students, rather than needing to teach to the middle of the classroom. In a smaller classroom, teachers also have more room to spend time on students’ special interests or to highlight the things they’re good at, which can further improve students’ performance.
Deeper Student/Teacher Relationships
In many private schools, teachers have the opportunity to form deeper relationships with their students. In some cases, teachers may have the same students over multiple years. As a result, teachers may better understand students’ unique needs and learning styles. As they get to know ADHD students, teachers can make modifications to the classroom environment and instructional method that fit the needs of the student.
Private schools often offer a more in-depth curriculum than you will find in a traditional public school. Many private schools will have class options that you may not find in a public school. These include different languages and electives. Private schools often have more funding that they can dedicate to classes, which may mean more hands-on learning. In private schools, you may also find a higher overall standard of education that focuses on allowing each student to master the curriculum, rather than simply on presenting the information to the classroom as a whole.
Many ADHD students and their parents find that attending school online offers a number of unique benefits. Students who attend online schools may need a strong support structure in place to ensure that they complete work on time and that they have the resources they need to understand the curriculum. However, online schools provide a number of advantages.
Students and Parents Choose Their Schedules
Attending school online allows parents to choose a schedule that works best for their students and their families. For ADHD students, that can prove invaluable. Individuals with ADHD often have a delayed circadian rhythm. This can make it very difficult for them to focus on school during traditional school hours. Getting up in the morning can be a fight. Students may have a hard time getting started on schoolwork in those earlier hours of the day. With online school, on the other hand, students can choose to start their days later, when they are “on” and ready to engage.
Students Work at Their Preferred Pace
ADHD students may need to take more frequent breaks than their peers. They may need time to run off extra energy or to allow their brains to rest between tasks. In an in-person classroom, it can be more difficult for teachers to structure those breaks effectively. When students attend classes online, on the other hand, they can adapt their daily schedules to their needs, working at their preferred pace. During times of intense focus, students can also choose to spend more time on their assignments or to work ahead. This can help them take advantage of increased interest or commitment.
Parents Can Control the Learning Environment
When students learn online, their parents can control their learning environment. That may mean creating an environment free of distractions, where students know that they need to settle in and get schoolwork done. On the other hand, it may mean that students have access to fidgets that could be distracting to others in a traditional classroom setting. These include options like poppers or even just clicking a pen. Parents of ADHD students can also experiment with alternative seating arrangements that may work better for students who struggle to sit in a chair and focus during the school day. These include balance balls or working on the floor.
How The Tenney School Offers an Ideal Learning Environment
At The Tenney School, we offer customized instruction that provides a high standard of education for students with a number of learning differences, including ADHD.
Our one-to-one lessons allow each lesson to progress at a student’s individual pace. That may mean repeating information that students were not able to take in because of distraction. It may also mean moving forward with a lesson once students have mastered the concept. This simple shift in learning style can make a big difference in students’ attention spans and help them stay engaged with the lesson.
Learning Style Adaptation
At The Tenney School, our one-to-one lesson environment means that teachers can easily adapt lessons to the needs of individual students. Sometimes, that may mean changing the way the lesson is presented: offering a lesson that engages the senses and allows students to move around the room, for example.
Our teachers have the opportunity to develop closer, more personal relationships with our students. As they get to know them, they can better design lessons around the specific needs of individual students. In addition, when students have a personal relationship with a teacher, they are more likely to learn effectively.
Learn the Way That Works for Them
ADHD students may learn better when they can move around. Simply sitting and trying to focus on a lesson may actually prove more distracting. At The Tenney School, students can stand, walk around, or move in the way that works best for them throughout lessons, helping them to better concentrate on the material as it’s presented.
Choose the Right School for Your ADHD Learner
At The Tenney School, we offer a variety of education solutions, from in-class private school to online learning or even tutoring solutions that can help ADHD learners succeed in the classroom. Contact us today to learn more about our educational solutions and the benefits they can offer your student.