Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Home-School an ODD Teen?


Thank you for such a great website. It really helps to have this support. I started applying your advice 3 days ago as I believe my son has ODD, and yes, it did get worse at first… I went through two days of hell while my 13 year old son punched, insulted and swore at me and his younger brother continuously- (his older sister keeps out of his way). I kept calm and did not show my anger and today he woke up in a good mood ...the first time in a many months. He was much calmer and only has had one outburst.

So I am continuing with the program and I know I have along way to go. He has been home from school for 3 weeks as he got beaten up by boys from his previous school and now says he hates school so I am trying to work with school, doctor and education authorities to get him back. (I live in England and the system is different here).

He is very bright but hates the school environment. I am a part-time college teacher myself and would like your opinion about whether I should let him home school which is what he wants or encourage him to return to school. I can see he really hates it but it is difficult for me to decide as I really enjoyed school as a child.

Thank you again so much... having the video clips is wonderful as being a single parent I have no one to discuss these problems with- what you say makes me laugh as it seems you are describing my child!



Hi R.,

It has been my experience that ODD children do poorly in regular school. I always recommend that they either home-school or attend an alternative school (alternative schooling being the better choice of the two).

In the event you would want to consider home-schooling, here are some ideas to get you started:

· A driving home-schooled adolescent can help take older family members to doctor appointments, grocery, etc.

· A family trip to learn History and Geography by seeing the country would be great fun full of valuable learning opportunities.

· A home-schooled adolescent can drive siblings to events while parents get other things accomplished (such as planning more difficult high school lessons).

· Doing a home improvement project as a family could increase home value while math, art and design skills, etc. are learned in a natural way.

· Grandparents can help teach valuable lessons while spending special time with their home-schooling grandkids.

· Home-schooling also allows one to know their child better.

· Home-schooling families can take vacations in off-season months which saves money and avoids crowds.

· Hours of practice can be dedicated to a special talent (spelling bee champs are often home-schoolers).

· If the home-school teacher is out of shape, doing 'P.E." together can be fun and healthy. Joining a local health club, pool, or walking club would add to the choices.

· If the home-school teacher loved art, for instance, visits to museums and taking community or college classes together could be great fun.

· In a family emergency, home-schooled students can travel or spend time helping out.

· Most home-schoolers get along well with their parents and trust their advice.

· Spending some time on a volunteer project could mean learning across the curriculum while changing the community in a wonderful way.

· Subjects that were missed in high school can be learned with the student.

· There are opportunities for high school aged adolescents to do internships or get a part time job. This can be a huge advantage later when needing to list experiences on job and college applications. Also, home-schoolers can work hours other kids can't.

· Today's DVDs and computer programs make learning fun for all ages.

· When students grow up as home-schooling friends and attend special functions together, all the parents and kids can get to know each other well. Home-schooled students tend to socialize well with kids of all ages and with parents too. This makes for safe and fun gatherings and outings in the important high school years.

Home-schooling families who learn to balance education and life to achieve a happy and healthy home are more likely to enjoy a home education lifestyle. Here are some ways to live daily life while home-schooling:

· Teens can help sell items on online auctions. Home-schoolers can learn life skills, math, language arts, and more as they help with family income.

· Add a garden journal where plant growth is tracked and math, handwriting, and language arts are covered naturally, as well as creating a good reference for the next year.

· Animals are instant learning opportunities.

· By refurbishing an old car, the family gets a classic vehicle and adolescents learn skills in 'auto shop.'

· Choose the best books and music, avoiding junk books and "mind candy."

· Computer games are always useful.

· Cooking, sewing, housework, and grocery shopping teach children life skills across the curriculum.

· Dealing with the inevitable bugs and watching growth teaches science.

· Encourage children to be discerning in building their own libraries.

· Find deals at used book-shops and yard sales.

· Games such as Yahtzee, Monopoly, and Blurt develop logic, math, and language arts skills.

· Gardening is important for providing food to some families.

· Older children can help in your work if you have a business.

· Plant flowers to pick (even if you only have room for one small pot).

· Saving up money for a good cause is also valuable.

· Saying "Hand me that pint of milk" teaches volume, for instance. Doubling recipes or measuring fabric help reach family goals for food and d├ęcor or clothing.

· Adolescents can make shopping lists, figure a family budget, do laundry, clean, etc.

· There are endless charities, churches, and non-profit organizations that would love help from home-schoolers.

· Volunteering as a family teaches the children compassion and other character traits, math, art, and life skills while fulfilling family goals to serve others in the community.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do,

Mark Hutten, M.A.

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