Date of Conferral
Homeschooling is currently the fastest-growing educational population in the United States with an estimated 2 million students. Because 11% of school children have been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there are likely to be many children with ADHD symptoms in the homeschooling population. The purpose of this study was to extend knowledge of the experiences of homeschooling in this population to assist students with ADHD as well as their parents and educators to make informed educational decisions. The multiple intelligences theory provided the theoretical framework for this phenomenological study. The key research question was focused on how current or former homeschool students who report ADHD symptoms describe their experiences in a homeschool environment. Perceptions were collected from
12 participants ranging in age from 12 to 21 years of age who were recruited using criterion sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted by phone or face-to-face. Data were analyzed using Moustakas' modification of van Kaam's structure. Through this process, the themes of individualization, self-concept, and experience of symptoms were identified. Specifically, the findings indicated that homeschooling children with ADHD symptoms is an individualized phenomenon and most students thrive in a structured yet flexible environment where tools and methods can be personalized. Participants developed individualized learning practices that would not be acceptable in a more traditional learning environment. This study contributes to the empirical literature promoting social change by providing foundational knowledge that can be built upon in future research to offer evidence-based information to this rapidly-growing population.