He finishes high school early despite having ADHD

A 16-year-old teenager with ADHD and learning disabilities managed to finish high school a year earlier than expected by homeschooling.

“I think that if I had remained in the school system, I would still have finished my secondary, but certainly not a year earlier and not with the enriched courses”, summarizes Gaïa Chagnon.

The Val-Morin teenager has completed his 4e and 5e secondary school in the last year.

A feat that fills his mother, Catherine Dupuis with pride. Especially since, when the woman started homeschooling him seven years ago, Gaia was far from being a class leader.

“We were losing him. His grades were dropping, and he was demotivated. He’s an intelligent child, but he got bored at school, ”recalls Catherine Dupuis.

She is convinced that she made the “best decision of her life” by withdrawing her son from school at the end of primary school.

According to Mme Dupuis, the traditional school is not suitable for children with special needs like his son, who lives with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and giftedness.

At home, she was able to reshape the ministry program to suit her boy’s personal interests, a way to keep him captive. For example, math problems have always revolved around the business world, which Gaia is passionate about.

What’s more, it was much easier for him to stay focused for a few hours a day at home than for a whole day with 30 or so other children.

“The school’s model dates from the industrial revolution and aims to create workers who will be able to work eight hours in line, seated, while we know that this no longer corresponds to reality today”, sorry Catherine Dupuis, a former teacher of physical sciences.

Still active in the field of education, she is nevertheless convinced that home schooling is accessible to everyone, even for parents who have had a winding school career.

However, she insists that it is not always fun and that you have to be prepared to put in the time.

“You can’t do home schooling without setting a very strict framework,” Gaia’s mother warns.

The latter is now preparing to continue his studies in natural sciences at CEGEP, a return to class after seven years of school at home that does not make him more nervous than it needs to be.

“Teenagers who did high school at home have had to develop their sense of autonomy and organization and are therefore often more ready for college than others,” notes remedial educator Michèle Potvin.

-Near 12,000 children homeschooled in the last school year, which is double the number of last year.

-Approximately 60% of parents who made this choice intended to continue in this vein next year, according to the Quebec Association for Home Education (AQED).

-Always according to AQED, two-thirds of home-schooled children are at the primary level, third secondary level.

-Despite the pandemic, which has made homeschooling more popular than ever, there is still talk of less than 1% Quebec children.

Janelle B. Smith

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