27 Jun 2012

“It ain’t fittin’, it just ain’t fittin’,” declared Scarlett O’Hara’s mammy in a scene from Gone with the Wind. Many times, I have wondered if “it just ain’t fittin’” for me, a mom with Attention Deficit Disorder, to homeschool my kids.

I am in good company at my house. My son John was diagnosed with ADD early and often. He has a few other initials, too, but it’s the ADD that causes him to wear his shoes on the wrong feet and throw his fork in the trashcan while trying to load his napkin into the dishwasher.

Although my husband was not diagnosed with ADD as a child, he has clearly exhibited characteristics of ADD for a long time. Some years ago, he went to a doctor to check out a knee injury and came home with a prescription for Ritalin. Evidently, the doctor saw something besides a hurt knee.

The three of us have deficits of attention to details, but, without hyperactivity, our ADD is not always easy to spot. Only our brains are hyperactive, flitting from thing to thing as we try to focus on the task before us. Impulsivity and distractibility are the hallmarks of ADD, and there is plenty of that at our house.

I suspect I am not the only homeschooling mom who struggles with ADD on a daily basis. Every homeschooling mom is familiar with this interchange from others when they learn that we homeschool. “Oh, you must be so organized!” Indeed, it is preferable, admirable and much easier to homeschool from a place of order and organization. But chronic disorganization is the life of someone with ADD. Those of us ADD moms who homeschool often hear the voice of Scarlett’s mammy mumbling in our ears, “It just ain’t fittin’.”

I have learned to recognize the voice of condemnation whispering, ”People like you shouldn’t homeschool.” It is the same voice that would try to say, ”People like you shouldn’t live.” It belongs to the enemy whose job it is to discourage me from obeying and trusting God.

My struggle with ADD is constant and ongoing. Yet my God’s faithfulness to bless my children in spite of me is constant and ongoing, too. Now that they are grown, or almost grown, I see they have turned out well in spite of my weaknesses and failures. After homeschooling all the way, my oldest, Claire, graduated college with honors and is now serving the Lord with Wycliffe Bible Translators. My son, John, with all the initials, is doing so well at the community college that he was inducted into a national honor society. That’s not bad for someone who sometimes still puts his shirt on backwards! And when my youngest, Bethany, graduates from our homeschool this spring, she will have twenty-five hours of college credit.
If the blind leads the blind and they both fall into a ditch, what happens when an ADD mom homeschools her ADD child? My theory is that they will eventually get where they are going, with some detours along the way. My three wonderful children support my theory, which enables me to ignore “Mammy” and embrace God. I thank Him that He is still working on me and somehow, I am going from glory to glory, ADD and all.