The Academic Link Home School Center

The Academic Link Homeschool Center is ‘the answer to many parents’ prayers’ because it’s a center that customizes the academic curriculum to the child instead of making the child fit into one standard curriculum.  This type of support is very unique because it takes a lot of time and understanding of the child’s needs.  Mrs. Cindy Knoess, the Academic Link Homeschool Center’s founder, is a certified teacher and NILD therapist.  She takes the time to genuinely understand each child’s needs as she guides parents in selecting the appropriate school curriculum.  In addition, Mrs. Knoess offers the NILD therapy for children with learning disabilities.  This is a supplemental therapy that helps children with dysgraphia, dyslexia, and information processing problems.  Not every child is the right fit for The Academic Link because they are not equipped to teach children with severe behavioral difficulties.  The children at The Academic Link are well behaved, outgoing, and sociable young kids that thrive in a smaller educational environment.  If the Academic Link Homeschool Center sounds like a place where your child may find success then call Mrs. Knoess for a personal consultation at (561) 301-6641.

When writing my “Raising Boys with ADHD” book I interviewed Mrs. Knoess about homeschooling boys with ADHD.  The entire interview was excellent and packed with golden nuggets of wisdom that any parent considering homeschooling their ADHD son should read.  You can find the entire interview in my book and below is one question I asked Cindy as well as her response about homeschooling boys with ADHD.

Jim: What questions should a mom and/or dad ask themselves when considering homeschooling for a son with ADHD?

Cindy Knoess:

  • Can I be consistent in teaching him regardless of the resistance I may encounter? An ADHD boy is persistent; his energy can be exhausting. A parent must ask if he or she has the will to insist on follow-through time and time again.
  • Do I truly understand the needs of an ADHD boy and am I prepared to plan for those needs? An ADHD boy will need frequent changes in activities, but those transitions require guidance and minimal distractions to be beneficial. Planning the day so the boy with ADHD is engaged in frequent activities takes much planning.
  • Am I prepared to change my thinking about traditional learning and think outside the box? I vividly remember a story told by a man diagnosed with ADHD who, at the time I heard him speak, was a professor at a local private university. He told of his father sitting outside in a chair reading aloud to him each day while he was climbing trees and playing. This man shared that long before ADHD was well-known, his dad instinctively knew that his son could learn while he was being active.
  • Do I have the patience needed and the discernment required to support my ADHD son as he struggles with his inattentiveness? A parent needs to be wise in knowing when it is good to push and when it is time to step back.
  • Have I been forthcoming with my son about his ADHD? Does he understand it as well as I do? Does he view it as a medical condition that is not his fault—that his struggles are not because he is dumb or stupid or lacking intellectually?
  • Do I understand how to tap into my son’s strengths? Does he understand how to utilize his strengths? Many times this means the boy with ADHD excels in some kind of sport, especially outdoor recreational sports like hunting, archery, etc. Does the homeschool parent understand that it is vital to introduce his or her son to as many activities as possible so that he can develop interests and strengths outside of academics?
  • Am I prepared to explore the community and the world outside of the classroom so that my son can learn from experiences, as he is more likely to remember these lessons and to enjoy them more?

One feature of The Academic Link Homeschool Center that I like is that the child attends homeschooling at the center.  This takes the pressure off mom and dad from doing the actual teaching since many children with ADHD don’t work as well for their parents as they do for teachers.  Another positive feature of The Academic Link in West Palm Beach, Florida is that having a child classified as a homeschool student gives parents flexibility if they need to travel throughout the school year.  Some children are very involved in competitive sports and attending The Academic Link gives the child and parent the flexibility to take the school work with them on the road.  A third feature of The Academic Link is that children appear happy there.  When I walk in the center children are smiling, laughing, talking with friends and teachers, and seem very social across all ages and grades.  P.S. a positive tidbit of information is that parents help decide how much or how little homework their child receives!

This is Mrs. Cindy Knoess’ mission statement for The Academic Link.  “Our mission is to provide a parent directed education for homeschool children where students receive the tools they need to thrive academically, grow socially, strengthen spiritually, and develop good citizenship. With that goal firmly in mind, we strive to provide an exceptional educational program tailored to the individual student, approved by the parent, designed to motivate and challenge the student while providing for individual differences and special needs.

Our teachers are committed to achieve the following 12 goals:

1. Create engaged learners who know HOW to learn

2. Customize curriculum and instruction to the individual student

3. Reinvigorate a love of learning in older students and maintain a love of learning in younger students

4. Replace stress with confidence and strategies

5. Provide a structured yet flexible learning environment

6. Achieve mastery-based learning where the student progresses based on his or her understanding of the content

7. Create a hands-on learning environment where critical thinking and questioning thrive.

8. Develop each student’s work ethic and study skills

9. Utilize and seek out new technologies to enhance, enable, and encourage learning

10. Transform apathic learners into eager and curious learners

11. Encourage positive peer pressure

12. Recognize each student’s unique learning abilities and learning styles”

As a parent and professional, I know Mrs. Knoess and her teachers are achieving these 12 goals with students.  I highly recommend The Academic Link for homeschool students in the West Palm Beach, Florida area.