OP here - Several things - The trade school he wants to go to is for welding. He started in ag this year and is a member of FFA. He has almost a 100 in that class and gets upset if he's late for school since it's first class of the day. He's doing so good in that class and has such a knack for it that the teacher lets him have privileges that other kids don't get.
FWIW, in my understanding (as a mechanical engineer), welding is a very
important and skilled field. If he already knows that he enjoys it and is good at it, working towards that as a career sounds like a very solid plan. Of course, it would be better to have a high-school diploma first, but please give your son a big pat on the back for very correctly recognizing that what he's currently doing (normal school) isn't working and proposing a practical alternative. Despite what must be an extremely frustrating situation with school (which is a huge part of a kid's life), he's not just wanting to quit school--he's wanting to switch to a different school, a trade school, that he thinks will work better. That's quite a mature choice for a frustrated teenager.
I have a somewhat different take as the spouse of someone with ADHD who had trouble in school. For my husband, learning "on the job" is much more effective for him than learning in a classroom because he sees the application in real time. He had trouble finishing college - two attempts to attend full time were unsuccessful, and then night school enabled him to get his A.S. but he did not complete enough credits for his B.S. In his field, there are lots of common certification programs that can be a resume boost - he has talked about wanting to complete these programs, and in one case when he was between jobs he did take two courses but never took the final test to get the actual certificate. I think the structured learning environment of classrooms/online courses, homework, and testing is just at odds with his learning style and abilities.
However, he is really really good at learning on the fly in a hands-on environment - he will often master a process that would take most people days or weeks in just a few hours. Because he is in IT, actual job experience tends to trump credentials, so his lack thereof hasn't been a big career limiter.
If your son has identified a career path that doesn't require he finish the traditional high school requirements, I would not dismiss that plan out of hand. It doesn't sound like he's trying to avoid responsibility but that rather he'd like to try a path of his own design. Some of his struggles might also not be solved by homeschooling - for example, my husband will voraciously devour dry, technical information about a topic if he's interested in it (e.g. tech specs of stereo equipment), but if he's not he really can't be motivated to care with any amount of persuasion or cajoling. His brain just doesn't work that way. It's either rabid interest or little to none. This is reflected in his college grades, which tended to be something like "A C B+ D D." I imagine it was very frustrating for his teachers, since he's otherwise bright and engaged, and I can only imagine how much his own parents would have struggled if they were the ones trying to instruct him.
I may be totally wrong of course (not every person with ADHD has the same strengths/limitations) and you should do what you think is best. Good luck!
LadyL, you just described DS to a T! If he's interested, he can sit for hours and learn everything he can get his hands on. It's the subjects he has no interest in that he's failing. This has me thinking, not once in all the meetings with the school has this been brought up. Unfortunately, high school/college teachers operate much differently than elementary teachers who look for ways to engage your child.
I was home-schooled myself, but I can only really offer input from the student perspective, since I never had to deal with how it was set up or curricula were chosen.
One big strength of homeschooling is having more flexibility in making things interesting for the individual student. For one thing, "field trips" are a lot simpler--in addition to things like museums (including a hands-on science museum in our area), we once went to watch a museum-piece locomotive being moved by crane and saw some of the filming of a movie in our area. Second, a lot of topics can be combined into something more interesting. I'm not sure if you said what specific topics he's struggling with (if you did, I missed it). But I wonder if any of them could be somehow woven into, e.g., designing and creating a welding project. There would probably be elements of math and science to incorporate into the design process itself. Writing up a proposal for you of what he wanted to do, what purpose it would serve, the timeline and budget, etc., could bring in practice in English (in a type of writing that would be useful for his actual field), etc., in a way that might be more motivating if it culminated in doing something he finds satisfying.
Also, if he learns well on his own for subjects that interest him, by all means, use it! My mom likes to say that my brother and I taught ourselves from textbooks, because we both learn well that way.