Left-behind children (LBC) have been found to be disadvantaged in academic adaption due to the lack of parental care and supervision they receive. Educational flow, which is known as an optimal learning state for adolescents, would be beneficial for academic adaption among LBC. Self-compassion may provide a growth mindset to improve their abilities and immersion in learning. The present study focuses on educational flow and explores both the level and the protective mechanism of educational flow among LBC using cross-sectional data. Specifically, we examine whether self-compassion contributes to educational flow through future orientation. The study sample comprises participants from a middle school in Henan province. A total of 371 LBC participated in the study, with a mean age of 14.04. We find that family income is positively associated to LBC’s educational flow. Furthermore, self-compassion is positively associated with future orientation and educational flow, future orientation is positively associated with educational flow and self-compassion generates higher level of future orientation, which in turn promoting educational flow. Overall, our findings suggest that it is essential to incorporate self-compassion and future orientation when promoting the academic adaption of LBC.