Homeschooling a child with special needs can leave you feeling out of your depth. Even if you know your child very well, the majority still struggle. In addition, the most exciting homeschooling concepts and curricula floating around the internet and in homeschooling forums might not be appropriate for your special needs child.
It might often feel as if other parents of the differently-abled children aren’t going through the same difficulties. However, this is the outcome of uniqueness, yet it can make special needs parents feel isolated or befuddled.
Fortunately, there is some good news regarding this whole situation. For many youngsters with exceptional needs, Homeschooling is the best option. After all, a flexible and individualized education may give them the precise framework they need. In addition, a relaxed and individualized education allows them to rise and fall as required and tailors their instruction to their unique strengths and limitations.
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Guidelines for Homeschooling a Special Needs Child
For special education, Homeschooling is frequently a highly beneficial medium. Whether your child is dyslexic, autistic, or suffers from an autoimmune condition, customized home education can help them reach new heights. Of course, it’s no secret that children with special needs face obstacles. But, even so, they bring out their particular delight. Besides, most parents have expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to educate their special needs children through Homeschooling.
Here are some of the guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to Homeschooling your child with special needs:
Pick a student-led program:
A student-led curriculum lessens the stress of meeting deadlines while minimizing the need for constant reminders. Because of their improved flexibility, student-led courses are the best alternative for many children with special needs. These classes are significantly less demanding and encourage you to celebrate your achievements! Furthermore, student-led curricula assist in customizing education for your child. Keep in mind that the objective is to make the curriculum work accordingly rather than the other way around.
When it comes to new courses or curricula, take it slowly:
To introduce these programs, make sure your child is in a secure learning atmosphere. Sudden learning shifts may be distressing for anybody, and kids with special needs are no exception. No matter how little the changes may appear to their parents, most children require time to adjust and accept them.
Use exploration and breakthroughs to provide opportunities for hands-on learning:
Most special needs children, including those who have Prader-Willi syndrome, might discover that hands-on exploration is more beneficial. So when it comes to the special education program, aim to give learning opportunities for your child to learn things on their own.
Make a Flexible schedule:
Routines may be a lifesaver for families who have children with special needs. Therefore, try to plan for your day to assist you in going through key classes or subjects. A flexible homeschooling program will help keep you on track and even enables you to recover from setbacks. In addition, it offers your child a sense of what to look forward to throughout the day. In general, simple schedules and routines may benefit any youngster.
Adjust your child’s physical surroundings to improve their behaviour and learning. An antique sofa on the veranda, for example, can assist in mental health improvement; a trampoline can assist in letting off steam, while a point swing may help in regulating. On the other hand, a single decluttered room may create a quiet and distraction-free environment for your child.
Generally, there are many ways of enhancing your child’s physical environment. It is crucial to determine what will benefit your child the most.
Join social support networks:
All the parents, especially those with special needs children, can benefit from joining a support group. Although most of them face challenges and failures, the everyday lives of parents with special needs children can be quite different. Therefore, a support group may give you the right resources, thoughts, social activities, friends, and even a shoulder to cry on.
Overall Advantages of Homeschooling for Special Needs Children
Work according to your child’s pace: Homeschoolers are not required to keep up with their classmates, meaning they are free to work at their speed. This level of flexibility gives them more time to review ideas that seem complicated. It may also assist children with special needs to advance in their areas of strength.
Helps avoid distractions
Setting up a home classroom suitable for your child’s needs is possible with Homeschooling. It helps minimize distractions by providing your child with a comfortable, quiet room. It makes it easier for them to concentrate on schoolwork without being distracted by the usual distractions common in the classroom.
- One-to-one personalized education
Most parents find that one-on-one instruction is far more effective for their special needs children than learning with other children in classroom surroundings. You will be able to explore all lessons with your child, answer any questions, and offer timely feedback regarding their work as his or her learning guide.
- Go for breaks as required.
Children with special needs, particularly those who suffer from attention difficulties, may require additional breaks throughout the day. However, you can work with your child by modifying daily routines with Homeschooling. For example, allow for more physical exercise or modest, brief breaks, which helps your child focus well.
- Limitless Testing Period
Kids in a typical school environment may be restricted in the amount of time they have for tests. However, children in a homeschooling setting can take as much time as needed. In the end, the additional time may significantly impact the child’s quality of work.
From their distinguishing characteristics to the size of their tiny toes, each child is unique! However, some kids have “additional” special requirements regarded as “out of the norm.” So if your child falls into this group, you already know that he or she is a learner with specific needs.
Luckily, you can educate your child with special needs in line with their condition and strengths using a homeschooling program. The above consideration will also guide you throughout the homeschool process.
Helpful resources to support your child
- Nasen (supports individuals who work with children with special needs)
- The National Autistic Society
- British Dyslexia Association
- The Dyspraxia Foundation
- HE Special (geared towards home educating families with special needs children)
- ChatterPack materials designed for ADHD (you can also access an extensive record of free speech and language, OT and SEND resources for families)
- Education Advocacy: expert legal advocates who can assist you in challenging your local authority if they choose not to offer financial help or services to support your child. Please ensure that you weigh up the financial responsibilities that may fall upon you carefully if you take your child from school to be taught at home.
More resources from Home Education Shop
Click to learn more about finding resources to help you create a curriculum for Homeschooling, or download our FREE EBOOK to help you on your homeschool journey if you are a Homeschool Newbie!