Homeschooling a child – let alone one with special needs – can be challenging, to say the least. Many parents aren’t sure where to start or how to effectively teach their child. Yet, numerous children with learning disabilities are successfully taught at home. In fact, these children generally perform better when learning from home rather than in other types of educational settings, largely in part to the parents’ love and commitment.
No one knows your child better than you. As parents, we better understand our children’s needs. We know their weaknesses as well as their strengths. So if you are just getting started homeschooling your child with special needs, or even if you’re just thinking about it, becoming familiar with the individual needs of your child is half the battle. Learn all you can about his/her learning disability. Go to the library, look online… resources are available.
Talk to and obtain support from others. Correspond with other families of special needs children and homeschooling parents. Both Calvert and Verticy have a wealth of resources, knowledge and support offered through their Facebook pages. Other parents are often the best resources available when it comes to homeschooling a child with learning disabilities. After all, they have experienced some of the same things-the ups and downs, the successes and failures, etc. Calvert’s education counselors are also an invaluable resource. They are knowledgeable and helpful. Many Calvert parents utilize their services often.
Check the legal requirements for your state regarding special needs homeschool. Although there are no laws specifically denying the homeschooling of children with learning disabilities, each state differs in their educational requirements. It is also important to keep accurate records demonstrating how you are meeting your child’s learning needs and how he/she is progressing.
Consider your budget and whether it’s feasible to choose specific learning materials. You’ll want to learn all you can regarding curriculum materials suitable for your child and ensure that they will meet your needs.Choose materials that complement both you and your child. There are different teaching methods and learning pathways, especially when it comes to those with learning disabilities. Generally, special needs children require clear instructions with well-structured lessons and repetition. Take advantage of technological resources, real life “teachable moments,” and hands-on activities.
Finally, relax. If you can’t relax, neither can your child. There’s no “one size fits all” style of teaching, and you’re certain to make changes along the way. The end result will inevitably be a happier, more well-rounded child that can adapt to his/her learning disability within the homeschool environment.
Calvert’s education counselors are also an invaluable resource. They are knowledgeable and helpful.