While every child is special and has specific needs, some students learn differently than others. Students with special needs may have learning delays or behavior challenges, or they may work on a level that is different from their peers. At Calvert, we understand the challenges facing students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD, ADHD, Autism, learning difficulties, hearing and vision loss, or any student who has difficulty being successful in a typical academic environment. We are able to address each student’s special academic, physical, social, or emotional challenge and work with you to help your student achieve academic success.
Many of Calvert’s homeschooling families find that special needs students perform significantly better in the home environment as compared to the traditional classroom.
Work at Your Child’s Pace – Homeschool students do not have to keep up with other students in the classroom. They can work at their ideal pace. This allows for extra time to review concepts they find challenging. It can also allow special needs students to work ahead in their areas of strength.
Modified Yearly Calendar – As a homeschooler, you have the ability to modify your yearly school calendar. If your child needs extra time on specific lessons or needs more breaks than the average student, that’s ok. Take as little or as long as you need – perhaps even spending a full year, rather than 9 months, to finish up a grade level.
One-to-one Individualized Instruction – Many of our Calvert parents find that their special needs students work much better with one-to-one instruction rather than working with a group of students in a classroom setting. As your child’s Learning Guide, you will be able to explore each lesson with your child, answer his/her questions, and provide immediate feedback on your child’s work.
Fewer Distractions – The homeschool setting allows you to set up a home classroom that is ideal for your child. You can keep distractions to a minimum by setting up a comfortable, quiet space for your child to ensure he/she can focus on school work without distractions typically found in the classroom environment.
Take Breaks as Needed – Students who have special needs, and especially those who struggle with attention disorders, often need extra breaks during the school day. Many of our Calvert families work with their students using modified daily schedules, allowing additional breaks for physical activity or small, short breaks that help students focus better.
Alternative Instructional Approaches – Special needs students often learn best by using alternative learning approaches. If your child is struggling to learn multiplication tables, try having him recite math facts while doing jumping jacks. If your child has difficulty with spelling words, trying having her spell each word out loud. When learning at home, you can identify the learning strategies that work best for your child and implement them in a way that works for both of you. This may include math manipulatives, whiteboards, chalkboards, hands-on learning, and multi-sensory learning strategies.
Unlimited Testing Time – While students in a traditional school setting may have limitations on the time allotted for testing purposes, in the homeschool environment, students can take as long as needed for tests. Sometimes this extra time makes all the difference in the quality of the student’s work.
Special Accommodations – The homeschool environment allows students to use accommodations that help them learn or perform best. Students with handwriting issues or dysgraphia can use a keyboard to complete their assignments. Children who struggle with distraction or attention issues can use stress balls or other fidgets to help them pay attention or even walk about the room while discussing a topic. Children who have sensory issues that are often challenging in the school environment can perform exceptionally well in a home classroom with dim lighting, soft rugs, comfortable clothing, or even working in a bean bag chair.
If your student has a language-based learning challenge, be sure to check out Calvert’s Verticy Learning program, developed for struggling readers and dyslexic students.
Plus, take a few minutes to check out these helpful videos created by Calvert’s Education Counselors: