Think about a school where your children can learn at their own pace, get an understanding of life skills along with social skills, and get hands-on lessons in mathematics, followed by individualized instructions, personalized attention, and a flexible time frame. It does not just end here.
Their progress is tracked, individual areas of weakness are worked on, and as a result of this fantastic support, you will see the grades of your children shooting through the roof. This is homeschooling in a nutshell and when it is done properly, the progress of your child’s abilities in the field of education could be meteoric.
If you have considered the option of homeschooling but don’t know where to start or are simply overwhelmed by the huge volume of information available on the internet, you have come to the right place! In this comprehensive article, we will cover homeschooling in great detail.
After reading this article, you will have the right information about what homeschooling is, the benefits of homeschooling for children with special needs, drawbacks of homeschooling for children who have special needs, homeschooling resources for children, and the right homeschooling curriculum. Even if you are just curious about how homeschooling actually works, this bird’s eye view of homeschooling will definitely give you all the information and knowledge about homeschool, that you are looking for.
What is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is an alternative form of education that allows parents to teach their children with personalized instruction, tailored curricula, and a flexible learning schedule. It grants freedom to parents in choosing what is best for their kids and gives them the ability to track the progress of their children more closely.
Benefits of Homeschooling for Children with Special Needs
When it comes to homeschool families and students with special needs, generally, the idea of homeschooling hinges on teaching children who have been diagnosed with
Homeschooling a child with Special Needs offers many parents a unique opportunity to nurture and develop their individual needs with personalized attention, flexibility in terms of learning pace and schedule, along with supplemental life and social skills.
With homeschooling, parents can track the progress of their children more closely and work on areas of weakness accordingly. As a result, children.
Teaching Children at Their Own Pace
Students with special needs struggle in the classroom where they have to keep up with other students. However, when they are at home, they can study, learn, and understand at their own pace without feeling the unnecessary pressure of being judged by others.
This extra time and care are critical for students with special needs as it allows them to address their challenges, ask questions about new concepts, and strengthen their areas of weaknesses at a pace and method that they are comfortable with.
It’s no secret that students with special needs need that extra care, support, and time to learn things. Parents can do just that and help their children learn much more quickly and easily with individualized instructions and in a setting that they find the most comfortable.
Whenever you see your child cannot follow instructions or is losing interest, you can take a pause, answer their questions, and then get back to the lessons when they are comfortable. Also, you will be able to give your child immediate feedback on their progress and education.
Students with special needs get distracted quite easily and find it challenging to stay focused on a particular task for a longer period of time. When you create a classroom set up at your home, you can keep the distractions to a bare minimum.
Choose a quiet and comfortable place with a familial setting so that your child does not typically focus on the overwhelming environment but is able to focus on the studies and the instructions that you give them.
Alternative Teaching Methods
Homeschooling gives the parents the best environment to address their children’s special needs in an innovative way. For example, if you see your child struggling with addition or multiplication, you can simply add a game to the teaching method, say ‘throwing a ball into a basket’, and then incorporate the idea of addition in a fun and playful way into your child’s mind.
If your children learn by enjoying themselves, then there is nothing like it!
Flexible Tests and Lesson Schedules
Students with special needs function at their optimum best when they are comfortable in their setting and enjoy themselves while learning. Homeschooling for families gives the parents the perfect educational opportunities, to provide this fun and comfortable setup for their children.
In traditional classrooms, there is a limitation to tests as well as there are scheduled periods where one has to learn mathematics without having any choice. But at home, you can give your child the amount of time that they require to complete the test. Or if your child is not in the mood to study mathematics, you can switch the subject to spelling and reading lessons.
Sometimes, this extra time and flexibility make a world of difference to students of special needs.
Drawbacks of Homeschooling for Children with Special Needs
Now that we have covered the advantages of homeschooling for children with special needs, there are some disadvantages too. Let’s look at a few of the drawbacks of homeschooling –
Absence of Professionals
Usually, homeschooling is done by parents but in some cases, if the conditions are severe in a child, then there comes an empirical need for specialized teachers such as reading specialists, speech therapists, or special education professionals.
Depending on where you stay, these resources could be difficult for you to obtain and in that case, the entire responsibility for your kid’s education will be on you. So, if you are considering homeschooling genuinely, we recommend you think about this aspect as well before committing to it fully.
Requires a Lot of Dedication
If you think homeschooling will give you a lot of freedom, chances are you need to schedule a lot of time for your kids if you are serious about teaching them. Otherwise, it’s better that you opt for public schools and the traditional schooling system.
Homeschooling involves a lot of special techniques, and approaches, especially if your child has some form of learning disability. In a public school however, there are usually coaches, teachers, therapists, and many other professionals who come together to provide the best education to a child.
But in homeschooling, you need to be determined and dedicated to your child for you will have to play all the roles for your child’s progress.
Lack of Daily Structure
Last but not the least, no matter how much effort and time you put into homeschooling, it will not have a dedicated and fixed structure to it. For example, someday, the study time could be in the morning, someday it will be a little late, and on other days it will be evening or late afternoons.
Also, there will be no dedicated time for playing or enjoying extracurricular activities as it will feel that they can be taken up at any time since everyone is at home. This could be troublesome for your child who will not develop an idea of routine or schedule.
There are some research papers that show autistic children perform better when in rigid routines. So, it’s better that you do your own research before you commit!
Resources for Homeschooling Children
Finding the best homeschooling resources for children is not at all a struggle since there are innumerable websites and places right at your fingertips in the online world.
Here, we are listing some helpful resources and a few online resources from where you can get practical steps & advice on homeschooling:
- The Homeschool Mom – Australia
- My Homeschool – Australia
- U.S. Department of State – Homeschooling Resources
- MentalUP – Homeschooling in the USA Resources
- ThoughtCo – Free Homeschool Resources
- Learning Liftoff – Best Homeschooling Websites and Learning Resources
Homeschool Curriculum For Homeschooling Parents
When it comes to homeschooling, there’s a broad range of methods and curricula to choose from, each with its unique approach and philosophy.
This provides ample opportunities to tailor education to the specific needs and interests of your child.
For instance, the Charlotte Mason method focuses on “living books,” nature education, and the cultivation of good habits. The Classical Education approach is based on a three-part process of training the mind: the grammar stage (focus on facts), the logic stage (focus on reasoning), and the rhetoric stage (focus on expression).
On the other hand, Unschooling is an informal learning approach that emphasizes learning as a natural part of life. There’s also the Montessori method, which fosters independence, self-direction, and a love for learning.
For children with special needs, specialized curricula such as the Wilson Reading System or TouchMath can be considered, which have been designed to address learning difficulties in reading and math, respectively.
In choosing the right method or curriculum, understanding your child’s learning style, interests, and unique abilities is crucial. Remember, the goal is to provide an enriching learning experience that encourages your child’s natural curiosity and passion for knowledge.
Especially after the pandemic of Covid-19, there has been a rapid rise in the movement of homeschooling. As the idea is spreading across the world, so is the number of resources and homeschooling program curricula.
Today, there are so many online courses and resources and approaches that you need to take your time to go through each of them. There are many different methods of homeschooling as well and based on them there are different approaches and educational philosophies surrounding those methods.
No matter which method and curriculum of homeschooling you choose, always remember that the best way to transform your child’s education is to invest in personalization and discover their intrinsic talents and interests.
If your child has some special needs, remember your goal as a parent is not to bring to them just another form of standardized education in the setting of their home or community.
If you opt for homeschooling, your only objective should be to naturally nurture the true passions of your child. The curriculum that matches your child’s unique ability, passion, and learning style is the most effective learning tool that you can give to your child as a parent.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
In the case of an autistic child, education can be meticulously tailored through various homeschool programs. These programs are not just well-suited to address the unique challenges associated with
Autism is a complex developmental disorder that affects communication, behavior, and social interaction. Many children with
In this regard, therapy and professional assistance are essential for the development and well-being of an autistic child. These services, provided by highly trained professionals, can significantly improve the quality of life for autistic children.
They offer interventions that build on the child’s strengths and interests, teach tasks as a series of simple steps, actively engage the child’s attention, and provide regular reinforcement of behavior. Even if a parent plans to homeschool their child with
Autism Speaks, a leading
Moreover, therapy can help autistic children and their families to cope with the unique challenges of this condition, reducing stress and promoting a more harmonious family environment.
For the homeschooling parent, the guidance and techniques learned from professional therapists can be seamlessly incorporated into the child’s daily routine, augmenting the home curriculum and better equipping the child for the challenges of life.
Always remember that, despite the intent of homeschooling, an autistic child can greatly benefit from a team approach that involves therapists, educators, and caregivers working together to support the child’s development.
Still, they are also specially designed to support their other learning differences and the development of social skills. The goal isn’t to “cure”
The Importance of Therapeutic Assistance in Homeschooling
While homeschooling presents an opportunity for parents to tailor education to their child’s specific needs, it’s important to recognize the potential need for professional assistance.
Children with certain special needs might benefit from interventions or tools and strategies that are beyond a parent’s expertise. This could include support from speech therapists, occupational therapists, educational psychologists, or other special education professionals.
For example, a child with a speech and language disorder might need regular sessions with a speech-language pathologist to improve communication skills, which is crucial for overall learning.
Even within a homeschooling environment, parents can seek out these professionals to support groups supplement their child’s education. This might involve hiring therapists for in-home sessions or accessing teletherapy services.
In some cases, local homeschooling cooperatives, private schools, or organizations might provide access to these resources.
However, parents should be aware that these services can sometimes be more difficult to access or may incur additional costs when homeschooling.
Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly research and plan for these potential needs when considering the homeschooling approach.
Homeschooling has its own pros and cons. It is better that you do your research well before you opt for it as it involves a lot of dedication and responsibility on your part.
Also, if you are considering homeschooling for children with special needs, then remember to invest in personalized, learning tools for them.
You can look for different resources online that offer customized homeschooling curricula according to the unique needs of your child and family.
Homeschooling can be a great experience if you are ready to take on the challenges that come with it!
All the Best!
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Special needs parenting: The pros and cons of homeschooling a child with disabilities. AngelSense. (2019, February 11). Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://www.angelsense.com/blog/special-needs-parenting-the-pros-and-cons-of-homeschooling-a-child-with-disabilities/
Editors, P. (2020, May 5). What is homeschooling? A guide for parents and students. Parents. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://www.parents.com/kids/education/home-schooling/homeschooling-101-what-is-homeschooling/
Ramsey Solutions. (2021, September 7). What is homeschooling and how does it work? Ramsey Solutions. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://www.ramseysolutions.com/financial-literacy/what-is-homeschooling