Homeschooling poses its own special challenges for parents. And if you’re a parent to a child with special needs, you’ll face even more.
Raising one or more children who live with special conditions such as autism, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, or dietary issues requires that parents customize almost everything from bedtime to daily meals. You’ll have to make similar adjustments if you begin to homeschool your children.
Despite the challenges, special needs kids thrive in a homeschooling environment. Here’s why.
An Individualized Lesson Plan
Often, public school educators are tied to a state lesson plan or list of standards that requires them to cover certain objectives using specific resources in a set period of time. As a result, special needs kids may be either pushed along or left behind due to a lack of comprehension.
When you homeschool a child with special needs, though, you have the option to choose the curriculum, the lesson plan, and the resources that best suit your child. This makes it far easier for you to measure their progress and make changes as needed
A Flexible Schedule
All of us have our good days and our bad days. For special needs kids, the bad days can outnumber the good ones. And during those difficult periods, homeschooling allows parents to use a flexible schedule.
If your child is really struggling to understand a concept, you can simply drop it for that day (or week) and come back to it at another time. Public school students don’t generally get that kind of latitude.
Best of all, special needs kids who are homeschooled get plenty of individual time with their teachers (and even better, it’s Mom and Dad).
In public school, special needs kids are often grouped with children who are above their comprehension level. Too often, this leads to frustration when they are unable to receive additional time or help from the classroom teacher.
When you homeschool, however, you and your child can settle in for a long discussion about a story you’ve read together. You can collaborate on a history project for as many weeks as your child likes. And if your child needs help preparing for an upcoming test, you can take as many days as necessary to help him prepare.
Yes, homeschooling a child with special needs can be difficult. But the everyday challenges are worth it when kids get a chance to develop a genuine love for learning. With effort, planning, and a whole lot of patience, your special needs kids can thrive in a homeschool environment.