Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homeschooling: What We Wish You Knew (Part 7)

I talked a little bit about tailoring your child's education to their particular learning style, but what if your child has special needs?

I am not talking about if your child simply has trouble with a particular subject. Every child has their own set of strengths and weaknesses academically. It is the rare child that will sail through until graduation without any problems.

I am talking about special needs such as Autism, ADD/ADHD, Sensory Disorders, Dyslexia, and chronic health issues, just to name a few. How can you homeschool then? Is it even possible?

To find out the answer to this question, I did a lot of research, but I also asked some of my homeschool friends who are doing this very thing: homeschooling their child who has special needs.

Is it easy? No. Is it possible? We wish you knew that, YES! It is!

First of all, what if your child has a chronic illness? What are the benefits of homeschooling them? For starters, because they are doing school at home, they will not have to miss the large amounts of school that would be required if they had to attend public school.

One of my friend's has a son with a chronic illness. He is often sick, and has to travel to get treatments. He has benefited from homeschooling by being able to do his school work when he is feeling good, and getting the extra rest that he needs when he is not, by being at home. His exposure to outside germs is limited, but he is still able to interact with other children when he is well. They can "do school" in the car, the hospital, or the hotel where they are staying while he is getting treatments. He is not required to "make up" missed work, or be held back a grade because he has missed too many days. It is a win/win situation.

If your child has a disorder that makes it difficult for them to speak, there are special programs you can use to help them speak better. One of these is called "Small Talk." You can check out a review of it here.

What about Autism? Depending on where your child is on the "spectrum", they can be bothered by many different things. By homeschooling, you are able to do things like control the amount of light, sounds, the environment, routines, food, therapy, their schedule, and any other thing that might interfere with your child learning. Your child will have one-on-one attention, and a specialized education that is designed to meet their individual needs. The same could be said for children who suffer from ADD or ADHD.

What if your child has dyslexia? How do you KNOW if your child has dyslexia? You can go here for more info, and some signs to watch for. If you look around this site, you will find many helpful resources on dyslexia and other special needs. You will also see a list of famous people who had/have dyslexia.

There is curriculum that is designed to help you successfully teach your child with dyslexia. It is NOT hopeless!

Do you still have doubts about homeschooling a child with special needs? Go here to learn more about how this is possible. You'll be glad you did! You will be able to see checklists, read about different resources available to you, and learn what the laws are for homeschooling in your state.

*Just so you know, your child is still eligible for special services from the state, through the school system, even if they don't attend a public school. The amount of services can vary from state to state.

Homeschooling your child can open many doors, that normally, would be closed. What are some of those doors? You'll just have to come back and see....

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