Many experts agree that homeschooling is the best and most comfortable option for disabled children, as long as there is strong parental support and an educational, nurturing atmosphere at home. However, if you’re thinking of homeschooling your child, it’s important to understand what’s needed in order for bot you and your child to be successful.
State Curriculum and Laws
Each state has different laws required of home-schooled children, so it’s important to double check the standards of your state for the rules and regulations. For example, some states require parental notification that their child will begin homeschooling and other states not only require parental notification, but also test score and teacher qualification submissions.
Parents Make the Best Teachers
In most instances, parents understand their child’s needs better than anyone else. Since homeschooling requires so much patience and committed love and sacrifice, parents generally make the best homeschooling teachers for learning disabled children. No one is going to love your child more than you do, and no one is going to look out for his or her education more than you will.
In many cases, at least one parent has to leave work or reduce work hours in order to homeschool, which of course, may take a toll on finances. Fortunately, there are government programs that can help you and your family, such as the Another way to ensure funding is to list homeschooling/not working in the Life Care Plan to ensure that the parties responsible can pay for the extra care of your child. No matter how you work it out in your schedule, your child will learn better from an instructor that loves him or her unconditionally –and that’s you.
The Home is the Best Classroom
When special needs children are mainstreamed in public or private education, they have a number of additional factors that interfere with their learning. Sometimes the set up of the classroom or the school isn’t accommodating to the student’s needs. Most states have Individualized Education Plans (IEP) for special needs children, but often, there are too many variable factors, and special needs children may not get the kind of one-on-one education that a home environment can provide.
Sometimes the student experiences bullying or discrimination, which the teachers and special needs counselors try to prevent –though it still happens. In other instances, a student’s disability includes poor or awkward social skills and the student may get so worked up by social interaction that he or she may be distracted from education. None of these usually apply at home, and if you are in a homeschooling group that meets to socialize children, you can at least monitor these potential factors in an environment that the child is comfortable and familiar with.
Get Help if You Need It
It is a tremendous responsibility to put the care of someone’s education in your own hands. Sometimes following a curriculum isn’t enough: you might need additional help. If you need help, there are options. It may be beneficial to connect with other homeschooling moms with special needs children to see what works for them.
Another resource to consider is hiring a special needs tutor. Special needs tutors are experienced in working with children with disabilities and can offer you and your child additional assistance with homework help, learning styles, and much more.
Additionally, today’s technology provides a wonderful way for parents to help special needs children. There are a plethora of apps, websites, tablets, and learning software that’s catered toward special needs learning.