The decision to homeschool a child on the autism spectrum is often made after unpleasant, unproductive experiences with traditional schools. Once you’ve made your decision, however, you’ll quickly find that homeschooling is as much fun as it is challenging. While taking some time to allow your child to “unschool” (usually a month for each year in a school), you’ll have time to build up your Special Education Homeschool Resources that are specific to your child’s needs. Resources abound in real life and online it’s just a matter of finding which ones are the best fit for your child and your family. Use the resources listed below to get started. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on a blog you like or to join an online forum. You’ll quickly learn that there are plenty of generous people who will be happy to share their experiences with you.
1. Special Education Homeschool Resources For Meeting OTHER Parents;
The best thing you can do for yourself and your child is to build up a network of parents who are also homeschooling. Don’t focus solely on other parents with children on the spectrum, or on other parents whose children’s ages match up with yours. You can learn a lot from parents with older children, with or without special needs.
- State homeschooling associations are a great place to start to find local homeschool groups. Also, if possible, try to attend your state’s annual homeschool convention. Homeschool conventions allow you to meet homeschoolers from around your state. You can attend workshops covering just about any topic that interests you. And, for many homeschoolers, the best part is being able to browse the vendor’s booth and get a look at curriculum up close and personal. Often the booths are hosted by the creator of the curriculum so you get a chance to pick their brains as well.
- Can’t find a group you like or in your area? Start your own! It only takes one or two other families to get going. The beauty of starting your own group is you get to make the rules. You can make it a parent-only support group or a co-op where parents share teaching duties or a group that meets for park days and field trips. It’s all up to you.
- Make “imaginary” friends! Don’t overlook the many avenues of support open to you online. There are forums, blogs and email lists you can join and get support and answers to your questions 24//7. If there were a ranking system for Homeschool Resources, virtual friends rank toward the top!
- Another way to connect with others is to go ahead and start your own blog. It can be free and it’s easy to get started. Try Blogger or WordPress. If you start a blog, do it for fun. It’s a great way to keep memories and pictures. Share the blog on other sites, encourage readers to comment. If you see a great blog post somewhere else, link to it (with permission) from your site – it’s a great way to increase your visitors and to develop bonds with other bloggers. You don’t have to be fancy to have a blog people want to visit.
2. Special Education Homeschool Resources For Autism
Homeschooling involves trial and error with every kid. Some materials work great. Others make everyone cry. But, that’s the beauty of the homeschooling journey. You can always change your route. If, on your internet travels, you see something of interest, make a file and bookmark it. As that file grows, break it into sub files. You’ll find yourself saving some things as possibilities for the future and other things as potential Plan B, C, and D. It’s nice to have these special education homeschool resources for autism and for general homeschooling when you hit a road block. You have quick access to alternatives and won’t waste time searching.
- The Friendship Circle is a non-profit website dedicated to helping children with special needs and their families. The entire site is tremendously useful. This page has organized over a thousand apps and categorized them for you. You’ll come back here again and again.
- At Meet Penny, you’ll – wait for it – meet Penny, mother of a daughter on the spectrum. Her site is another one full of great links, advice and fun stuff too. This page has links to a variety of therapy sites with tips on things you can do at home with your child. Be sure to browse through the entire site after you’ve bookmarked the page.
- Pinterest is about more than “up-cycled” stuff, burlap, and pictures of people’s tattoos. Here is a sample search but, do you own. There are thousands of tips on homeschooling and autism. Don’t limit yourself to using homeschooling in your search though. There are several teachers who provide really creative ideas as well.
- Teaching life and safety skills is of paramount concern when raising a child on the spectrum. Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) has a comprehensive article to get you started on how to best set goals and how to best go about accomplishing them. Hot Ideas offers a variety of items to help you teach your child various tasks – try out their free sample offer.
- Different Roads is an online Special Education Resource dedicated to autism. From full curriculum to toys to ingenious shirts, this site is worth a visit.
- Special Education Tutoring has seen a massive increase in popularity with the dawn of the technology age. Often, children on the spectrum struggle with change and are most comfortable in their own environment (home). Special education tutoring can be done online using video chat, which has proven to work wonders, especially in children with autism. No need to allow a stranger into the home, or meet someone new (only virtually).
The special education homeschool resources for autism in this article will get you started on your homeschool journey. It will be a challenge and it will be fun! Sometimes all in one morning. Don’t isolate yourself and don’t fall into the trap of thinking you must be doing something wrong. There is no such thing as a perfect homeschool. Remind yourself (write it down and tape it to the fridge if you must) daily that no one wants your child to succeed more than you do. Give yourself time to find a rhythm for this new life and you’ll be fine!