For many parents of children with special needs, the decision to homeschool comes in elementary school. Despite their best efforts, most public schools cannot offer children with autism, dyslexia and other learning disabilities a true personalized program. For parents trying to work with their local schools, it can become an exhausting battle. It is estimated that, in 2014, there were over 2 million homeschooling families. The US Department of Education’s last study (2007) showed that 4% of homeschooling families listed meeting their child’s special needs at the top of their list of reasons for homeschooling. If you have resolved to bring your child home for school, rest assured, you’re not alone. The availability of Special Education Homeschool Resources grows every day. You can take advantage of the experiences of families who have gone before you to give your child the best education possible.
It’s frustrating for you and for your child when they struggle to learn. Even if you have had your child tested and evaluated and are fairly certain you know what you are dealing with, it can feel as though you are floating on an island. The reality is that there IS help. Start now by lining up your special education homeschool resources as well as your general Homeschool Resources. Before you pull your child out of school, particularly if they have an IEP, set up a meeting with the appropriate counselors or administrators. Inquire about the services provided by the school that you child may still be entitled to even if they are homeschooled. Get any answers in writing. If you are firmly committed to giving homeschool a try, do not allow yourself to be intimidated by school officials (no matter what their title is). You are free to homeschool in all 50 states. If you feel as if you’re in over your head, contact the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for guidance and help if you need it.
1. Special Education Homeschool Resources – Basics;
Whether your child has special needs or not, homeschooling is all about creating a program tailored to meeting their individual learning style. As you start this journey, it’s nice to have a few “real” books on hand to use for advice and, when needed comfort. Most of these books are available in larger local libraries. If your library does not have one or more of these books, put in a request – you aren’t the only parent looking for them!
- Homeschooling for the Smart, Energetic and Easily Bored by Carolyn Woods is an excellent starting point for many parents. She addresses attention disorders, gifted children and ways to eliminate busy work from your already busy days. Short, to-the-point and full of useful links, it’s well worth the Kindle investment.
- Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner by Kathryn Kuhl is as inspiring as it is informative. Herself a reluctant homeschooler, Ms. Kuhl homeschooled her son from 4th through 12th She followed up by interviewing no less that 64 other homeschooling families to find out what worked for them. It’s all in here.
- The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling by Barbara Frank is the best introduction to homeschooling from a mom who has lived it. Mother of four now-adult children who never attended school, Barbara Frank gives you the true story – good, bad and ugly. One of her children has Down’s Syndrome and she talks about ways to adjust curriculum to fit special needs. She also discusses ways to get and stay organized.
2. What Special Education Homeschool Resources Work Best?
Let’s talk about Pinterest, shall we? As far as special education homeschool resources go, Pinterest is at the top! While you may not be busy photographing every minute of your life and writing about it online, others are. And those others include generous, talented moms (often former teachers) who are homeschooling their own kids with special needs. If you do not have a Pinterest account and you intend to homeschool, you need to go make one now. The rest of us will wait while you do. See? Wasn’t that easy? Here are three examples of Pinterest searches that yield an astounding amount of results. Pay attention and you will quickly learn to sort paid Pinterest content from helpful, homeschool mom content. Play around with mixes of words to get the best results.
- elementary+homeschool+dyslexia Immediately you have at least 15 resources that are worth your time.
- homeschool+asperger Again, there are some hits that won’t apply, but there are several that will lead you to even more resources.
- homeschool+attention+disorders yields you pages of ideas, tips and lesson plans.
3. Additional Homeschool Resources For Special Education;
Just like that you have joined the two million plus families currently homeschooling in the United States! Homeschooling, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, works! It works well. Below are some additional special education homeschool resources to add to your ever-growing bookmark folders.
- CurrClick – Yes, this site is a store, but there are tons of freebies – classes, clubs and curriculum and there are also curriculum reviews to help you make choices that best suit your needs.
- Our Crazy Adventures in Autism Land is a fun, frank, fresh blog about a self-described “sweet tea drinking, Jesus loving, transplanted New Hampshire girl living in the south.”
- Unschool Rules – read about Sarah, a teenager with Apserger’s, and her family and their lives – learning as they live rather than following a set curriculum or schedule. It’s a fun family and a good peek into an unschooling kind of life.
- Additional Help – Many parents who are homeschooling their child with special needs, have turned to Special Education Tutoring as a way of seeking professional assistance on THEIR schedule, not the schools. Meeting with a special education tutor once or twice a week can help increase results at a much faster pace.
Trust yourself. You know your child and their needs better than anyone, no matter what their title or degree happens to be. If you think homeschooling might be the right fit for you and your family, elementary school is the perfect time to give it a try. Build up your list of Special Education Resources – be sure to save stuff that seems interesting even if you think you’d never do it that way. You’ll be surprised 6 months to a year from now what you might want to rethink. Most of all, have fun!