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If you’ve decided to homeschool your child with special needs through high school, you are faced with three challenges;
- You have to help your child, no matter what their special needs are, learn to function as an independent adult.
- You have to help your child reach their full academic potential.
- You have to maintain your sanity while managing one and two with a child who is not only dealing with their learning challenges, but combating the hazards of hormones, mood swings, and a fierce desire to control their own destiny.
No problem. Okay, that’s not entirely true, you will face problems. But you will overcome them! On the educational front, it’s largely a matter of lining up the right Special Education Homeschool Resources before you start high school (or as soon as you read this article).
1. High School Counts;
Up until now, as long as you could document your year’s work (in most states, some states do not even require that) you were good. High school is a little different. If your child wants to attend college, everything they do from ninth grade forward needs to be documented. It’s not rocket surgery – it just takes a little forethought to get yourself organized.
- All you need are a plastic milk crate and a few hanging folders to get started.
- Check your state’s high school requirements as well as the requirements of a few potential universities.
- If college isn’t the path for your child, look into technical schools and/or entrepreneurial classes to help them get prepared. You’re Certifiable is a nice resource to start with. Get your teen to read through it and mark what is of interest.
2. Be Realistic;
You alone best know what your child is capable of achieving. You also know how long that might take. If you have a child on the spectrum, please read this article. It is Christian in nature, but Mrs. Hensley gives some great advice and some ideas on how to proceed through these years.
3. You Are Not Alone;
There are millions of homeschooling parents out there right this very minute figuring out how best to homeschool their child with special needs through high school. These parents and teachers – the ones who take the time to blog, start non-profits and be vocal – are offering you special education homeschool resources for high school that are priceless. Learn from their experiences. Take the time to click through on links if you find a blog or website you like. Odds are they are going to link you to something equally useful.
4. Is It High School Without A Prom?
It had to be said. People who are not “up” on homeschooling inevitably ask this question when they learn you’re planning to homeschool through high school. Smile. Say (in a friendly way) that you think your child will manage just fine. And change the subject.
5. Why, No, You Do NOT Have To Relearn Geometry Or Any Other Subject;
As your child’s interest become more focused through high school, even if they have learning challenges, you will find that they are interested in things you know nothing about. High school is a great time to take advantage of Special Education Tutoring and/or a dual enrollment program at your local community college.
6. Homeschooling A Child With Special Needs Requires Creativity;
Whether you are just starting your homeschooling journey or are a veteran, it can be helpful to create an IEP or SEP for your child with special needs. Not only does doing this give you an outline to follow, it lets any evaluators or state officials know that you are serious about what you’re doing. Look into your state’s laws and talk with medical professionals as you do this. Depending on your state, you may qualify for IDEA funds for therapy and other forms Special Education Resources.
7. Homeschooling Is Not About Operating A Vacuum;
Your teen is going to want to interact with other kids. In today’s world, that means smart phones, social media and all the rest. Common Sense Media gives you a good start on knowing what apps are a good fit for your child. Teach Thought offers a thoughtful list of free and paid apps that are age and ability appropriate as well.
8. Special Education Homeschool Resources To Enter College;
If college is in your student’s future, take a look at College Confidential. At this site you can get a good feel for what’s expected of students as they are applying for college. If you have a child who is gifted academically in one or more areas or a child who is an outstanding athlete, this is a valuable resource. Another thing to consider when you’re child is reaching graduation age, is finding transitional services available to them.
9. Is Helping Your Child Considered Cheating?
The Home School Legal Defense Association clarifies muddy water on this subject. This is especially important as your high schooler treads into the depths of SAT’s, ACT’s and PSAT’s. Learn what you can do to help your child perform at their highest level.
10. Take Advantage Of The Special Education Homeschool Resources Around You;
Find out if your state has a virtual school. (To give you an idea, here is a link to the Florida Virtual School) They are becoming increasingly common. A state virtual school is kind of like hosting a public school class in your kitchen. However, for children with special needs, the virtual school must allow the same accommodations as are made in a public school classroom. Your child will have a teacher who is always available to you and to your child. The teacher can adjust the course in a manner that enables your child to learn the material. Even if you are not a fan of your local school system, the virtual school is an option worth checking out. States are eager for these programs to take off because they save the state money. The teachers are happy to be working from home and are usually enthusiastic about helping your child succeed.