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Whether you’ve been homeschooling for years, or if you are planning to start homeschooling your middle schooler, you may be feeling a little intimidated. If your child has special needs, you might be feeling doubly intimidated. Middle school means pre-algebra, writing papers and all kinds of things teachers teach. Relax. A wealth of Special Education Homeschool Resources are out there waiting for you! Learn from “old” homeschoolers who have already been through middle school. There are ways to teach your child what they need to know, no matter what their unique learning needs may be. Use the resources below to get you started;
1. Get Involved With A Homeschool Community;
You’ll never know if you don’t ask! Middle school is a optimal time to get involved with an online and/or local homeschool community. Finding other homeschooling parents who are also teaching their child with special needs is one of the best special education homeschool resources you can find.
Middle school kids are funny, weird and challenging – often all at once. It’s nice to be able to hear that another parent’s life is as insane as your own. If you like the idea of being able to reach out to ask for help or to offer help 24/7 join a virtual community. The Well Trained Mind forums are a great place to go for answers. The site is directed at homeschoolers who take a classical approach, but all are welcome. The boards are lively and active. Additionally, the forums at LD Online, a site dedicated to teachers (yes, you are a teacher!) are active and welcoming. Finally, Org is a website for parents whose children have attention challenges. There is an active forum, frequent “live” chats via Facebook and Twitter. The site also offers recommendations on age/need appropriate apps, books, and more.
2. Understand That No One Is Perfect;
No one’s perfect. Middle school is a time to reinforce what your child knows and work on skills on which they might need additional practice. Homeschooling is not a race! You’re not behind or ahead, you’re just where you’re supposed to be at the moment. You can read about a day in the life of 100 other homeschool families here – read a few. You’ll see that there is no right or wrong way to homeschool.
3. Homeschool Curriculum Resources And Assistance;
Get some help finding what works. If buying curriculum for your child sends you into a panic, consider using the Custom Homeschooling Curriculum site to help you make choices. The site helps you discover your child’s learning style and directs you to curriculum suited for that type of learner. Another approach is to visit Curriculum Choice, a site that provides reviews of just about all Homeschool Resources out there. This site is set up as a blog so you have the option to leave a comment if you’d like to ask the author a question.
4. Partake In Homeschool Blogs;
Make some imaginary friends. Reading homeschooling blogs is one of the most efficient (and fun) ways to gain inspiration and instruction. Finding blogs written by middle school parents takes a bit of work. Start with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers if for no other reason than it’s a great name for a blog. Next you can venture over to Harrington Harmonies and meet Stephanie, who started homeschooling 15 years ago to give her son with ADHD the education she felt he deserved. Finally, at Heart of Michelle, you can learn from her experiences with dyslexia, Asperger’s and Bi-Polar disorder.
5. Bookmark All Of Your Favorite Special Education Homeschool Resources;
Bookmark. Bookmark. Homeschooling can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. Most of us prefer the inexpensive variety of homeschooling. Set up folders in your bookmarks – one for each subject, one for future use and whatever other categories make sense to you. Next to getting to know other homeschoolers, your stash of bookmarks is one of your most important special education homeschool resources. Get in the habit of using Pinterest and following links to find tips and tricks for teaching children with special needs. When you find a pin that interests you, be sure to visit the site and give it a quick once over – if you like what you see – bookmark it! Here are a few middle school sites to get you started.
- Reading – If you have a reluctant reader, it sometimes helps to use audiobooks. The first place to check, is your local library for downloads of current audiobooks. If you are interested in having your child read/listen to classic works of literature, check out Librivox. Librivox is entirely run by volunteers. They offer readings of books in the public domain (not subject to copyright law). The readers themselves are volunteers, not professionals, but many are quite good.
- History – Take a break from the books and learn history from these 42 fun YouTube lessons by the Green brothers.
- Art – Concordia University offers a complete art history course for 7-8th graders at their site. If you are looking for a video approach to art history, head back to Khan Academy to access over 500 lessson! Free!
- Math – For help/reinforcement of basic math concepts, start with Khan Academy, a free website that can take you child from the very basics through calculus. There are video and written explanations of each concept.
- Science – Make science a hands-on experience with help from Education Possible. The homeschool moms that run this site bring you great activities, free downloads and tips for teaching science to every kid.
- Language Arts – Daily Teaching Tools offers free downloads, quick explanation of grammar and writing prompts suitable for middle schoolers. Many are easily adjusted for kids who have learning challenges.
- Additional Assistance – Special Education Tutoring has increased in popularity amongst homeschooling parents in recent years. Sometimes, faster results are gained by allowing a special education expert to work with your child once or even a couple times a week. (Spoiler alert; we offer one-on-one Special Education Tutoring that’s conveniently conducted online, allowing your child to stay in the comfort of their own home).
- Tons More – With a simple google search, you will uncover thousands more Special Education Resources available to use as an aide in homeschooling. The more you become comfortable with uncovering new resources, and bookmarking the ones you love, the easier it will be when something outside the norm happens in “your classroom.”
Homeschooling middle school can be fun! You’ve now got a nice stash of special education homeschool resources to help you start designing the perfect middle school plan for your child. If you try something and it isn’t working, that’s fine. Move on to something new until you hit on the method that works best for your child and your family. Remember, there is no wrong way to homeschool.