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If you are planning to homeschool your child with special needs instead of sending them to a traditional preschool, congratulations! Really. Pat yourself on the back for making a great decision. Homeschooling 3-6 year-olds involves little more than you are probably already doing.
Kids this age learn best by playing and experiencing things. You are both going to have a lot of fun. Additionally, this is a great way to give homeschooling a trial run without being required to fulfill any state requirements. You’ll have a chance to build up a vast trove of Special Education Homeschool Resources including: real life homeschooling groups, blogs and other Special Education Resources to keep you up-to-date and encouraged and, of course, a nice stack of books. The intent of this article is to help you get off to a great start in building up your special education homeschool resources.
1. Homeschooling Your Pre K Child Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult;
Come on in, the water’s fine. Homeschooling can sound intimidating. The great thing about bringing preschool home, is you don’t have to make a big announcement that you’re homeschooling. If someone asks simply say, “Oh, we’re just working on that stuff at home,” and let it drop. (Obviously, if you want to make an announcement, that’s fine too!) There is no right place to start, so just get going. You may know your child is going to face learning challenges already. You just suspect this to be the case. Or, you just landed on this article because you’re interested in homeschooling. It’s all fine. The ability to tailor learning experiences to your child’s needs and abilities is the single best thing about homeschooling.
- Small Steps Forward: Using Games and Activities to Help Your Preschool Child With Special Needs by Sarah Newman is a great starting point if you’re just getting started or even if you’re still just thinking about homeschooling preschool. Written by the mother of an son with Autism, the advice here is practical and useful with any young child who has learning challenges.
- Sometimes, it’s nice to hear from someone who is right there in the trenches with you. Meet Tammy and her lovely daughter, Beth at Fumbling Thru Autism. Tammy shares her triumphs and her frustrations on her blog. She shares what has worked as well as what hasn’t.
- Homeschool Creations is a site full of inspiration, advice and free downloads. There is a special focus on pre-k and kindergarten here. Additionally, this site hosts a weekly Pre-K Community blog hop. Check in once a week to find ever more blogs with all things preschool as their focus!
2. Special Education Homeschool Resources For Pre K;
How exactly do I do this? There is no “correct” way to homeschool. Period. What works for the family in the next neighborhood might be a complete disaster in your house and vice versa. This is even more true for preschool. Throw out a timetable or pressure on yourself to keep up with the local preschool. Instead, use this time to figure out which learning strategies work best for you and your child. Work at a pace that suits you both and remember, it’s not a race! The special education homeschool resources listed below will help you find information specific to your child’s challenges.
- Ned Hallowell is a leading expert on attention disorders. Check out his website and book list for straightforward, helpful insight and advice.
- If you are seeking an online source for Asperger, Autism or other spectrum disorder, [email protected] is a great place to start. You’ll find articles, forums where you can ask questions and links to additional special education homeschool resources.
- John Ratey, MD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His specific area of expertise is the connection between the brain and exercise. Dr. Ratey has co-written several books with Dr. Hallowell (see #1).
- Thomas Armstrong, PhD believes that every child is capable of remarkable things. His website, Institute4Learning, focuses on his work on: neurodiversity, multiple intelligences, miseducation in America, stages of life and non-drug treatments for attention disorders. The site itself has great information as well as a wealth of links for you to follow.
- Visit Confessions of a Homeschooler to get an idea of how preschool works in one family’s homeschool. While this mom does not have kids with special needs, much of the curriculum that she uses is friendly to kids with special needs. Check out this post for additional links and information.
- Many parents are turning to additional guidance and assistance through Special Education Tutoring. Working one-on-one with a special education expert at a young age, can greatly increase the likelihood of a child with special needs staying at grade level or even racing past their peers!
3. Organization Tips For Homeschooling;
It’s never too late to get organized. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to homeschool. But, getting some kind of system in place will remove immense stress from your life and free up your valuable time. Let’s start with your electronics. Create a system of bookmarking the special education homeschool resources you find in your internet travels. You will constantly come across things you want to use in the future or that you think might be helpful two months from now. It’s not enough to bookmark them. Put them in a folder where you will know why you saved it! Start with your already saved bookmarks and then keep going! Vow to spend 10 minutes a day doing this until your folders (at least your initial ones) are set up.
- Learn to use Pinterest. Again, set up folders. Spend an evening or two on Pinterest looking up things like “gardening with preschoolers.” You will find more information from people who have not only done it but have thoroughly documented how they did it! If you are looking for ideas on how to teach a skill, use the Pinterest search for “preschooler+tying shoes.” Voila!
- Because so much of preschool is about hands-on activities, find some place in your house where you can keep a area specifically for interesting boxes, containers, empty paper towel rolls and other recyclables that are great for crafts, counting manipulatives and for making things like sturdy flash cards.
- Finally, NOW is the time to teach your children the sane-homeschool-mom rule: A place for everything and everything in its place. Begin to store things and have storage spaces kids can get to easily to get and put things away on their own. Look what Pinterest has to say on the subject.
Homeschooling preschool should and can be a fun experience for you and your child. Start with these special education homeschool resources and build your own cache of information. You’re going to have great days and there will be a few bumpy ones as well. Ask for help/support when you need it – before you get too overwhelmed. Being a homeschooler does not mean that you have to do everything on your own. Join a homeschool group. Seek the help of outside specialists when you’re stumped. For as long as you choose to homeschool, you’ll find that you are always refining things, looking for something a little different, a little better. That’s okay. In fact, that’s what makes you your child’s best teacher.