Homeschooling Special Needs
Many parents choose to homeschool because their child has special needs that they do not feel are adequately being met in a traditional school setting. Homeschooling special needs children can be the best setting for the student. But it is important to make sure other needed support services such as occupational therapy or speech and language therapy are able to be provided alternatively so these needs don’t go unserved.
The parent can tailor the learning specifically to the needs of each child
Whether homeschooling special needs students who have official diagnoses or just students who are outside-the-box in their learning style, it is important to not just try to recreate school at home. And most struggling learners don’t do well with a pre-packaged curriculum that comes in a box targeting their theoretical grade level. Most students, whether or not they have special needs, have a wide range of skill levels within themselves.
That is why we take the approach at Wings to Soar Online Academy to create a Path to Success™ Personalized Learning Plan for each student starting with our Just-Right Level™ Assessments. This allows us to start each student at their own Just-Right Level in each skill strand based on the results of the placement assessments.
It is critical to remember, no matter what curriculum you choose, that you are teaching a child, not a curriculum. Allow the curriculum to be your servant and guide, not your taskmaster. Go as slow as they need, but as fast as they are ready moment-by-moment.
One huge advantage you have in homeschooling special needs students, or any student for that matter, is that the parent can provide much more individualized attention than any teacher will have time for. And who cares more about your child than you, their parent.
Don’t try homeschooling special needs kids alone though
At the very least you need a supportive friend. But also join support groups on Facebook and local homeschool support groups can be helpful as well. Be sure to keep your child’s pediatrician and any specialists working with your child as active members of the team. Wings to Soar Online Academy would also love to be part of your team as partners in your student’s success. It takes a village to raise a child and you certainly should surround yourself with a support team if you are planning on homeschooling special needs kids.
If you’d like help figuring out which direction to choose for your child, I encourage you to start with our free Just-Right Level™ Assessments. If you are considering homeschool special needs kids who have formal assessment information that you would like to share with us, we would welcome the opportunity to make use of that information as we make our recommendations. But we welcome families who have not chosen to pursue an official diagnosis as well. Then our Intervention Specialist would love to meet with you to provide a Path to Success™ Curriculum Consultation to create a personalized plan that’s right for your child and your particular situation.