Tips for Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

If you are homeschooling a special needs child, you may feel like you are in a league of your own.  After all, it’s possible that many of the fun homeschooling ideas and curriculum circling both the web and homeschooling groups may not quite work for your child with special needs.  You know your child best, but even with that, many parents of these differently-abled children find themselves struggling. Sometimes, it perhaps feels like other parents of special needs kids don’t even experience the same rough patches.  This is a result of individuality, however, it can leave special needs parents feeling disconnected or floundering.

Thankfully, there’s good news.  Homeschooling is an excellent choice for many children with special needs.  After all, the flexible, personalized education can provide the exact structure they need, ebb and flow as necessary, and their education can be tailored specifically to their strengths and weaknesses.

5 Tips for Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Homeschooling is often a very helpful medium for special education.  Whether your child is autistic, dyslexic, or perhaps has an autoimmune disease, a personalized education at home can help them flourish in ways they hadn’t previously.  Thankfully, we have heard from several wonderful homeschooling parents who have discovered the joy of homeschooling their children with special needs and shared their insights with us.  It’s no secret that a child with unique needs creates certain challenges, but they also bring their own special joy and many parents have told what a privilege it is to watch their special needs children blossom with homeschooling.

We’ve looked through many heartwarming testimonials from homeschooling parents themselves, and collected these top five tips to keep in mind when homeschooling a special needs child.

  • Choose a student-led curriculum. When a curriculum is student-paced, it relieves the pressure of keeping up with deadlines while avoiding demanding reminders.  Student-led programs or courses are a great option for many children with extra needs due to increased flexibility. These styles of courses are far less stressful and help you celebrate the accomplishments!  Further, student-led curricula help with tailoring the coursework to your child. Remember, we want the curriculum to work for us, not the other way around.
  • Provide hands-on learning opportunities through exploration and discovery. Many special needs children, such as those with Prader-Willi syndrome, may find it more helpful to learn through hands-on exploration.  With special education, try to provide learning moments for your child to learn through their own discovery.
  • Take it slow with new programs or courses. Provide a safe learning environment for introducing these.  Sudden changes can be stressful for anyone, and the same goes for children with extra needs.  Many special needs children need time to adjust and welcome these changes, regardless of how small they may seem to the parents.
  • Create a {Flexible} Routine. Routines can be a saving grace for families with special needs children.  Aim to create a structure to your day, to help work through certain lessons or topics.  A flexible schedule not only helps you stay on track (or even recover from rough spots), but it also gives your child an idea of what to expect during the day.  Routines and basic schedules can be a great tool for any child.
  • Join Support Groups. Every parent benefits from a support group, and special needs parents even more so.  While many parents experience plenty of struggles and setbacks, the day-to-day life can look drastically different for parents with special needs children.  Connecting with a support group can provide resources, ideas, friends, social opportunities, and a shoulder to lean on.

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Encouraging Articles for Parents with Special Needs Children

We all need encouragement from time to time.  Homeschooling these unique and spectacular children with extra needs brings great joy, but it can also be wonderful to hear some encouragement.  We’ve found five heartwarming and helpful articles for inspiration, fresh ideas, and practical resources. Homeschooling any child isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s absolutely rewarding!