Whether you are already homeschooling your special needs child or you are contemplating making a change we have some ideas for you. Homeschooling is hard work and often trying even though it is an amazing journey. With special needs students you may have more hard work than normal ahead of you. You may feel completely overwhelmed on some days and you should know that it’s normal and it will be worth it. Here we will give you a few tips that we have learned through research that may help you on your journey.
- Be flexible – there will be days (how many depends on what type of needs your child has) that you will not get a lot done or that will be more challenging than normal. However, you need to be flexible because there will always be things you can’t control. Realizing and accepting that you are not always in control can be a great relief to you. It is important to do what you can but to roll with the punches.
- Take a break – it’s important to try to prevent getting frustrated but when you do there are things you can do to help yourself. Be sure to exercise daily, take time off, get out of the house, laugh every day and more often, join a homeschool support group, be structured but not rigid and have understanding for yourself and your child.
- Remember that homeschooling is not always schooling at home. There are parents all over that try to take a special needs student out of the public school environment and then they bring them home and try to duplicate what was happening. If they weren’t doing well in that form of structure and instruction at the school house what makes you think it will be different at home? While it may work for some you should keep your end goal in mind. If that goal is to have a successful child who loves to learn and gets what they need, what does it matter how they get there. Just remember that it is not one size fits all. Your child is unique as is their special need. You are also unique and need to have a teaching style that works for you both.
- Homeschool curriculum – if you can’t find a curriculum (boxed curriculum) or homeschool method that works for you try building your own. While you will find that this takes a ton of time and energy you will be impressed with how well you know your child and their learning style. You are the expert on your child so building a curriculum for them is not as overwhelming as you may think.