I’m thrilled to introduce you to my new friend, Jennifer Janes. She offers a perspective on an important homeschooling issue that I am often asked about. If you enjoy her guest post (and I know you will!), I hope you will visit her blog.
Some parents know they’re starting the homeschooling journey with a child with special needs. They can prepare themselves for the journey ahead. But what about those who think everything is fine, then find out otherwise?
I knew my daughter had special needs early on. What I didn’t realize as we started her kindergarten year is that she has learning disabilities too, making her special needs even more challenging. It took me until October, when we were on our fourth reading curriculum, to admit that there was a problem. This smart, bubbly little girl was really struggling with academics. I wasn’t prepared for that. I started to panic.
If you find yourself in the same situation I did, there’s hope.
When you realize you’re homeschooling a child with special needs, there are things you can do to take control of the situation.
- Take some deep breaths. The situation isn’t as hopeless as it seems. There are a lot of families homeschooling a child with special needs successfully. You can do it too.
- Figure out the problem. You have to know what you’re dealing with before you can create a plan. Whether it’s ordering some books from Amazon or seeking a professional evaluation, you need to take steps to identify your child’s specific challenge.
- Gather resources. If you haven’t already joined HSLDA, I highly recommend that you do. The legal representatives can help you with the legalities of homeschooling in your state, connect you with special needs consultants who can guide you through finding a curriculum to use with your child, and provide you with regular newsletters to address different aspects of special needs homeschooling.
- Find your tribe. There are other families out there who are on a similar path. It helps if you can find some to collaborate with. They can share their research into different resources and teaching strategies and may even have some items you can borrow (to see if they work for your child) before you invest in them. If you don’t know anyone in your community, there are groups for special needs homeschooling online on various forums and social media sites.
- Be willing to try something different. Your child may not (probably doesn’t) learn with the same learning style that’s comfortable for you. Learn about different teaching methods and use them with your child until you find what works best.
- Relax. Your child will learn, and you will navigate through the issues that seem so daunting now. Give your child permission to learn at a comfortable pace and learn to mark progress, not completion of curriculum at a certain grade-level.
What are your best tips for navigating those first days of homeschooling a child with special needs?
Will spring EVER arrive? Maybe doing some of the crafts I’m featuring this week will help us wait patiently. Many thanks to the bloggers who linked up this week. If you aren’t a blogger and find a must-read article or resource, please share in the comments. This time of year, we can use all the sanity we can get!
25 Reasons not to Quit Homeschooling
I’ve been talking to lots of discouraged moms and homeschoolers. If that’s you, pray for warm weather and read this article from The Old Schoolhouse.
Homeschooling a Special Needs Child
Jennifer Janes has created a reassuring guide to teaching a special needs child at home. She’s really nice, so be sure to ask any questions you have in the comments.
Schooling in the Kitchen
What can you count as school in the kitchen? Sarah Avila has so many ideas, you may find yourself in the kitchen all day!
Easter Cookie Chicks
Speaking of the kitchen, try making these adorable and seemingly easy-to-make chicks using Nutter Butter cookies. Thanks to Ashley of Life with Moore Babies for the idea.
Tips on Learning a Foreign Language from a Ukranian Missionary
While making your cookies, you can practice your foreign language skills. Caleb Suko has great ideas for making a new language stick.
Find a Rainbow in a Catalog
Before you leave the kitchen, grab a seed catalog or two and do this simple craft that will put some spring in your house. Thanks to Teacher@Home for linking up this great idea.
Linked to Our Simple Farm, Crystal & Co
Now it’s your turn! What’s hot in your homeschooling this week?
Please link back to this post or grab my button from my right footer and visit the person who linked before you.
Here’s what’s hot in homeschooling this week–at least according to me. And since it’s my blog I get the only vote. Love that!
But if you have something to add, I’d love to check it out. Share in the comments or contact me for inclusion in next week’s issue. Click on the orange links to read the articles and have a great homeschooling week!
8 Tasks for Now Before Sending Your Kid to College Later
I can’t believe I have a child who will be applying for college next year! You always hear that the time flies, but it really does. Belinda at The Blessed Heritage has some great ideas for what we can be doing well before the college admission process.
Finishes College in Less Than a Year
Speaking of college, this young man is an inspiration! It really is possible to complete a college degree in less than four years for not as much money. I tried to convince my oldest to go this route, but I think I overdid it with the homeschooling and he’ll be a student for life.
Reward Punch Cards for Kids
You know those reward punch cards you used to get at restaurants (you know, before the iPhone)? Joyce and Jeannine at Waddlee-ah-chaa have the great idea to use them as chore rewards. And they’re offering a free printable! (Many of you are clicking over right now; just make sure you come back!)
Homeschool Blogging is a Family Affair
Blogging is very popular among homeschoolers whether as a business, a writing platform, or a way to share homeschool adventures with family and friends. Jennifer Janes shares how to keep your family involved in what seems like a solitary pursuit.
Unusual Arts & Crafts
Chris of Campfires & Cleats made me smile by writing about making gingerbread houses in February. Why hadn’t I thought of that? We’re not bound by school schedules; we shouldn’t be bound by holiday craft schedules either. I also appreciated her link on finger knitting. I think this may be the only kind of knitting I’m suited for.
Using Pinterest as your only Curriculum
Do you love Pinterest like I do? I hope you’ll follow me if you haven’t already and I’ll return the favor. Following in His Footsteps shares her ideas for using Pinterest as her only curriculum. I have no doubt that with time, that will become even easier to do.