Six Steps to Take When You Realize You’re Homeschooling a Child With Special Needs

Six Steps to Take When You Realize You’re Homeschooling a Child With Special Needs

6 Steps to Take When Homeschooling Special Needs

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?

Jennifer lives in Arkansas with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys homeschooling, writing in blue ink, reading, Bible study, and drinking iced tea. You can read more about her faith, family, and homeschooling with special needs on her blog, Jennifer A. Janes.



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Spring Crafts, Don’t Quit, Special Needs and More: What’s Hot in Homeschooling This Week

Spring Crafts, Don’t Quit, Special Needs and More: What’s Hot in Homeschooling This Week

Whats Hot in Homeschooling

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.


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