10 Reasons to Homeschool Your Special Needs Child
- Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Choosing to homeschool your child is a huge decision. Then add to that a child with special needs. This brings up all kinds of mixed feelings, uncertainties, and emotions. I feel we tend to sell ourselves short when it comes to our children with special needs because this is uncharted territory. However, with research, resources, and much prayer you can do it. Here are ten reasons to homeschool your special needs child.
1. No one knows and understands your child’s needs better than you do.
Who is there when your child is diagnosed with a special need? Who spends a great deal of time at doctor appointments, in therapy sessions, and by their beds when they are sick? You! As parents or guardians of children with special needs, you have been through thick and thin with your child. You know and sometimes understand a need or behavior your child might be experiencing. Your knowledge of his or her needs allows you to modify your child’s schooling based on his or her needs instead of his or her needs having to conform to someone else’s teaching method or classroom rules.
2. Homeschooling provides positive socialization opportunities.
One of the most common questions we hear as homeschoolers is “What about socialization?” Something I have learned over the years is that not all socialization is good or positive—especially for a child with special needs. Developing positive relationships with Mom and Dad is one of the best experiences a child can have in life. With homeschooling you are able to help special needs children nurture and develop positive relationships with others around them. Some of the most positive socialization comes from family and friends of all different ages who help them learn to interact with adults as well as children.
3. There are fewer distractions.
When a special needs child is trying to learn, the last thing he needs is distraction. Most have to work harder to focus on their work, so when you have their attention it is important to keep it. Having them at home gives you the opportunity to keep distractions at a minimum. If you need to take that child into a separate room during instruction time and close the door so that he or she can concentrate better, you can do that. Staggering the teaching time between your special needs child and your other children is helpful.
4. You can provide one-on-one teaching.
Many special needs children require one-on-one guidance throughout their daily lives. This holds true for their education as well. You can sit down face to face with them and take as much time as needed to explain and work through the task at hand. Giving your special needs child one-on-one attention not only can help encourage and improve your relationship, but it also can give him or her a positive school experience. Also it helps you as his or her teacher to be able to see where adjustments and improvements need to be made to personalize your child’s education.
5. It gives you the ability to focus on your child’s strengths—not weaknesses.
Children with special needs face all kinds of challenges. The last thing they need in their education is negativity. You can take the subject or work area that they are strongest in and spend as much time as is needed throughout their day working on this. This can boost their confidence, providing them with an opportunity to say, “Hey, I’m good at this!” instead of feeling frustrated while working on tasks they aren’t ready for. If they have subjects that they are not as strong in or are struggling to comprehend, you can just touch on these subjects briefly throughout the teaching time. Minimize their frustration by focusing more attention on their stronger subjects.
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