You Can Homeschool Your Child with Special Needs

That moment when a parent learns that his or her child has special needs can feel like being stuck in the tracks, while an oncoming train of information is running full steam ahead. If you are that parent, a major decision that you will have to face is education. There are many options, but if you have decided to homeschool, you may be feeling apprehensive. Don’t let the lack of experience or credentials lead you to believe you’re not qualified to do this. You are a greater expert on your child than you think.

You Can Homeschool Your Child with Special Needs

Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Study Your Child

You will be a student first before becoming a teacher. By studying your child, you will have a firmer grasp on his temperament and learning style. A helpful resource is 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy [affiliate link]. This was instrumental in figuring out my kid’s learning style as well as shrinking down the mountain of available curriculum to what would best work for us.

Split Up Your Day

My child was first diagnosed with a language disorder and, later on, with auditory processing disorder. My biggest mistake when I first started homeschooling was trying get our work done as quickly as possible to avoid any resistance, like when you gulp down that nasty medicine because it’s easier than torturing your tastebuds with little sips. But it doesn’t work that way with a special needs child. Little sips of work with lots of small breaks sprinkled in between will grant you a more productive school day.
Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Spend One-on-One Time

One of the biggest reasons why you probably want to homeschool is because your child thrives on one-on-one interaction, whereas a busy classroom of 30+ kids may leave your child ignored at best. If you have more than one kid, set up rotating “stations” of independent activities, like computer games, reading, or workbooks, and make one of those stations a Mommy and Me time. That way, everyone can have one-on-one time with you.

Set Up Your Child for Success

Another mistake I’ve made was presenting lessons solely in a lecture format, containing little or no visual aids, even though my kid was a visual and kinesthetic learner. When preparing schoolwork for your child, set him up for success. Slowly challenge him in areas, where he is weak, but not to the point of frustrating him, and pair it with activities that will call on his strengths.
Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

See Each Day as a New Day

When you’re homeschooling a child with special needs, today will not look like yesterday or the day before. That science experiment may not have piqued your youngster’s interest as you thought it would. That very engaging math lesson just went over his head. An unavoidable meltdown caused you to end school early.

Though you didn’t complete anything in today’s lesson plan, the learning doesn’t have to stop. So, close those school books, just for now. Snuggle on the couch with a favorite story book or bake some cookies together. Tomorrow will be a new day.
Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Are you considering homeschooling? What are some of your concerns?

Have you homeschooled a child with special needs? What is your advice? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

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9 thoughts on “You Can Homeschool Your Child with Special Needs

  1. These are all great tips regardless of the child’s needs, for every child and every parent. It’s the reason why I homeschool. And although it may look different for every child, and it may appear to be a little slower for children with special needs, the truth is that homeschooling is probably the best option so they don’t fall behind. My daughter has to attend vision therapy every week and she would be very far behind academically in a strictly visual classroom environment of 30 kids or so. The little bits of work, and one on one time, have helped her develop her language arts and math skills above grade level even though it hurts her eyes to read.

    1. Very true. When my child was part of a public school, he had to have an IEP (Individualized Education Program). But, in reality, all my kids have an IEP … homeschooling is the best IEP out there.

  2. I was homeschooled after 2nd grade and I love seeing that homeschooling has come so far! It makes me very happy. I am so impressed with parents that choose to homeschool! 🙂

    1. There’s definitely a larger community of homeschoolers now, so it’s easier to find support! It sounds like you guys are “unofficially” homeschooling your daughter too, showing and teaching her so many things through everyday living. And she gets to see and experience things over there that I can only show my kids in pictures.

      1. We do… She is in preschool three days a week though, mostly as that is the only way she gets to play with other children here age here (almost everyone places their kids in school full time at 2!)… But we don’t send her there to learn, but to play, which I guess at this age is the same thing 🙂

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