Homeschooling Special Needs Children

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,148
    Homeschool expert Leslie Nathaniel discusses homeschooling for special needs children.

    Celeste Land: Hi! I am Celeste Land with the organization of Virginia Homeschoolers and I am showing you how to begin homeschooling your child. Right now, we are going to take a look at homeschooling special needs children. Many parents have found homeschooling to be a terrific option for their special needs child. Homeschooling allows these children to learn and grow at their own pace, while developing their academic and social skills at a less stressful environment. Many special needs children have thrived under the individualized instruction and one-to-one attention that homeschooling can provide. Homeschooling can also give your child the opportunity to learn life skills in real life settings and to develop interests and activities which play to his strengths, boosting a self-esteem and enabling him to function better in society.

    Parents often find that homeschooling strengthens family bonds and brings them closer to the special needs child. Some parents even report that their child learning disability symptoms diminished or vanished completely while homeschooling. Of course, there are no guarantees that that will happen.

    The laws for withdrawing a child and homeschooling a special needs child are usually the same as for any other child. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, you may not need to continue using it in your State. Check with your State Homeschool Organization or your local homeschool support group to learn more about the laws for your state and how they may apply to your family's situation. If your child has been receiving free special services from the public schools, like speech or occupational therapy, check with your State Homeschool Organization or local support group to learn about your rights to those services in your state or community.

    In some states, homeschool students are eligible to receive the exact same special services as public school students. However, in other states, homeschool students may receive reduced services or even no services at all, through the public schools. If you find yourself in this situation, families in your community can direct you to possible alternatives for the therapy your child needs.

    Finding support is important for all homeschooling parents but it's especially important for parents of special needs children who may require special resources or strategies. Even if you forward your homeschool, one or more children successfully, you may have to change your approach significantly for a child with a special needs. The good news is that you are not alone. There are families in your community and state and across the nation who can give you the special information and support you need to have a successful homeschooling experience. You can find that support through local and state wide support groups, your State Homeschooling Organization, and through special organizations and groups for homeschooling special needs children. There are also numerous E-lists for families who wish to discuss the joys and challenges of homeschooling children with a particular challenge such as autism, deafness, visual impairment, ADHD and much more. There are all sorts of books, websites, E-lists and other resources for families who are homeschooling special needs children.

    If you visit the Virginia Homeschoolers website at www.

    vahomeschoolers.

    org, you will find many helpful books and resources to get you started. Ann Zeise comprehensive website on homeschooling also has numerous pages and sections devoted to homeschooling special needs children. Also, the National Challenge Homeschoolers Asociated Network or NATHHAN, is a non-profit organization which provides information and support to parents who are homeschooling special needs children.

    So, that's how you can get started homeschooling your special needs child. Now we are ready to take a look at homeschooling the high-school years, beginning with planning to homeschool High School.