Special needs homeschooling was the right decision for us. There were many reasons that made us decide to follow this path and we are very happy to be able to offer this to our twin boys.
That being said, it is not without its challenges and disappointments. And it definitely requires oodles of patience, hope, and courage.
So if you are considering special needs homeschooling for your kids, then I hope this post will help you see what is involved in teaching your special needs kids at home.
The Transition to Special Needs Homeschooling can be Difficult
If your child was or is in school, then the transition from school to homeschool can be a tough one.
We knew that school was not right for our boys because it was extremely traumatic. But it took them a long time to get their heads around being at home and learning at home.
I think a period of deschooling is vital for both you and your children. And don’t be alarmed if it takes a long time. Our deschooling process took a year and a half!
Special needs kids are generally not that flexible or happy with change, so they could need a lot more time to decompress and accept the new norm.
You Should Plan to be Flexible
I know this sounds like a contradiction in terms. But planning and flexibility are both important in ensuring a successful special needs homeschool routine.
Special needs kids have special needs. So what might work for someone else, might not work for them.
We’ve had to be flexible in a lot of ways, from curricula to the number of hours our kids ‘learn’ in a day, for example. And there could be therapies and appointments to fit in too.
The planning part comes in when you think about what is working and what isn’t. It’s a good idea to try and take stock every couple of months. And then plan (budget, time, etc.) for any changes that you might need to make.
Self-care is a Priority
Special needs homeschooling takes a lot of energy and patience.
You might need to go over the same work a few times. Or your child might be a reluctant learner.
My one child has difficulty sleeping due to anxiety. So sometimes we take time off so that we can all recover and be less like zombies. And I think this is an important part of the process.
You need to prioritize self-care because it is easy to burn out.
And I would also suggest letting go of expectations and pressure, from within and from other people. This takes more energy than you will probably be able to give! And it is really doesn’t bring anything positive.
You will Probably Need a Village
Your village could come in a number of different forms. But believe me, you are going to need help.
My tribe is online because I live in a town that doesn’t have a homeschooling community. It may seem strange, but the connections I’ve made through Instagram, have been amazing! They are a supportive, inspiring and knowledgeable group of people, who I can turn to when I’m stuck or feeling low.
So if you can enlist the help of family and friends, a physical homeschooling community or one online, I suggest doing so. There are always going to be people who are in the same situation as you, or who have conquered the problem you are grappling with. And they could give you a different point of view or just a hug.
Special Needs Homeschooling is a Viable Option
So in conclusion, I would say that you can successfully homeschool your special needs child. It may be difficult and exhausting, but you are bound to see some great improvements.
When you find the magic mix that suits your child, you will see them flourish and grow in confidence. And this makes all the tough parts of the job so worth it!
Are you thinking about homeschooling your special needs child? What are some things you are curious or worried about? I would love to hear and help if I can. So please drop them in the comments below.