Let’s talk about homeschooling kiddos with exceptionalities. . . also known as disabilities. Of course this could range anywhere from ADD/ADHD and autism to speech related issues, dyslexia, mental health, and more – but what do you do when you’ve assumed, realized, and know for sure that you’re about to embark on the journey of homeschooling your exceptional child? Where are the resources and support? And how do you as the parent-teacher deal with what may be thrown your way?
Before going forward, I need to tell you that I have no idea what it’s like to homeschool a child with disabilities. Thus far, all of my children seem to be within what’s considered “normal” lines. The most I’ve ever dealt with are toddler tantrums and three-year-old girly meltdowns, with the occasional ten-year-old talk backs. But when it comes down to what I used to be involved with in my brick and mortar classroom as an early childhood educator, I don’t have that at home.
But don’t click away just yet… as a homeschooling mom with a blog, a growing Facebook community, and a thriving homeschool advising practice – I am hearing the call and seeing the need for help with homeschooling kiddos with exceptions. While I may not have personal experience, I have tapped into and teamed up with some pretty amazing homeschooling moms who do. These mamas live, breath, and experience it every single day and they love to help others deal, learn, and thrive in their journey to homeschooling the exceptional child.
Perhaps choosing to homeschool your special needs child is a major concern for you. You’re not alone. I absolutely love Joy’s (from the Bean Post Farmstead) words and approach to homeschooling her child with down syndrome. She brings several assumptions to light and trumps them all with graceful truth. From thoughts of, “You’re not qualified” to legalities, time, and other considerations, she tells it like it is and encourages your along the way. Read more from Joy at Choosing to Homeschool a Special Needs Child.
At some point after finding out your child has special needs, the next question then becomes “What do I do now?” Heather from Fearless Faithful Mom recently wrote an amazing blog post about expectations, embracing reality, and gives special needs parenting resources. Let this mama encourage you by reading more of her post, HELP! My Child Has Special Needs – What do I do now?
Now, what about the child that doesn’t fall within the ADD/ADHD, autism, or even behavioral disorder categories? Clarissa, from Clarissa R. West, tells the story of what it’s like to homeschool her daughter who severely mentally and physically handicapped. I am amazed (and encouraged) by her advice of how to homeschool a child who (in her words), “was last evaluated to be a 3-month age level mentally and is completely non-verbal, confined to a chair, receives her nutrition via a feeding tube, wears diapers, etc. She can express herself through frowning/crying or smiling/laughing, but we really have no way of knowing how much of an “education” she is taking in.” Even if you don’t find yourself in this same situation, I invite you to read Clarissa’s blog post about How to Homeschool Your Disabled Child.
Ever heard the term “2E”? This refers to children who are “twice exceptional”, meaning they are gifted in one way but also exhibit another exceptionality such as autism, anxiety, dyslexia, etc. Andrea, from Townsley Times, has an amazing blog post about Homeschooling the Gifted Child. Beyond the beautiful explanation, she provides ways to embrace and make the most of it.
Because I’m so passionate about helping every and all homeschoolers embrace their journey and do so in an unapologetically authentic way, I put together a free online mini conference entitled Homeschooling with Exceptionalities. Four amazing homeschooling Moms came together over the course of four days to talk about their experiences, encourage, and give advice to thriving as moms who homeschool exceptional children. If you didn’t catch this event live, view it on my YouTube Channel, and while you’re there don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE.
Read more about each speaker:
Other great articles to check out:
CHIME IN: Are you homeschooling an exceptional child? I’d love to hear about it! Put your story in the comments for others to be encouraged too!
Until next time, happy homeschooling!
Psst…. if you don’t catch the event live, join our membership program to have ongoing access to the videos and resources!