“More and more parents are choosing to educate their child at home, or to join with other parents who don’t want to send their children to the local schools,” says Dona Matthews Ph.D. Homeschooling children occur for various reasons; while some may be because of learning impairment, others are due to mental or physical disability. Therefore, children with special needs who require specific learning strategies, benefit hugely from homeschooling.
Special needs children demand more attention since they may have delays in learning specific processes or have behavioral challenges that can significantly affect the way they think, interact, and respond to topics.
Who are these children with special needs?
Any child who has a different learning temperament than the majority of children. These are mainly kids with:
- ADD or ADHD
- Sensory impairment
Children who suffer from the abovementioned conditions are mainly qualified for home-based learning. Compared to a typical school environment, there are benefits that parents and kids with special needs can take from homeschooling.
- Customize Calendar Activities
Depending on the pace of the child, parents can quickly adjust the schedule of their child’s academic calendar; which is particularly helpful on occasions that would require extra time for your child to learn a specific subject or if there unforeseeable in-between breaks. Sometimes, the calendar of activities can extend up to the entire year instead of the usual nine months for typical school days.
- One-On-One Educational Setting
Children with disabilities insist on getting a lot of attention and guidance from teachers and parents which technically means that learning becomes more productive if the mode of education is one-on-one. It can be quite a predicament to allow your child to mingle with kids their same age and not follow the instructions effectively. This is frustrating on your child’s part and will just increase his or her anxiety.
Giving your child ample time and recognition to learn and comprehend every lesson will not only pave the way to further understanding your child’s abilities and intelligence but also knowing how to present every subject with minor complications and confusions in a very efficient manner. According to home-school expert, Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., “The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development.”
- Limited Distractions
Sending special needs children to a standardized learning environment may not be conducive to their learning since there are a lot of distractions that they might find unappealing or attractive. Either way, this will not benefit your children’s education at all. Being homeschooled, you will be able to control the environment by limiting distractions without compromising comfort and ease.
- Alternative Educational Approach
What might work for one child may not work with another; therefore it is vital to construct an alternative educational approach to make learning more amiable to your child. Learning at home opens an avenue for realizing what methods work for your kids. Some of these alternative approaches would include chalkboards, manipulative toys, hands-on education, and strategies that tap the multi-sensory level of the child.
- Room for Specialized Accommodations
There are specific accommodations that special needs children require which are usually unavailable in a typical learning environment. For example, students who have dysgraphia or issue with handwriting can utilize keyboards for completion of assignments. Other children who get easily distracted or have attention deficit issues are allowed to use fidgets or stress balls to channel their energy, thereby aid in increasing their focus on their lessons.
Most importantly, homeschooling can give parents that sense of safety and security that a regular schooling environment might not have. “Parenting in general is hard these days. Parenting a child with special needs is often harder,” Dan Peters Ph.D. Some external learning environments can be quite uncompromising that may add more stress to your children rather than helping them cope and acquire knowledge.