Finding Success In Therapy And Homeschooling For Special Kids

When you know that your little angel has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and other neurological issues, the therapy becomes your main priority. Although there is no cure for such conditions, you want to help the child at least handle the symptoms and triggers on his or her own. You cannot be around the kid 24/7, as ideal as it may be.

Another priority that almost ties with that is giving your child with special needs a taste of normalcy. You put her in school, assuming that being around same-aged kids might be good for daughter. At times, she will get ready without a fuss. Other times, the child throws tantrums all the way to the classroom.


In reality, if your little boy or girl does not seem to get any better in a school filled with many kids, you can try homeschooling him or her. The lack of strict teaching methods may allow your child to learn better. Furthermore, you can work closely with the therapist. “Many parents of gifted learners are choosing to homeschool their kids in order to ensure a better match between the child’s learning needs and the curriculum being offered,” says Dona Matthews Ph.D.

Here’s what you can do to find success in both homeschooling AND therapy.

Know How To Prioritize

Consider how you want your child’s 24 hours to pass. What subjects will you tackle in the morning? When can a teacher come? When should your kid go to therapy?

The thing is, you cannot reprimand anyone with special needs to follow the timetable you made just because you are the parent. You can create the schedule as a guide, yet you still need to figure out what they want to do at a specific hour. This way, the kid will not retreat in their own world and pay you no mind.


Understand What Scheme Works Best For The Child

What’s great about homeschooling is that you are free to decide on the times when various subjects should be taught. You will receive a copy of the curriculum and essential learning materials, but it is up to you how you prefer to divide the lessons.

That gives you the freedom to teach several subjects to your child every quarter. It goes in line with the therapist’s belief that children with development disability understand things better once you allow them to do the same stuff for a while.

Think Of Their Behavioral Improvements

“Parents inherently worry about their children and parents of kids with special needs have additional reasons to worry,” said Dan Peters Ph.D. Kids with special needs honestly require more time than any non-disabled child to understand school lessons. Instead of focusing on that, you should consider how much progress your little one makes outside of the educational setting.

For instance, does your constant presence enable the child to respond whenever they hear your voice? Are there fewer meltdowns now? Can he or she play with other kids already? These are the kinds of improvement that can – and should – make you proud as a parent.


“Research from cognitive psychology provides a wealth of information regarding how to improve learning,” said psychologist Jessica Koehler Ph.D.


When homeschooling a child who has special needs, your best helpers are not only the SPED teachers but also a therapist. The former may know how to educate your kid, yet the latter can help develop their behavior through therapy. Make no mistake about that.

Schooled At Home: Does It Cripple Socialization?





Probably the biggest issue that parents are worried about once they decide to homeschool their children is that it might severely affect their socialization skills. “Society often makes it seem that people need to have many friends, attend social activities often, socialize by initiating and maintaining conversation often, and so on,” states Heather Gilmore, MSW, BCBA.

With the vast advantages of homeschooling (a notable one is the increasing number of kids who were homeschooled landing an Ivy League university education), it’s no wonder that a lot of parents are now well convinced that it is a viable option for their children’s future. But what about the lack of socialization? There seem to be debates left and right about the damaging effects of homeschooling to children’s social skills. Are home-based learning systems really robbing children of the chance to mingle and interact?


Does Socialization Suffer?

Academically speaking, homeschooled kids are far more superior than those children who are sent to traditional schools. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “Some parents take responsibility for teaching their child for part of a day, with the child attending school for some subjects or extracurricular activities, like sports or math or music.However, it cannot be disqualified from parents the concern about their kids’ exposure to other kids and having constant communication with members of an academic institution.

Parents have this notion that the moment they subject their children to homeschooling, they are turning them into isolated, lonesome individuals, stuck inside the home without people to socialize with. But it’s not what it seems. And on the contrary, it’s the other way around.




Socialization and Homeschooling


So what it is then? Home-based learning systems engage children in numerous opportunities to interact efficiently and productively with other people without having the negative experiences that come along with it in typical school settings. The abundance of gangs, bullying, emotional and physical torture, and violence have been reported to be growing and are directly affecting children’s well-being and educational stature. Is this the kind of socialization parents think of that they are depriving their kids of?

When the world outside threatens the very essence of your children’s existence, aren’t you more worried about that than stripping your kids of superficial socialization?

Homeschooled children have more or equal opportunities in participating in fruitful socialization. “Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in groups, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers,” says Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. Unlike what the majority thinks of kids being trapped inside the four lonely walls of the house, homeschoolers have the convenience and the choice to be selective of their friends and groups to hang out with. Parents can stay in touch with other homeschoolers who their children can communicate and play with, do meetups, enjoy field trips and outings, gather in museums, zoos, planetariums, playing sports, rehearsing theater pieces, painting, participating in community activities, volunteering, and the list goes on.


Homeschoolers get to do the same activities that kids at regular schools get to do, thereby enhancing social interaction within the safety and comfort of their own home.




How Homeschooling Socialization Works

Here are a couple of ways for parents to connect their kids with other homeschooled children:

  1. Support Groups

With the increasing population of homeschoolers across the country, the rise of support groups for kids schooled at home is becoming more and more popular. These organizations arrange a wide variety of opportunities that enable socialization during organized activities in parks, field trips, and meet-up classes.


  1. Summer Camps

Want to take socialization further into the wild blue yonder? There are summer camps available that facilitate interaction with other homeschoolers where they can learn about farms, outer space, and Mother Nature.


  1. Sports

Nothing like a quick game of basketball to perk up socialization in homeschooled kids. A lot of park affiliations have outstanding programs for numerous sports activities for the whole year. There are even recreational centers that have daytime classes specifically modified for homeschooled teams. Check with your local center for more details.

These activities to enhance socialization are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot more parents can do to let their children engage in opportunities to make new friends and have meaningful friendships.



Homeschooling Basics: The Learning Revolution

Though homeschooling is not something new, many have seen the rise and evolution of what used to be a simple method of educating children in their home to a now fully functional curriculum that offers not just the basics but also other forms of extracurricular activities experienced in a standard learning environment.  “In recent decades, however, homeschooling has expanded beyond its original base, involving families from a vast variety of religious, ethnic and political persuasions, and reaching into the lives of an estimated two million children,” said psychologist Laura Brodie Ph.D.



How does homeschooling work, what are the responsibilities it can entail, and if interested, how can you be a part of it?


The Description

Homeschooling is a progressive learning system that allows kids to gain an education at home while under the guidance and supervision of their parents. In other words, instead of choosing to send children to a typical private or public school, parents would rather spend their time focusing on their children learning the primary subjects taught inside the comforts of their homes. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “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.”


Reasons To Homeschool

There are tons of reasons why people choose home-based learning than a regular school. Some of these are:

  • Discontent with the instructional options that are available within their area
  • Difference in beliefs and philosophies
  • Dissatisfaction with the traditional educational structure
  • Bullying or traumatic incidences that occurred either within or outside the vicinity of school premises
  • Children with special needs, requiring a modified learning environment
  • Social anxiety


The Requirements

Depending on the state, the legal prerequisites for homeschooling within the United States varies from one place to another. While individual states may have a few to no requirements, others would demand standardized testing or portfolio analysis at specific intervals.

Regardless of the basics, the most important obligation that parents must fulfill is to accept the responsibility wholeheartedly. Aside from their presence, parents must also be willing to:

  • Engage in their children’s passion
  • Level with their energy
  • Accommodate all questions without hesitation no matter how trivial the questions are
  • Be patient if their child is a slow learner
  • Enjoy the company of their children

For those who have fully decided to result in homeschooling their children, the prerequisite is simple: have the desire to make it happen and be committed to the process.

In most places around the United States, parents who want to take on the responsibility of being their child’s teacher do not need an education degree for as long as they adhere to the requirements of instructions within their area; that is if their child has never attended traditional schooling. On the other hand, homeschooling children who already have a background in conventional education require a much more organized approach by following specific guidelines mandated by their districts.


The Curriculum

So now that you’ve settled to homeschool your children, the next step that you should do is decide on the curriculum and resources that you’ll use for homeschooling. Ask yourself the subjects that you will be teaching.

Due to the fast increase in the statistics of children who are being homeschooled, this resulted in a vast array of accessible educational materials and curricula. Advertisements are brimming with an overabundance of preferences based on diverse education approaches, learning philosophies, and duration of time teachers or parents dedicate to regular instruction.

Homeschool subjects incorporated into daily instruction includes a patterned discipline that follows traditional school system with the inclusion of topics that focuses on the capitalization of children’s interests and passion.




The Revolution

What made homeschooling stand out from the rest is the educational personalization, which standardized schools don’t usually have. Transformation is mainly focused on discovering and achieving certain aspects and qualities of children that may or may not be realized if they were sent to regular schools.

By customizing the child’s environment and learning structure, parents and teachers can work hand-in-hand to deliver an individualized arrangement of instruction that is suitable for the children’s ability, learning style, and interests. “As they say, results may vary, but on average, home-schooled children do very well, including socially, at college, and in community involvement,” said Marty Nemko Ph.D.

Balancing Your Day Job And Your Kid’s Home-Based Learning System




In the recent years, there has been a constant rise in the popularity of home-based learning systems or what is also known as homeschooling.

The National Center for Education Statistics supplied results of a survey showing an estimate of children aged 5 to 17 are homeschoolers. “Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members,” according to Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. Though a lot of parents are considering the idea of letting their kids stay inside the house and start education there, many are hesitant for the assumption that it could interfere with their day jobs.

However, those who are able to balance work and homeschool are pretty convinced that even if the idea seems farfetched for some, it is ideally possible. “Homeschooling takes many forms, from supporting your child in their learning for a few weeks or months during an illness or transition, to schooling them for the duration of their elementary and secondary years,” according to Dona Matthews Ph.D.


Commitment Matters

Combining the two – homeschooling and working full-time – requires commitment. It might seem too overwhelming especially when you start to combine the two with other aspects like household chores, family time, and other miscellaneous tasks that parents might encounter throughout their day.

To help you with your homeschooling predicaments, here are some tips you can try:


Let Go Of Normalcy

Once you’ve finally decided that you will be homeschooling your children despite your fulltime work hours, the first thing that you have to do is to let go of the notion that your life will change drastically. Everything will have to be adjusted; therefore, scheduling is critical. Since you don’t want your work to suffer, the time allotted to it is prioritized. All you need to do is make the best of what’s left of your day.

Example, if you work from 8 am until 5 pm, you can start homeschool after dinner. This will provide you ample time to take a quick breather before learning begins. However, if you have a home-based job where hours are usually flexible, it is easier to juggle with whatever schedule you have in mind.





Focus On The Task

It’s quite difficult to erase the feeling of regular fragmentation wherein you are doing something, but then your mind will wander off to another thing. Telling yourself to be at the moment can be quite challenging especially if your to-do list is anything but endless. You have to keep in mind that if you lose focus, you waste precious time, thus, losing track of your schedule.

When work’s done, it’s done; no turning back wondering if there’s something that you failed to do. You can worry about that in the morning. Right now, you have to focus on your kid’s lesson plan. If you’re homeschooling, whatever’s connected with work should be ignored for that specific period.


Learn To Say “No”

Saying “no” is easy and hard at the same time. Keep your responsibilities to a minimum. A fulltime job and homeschooling is already eating up a significant portion of your time – anything extra will make you explode. Whenever something comes up, like a gathering or extra work in the office, decline. You’ve already had your hands full, how else are you going to commit to additional workload? Be honest with yourself and recognize your limits. There’s nothing wrong with accepting the fact that you cannot do everything.




Give Time For Yourself

Let’s be realistic – you are merely human. Eventually, you will run out of whatever it is that keeps you going. Therefore, you need to recharge. As a parent, the idea of having a “me time” is somewhat unrealistic and impractical, but it’s not. It is imperative for human beings to give themselves time to recuperate and just leave everything behind for just a couple of hours. Do not feel guilty if you drop the kids at daycare and just go out for some relaxing alone time. This will make you feel refreshed, and it’s something to look forward to at the end of a heavily scheduled week. “Further, if you’re only talking or thinking about work, that means you’re not talking or thinking about the other things that might help you have stronger, happier, more satisfying interactions with others,” says Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.

Being a parent, a better-half, a worker, a teacher, and a human being is a lot to take. It’s not easy, but if you are convinced that homeschooling is something that will do a lot of good for your children, you’ll think of ways on how to juggle everything in a day.


Homeschooling For Children With Special Needs




“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:

  • Dyslexia
  • ADD or ADHD
  • Autism
  • Dysgraphia
  • 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.”


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.





The Overlooked Advantages Of Homeschooling




Are you somehow skeptical about homeschooling your child? Though concerns are buzzing around about the effectiveness of homeschooling, it might be something you can consider.

Surprisingly, homeschooling has significant benefits for your child that may also affect your family’s well-being. According to Rick Nauert PhD, “New research suggests that children who are taught at home get more sleep than those who go to private and public schools.” Not everyone is a fan of this teaching method for whatever reason. For those who are thinking about enrolling their children to a home-based schooling program and are still outweighing the advantages from the disadvantages, here are some of the unsung benefits of homeschooling that can help you in making up your mind:



Of all the benefits of homeschooling, safety is a primary factor. Schools these days are swarming with bullies and aggressive kids who sometimes carry prohibited weapons for some twisted logic. According to data presented by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), in 2015 alone, there are about 21% of students between the ages of 12 to 18 who are victims of bullying, and females are more targeted than males. Threats to safety cause children to become very anxious about their schoolmates which can also directly affect their performance and interfere with the process of learning. For Dona Matthews Ph.D., “When homeschooling, you can provide your child with a supportive learning environment at home, where there is no bullying, racism, violence, or other psychological abuse.”

To safeguard children from these types of threats at school, some parents resulted in applying for an online educational platform that has the same curriculum as that of regular classes.


Minimal Exposure to Restricted Substances

Sometimes, no matter how overprotective parents are, they are still in the dark whether their kids are exposed to drugs and alcohol. Kids, especially teenagers, are the primary victims of drug abuse; these are less likely to be found in homes. However, students have higher chances of getting in contact with these restricted substances within the vicinity of school grounds.


Catering to Kids with Special Needs

If your children have mental and physical disabilities, chances are, they will have a hard time following through with regular class sessions; plus, they are subjected to mockery, humiliation, and bullying by other kids at school. Typical schools will always have a mix of good and evil; you cannot expect everyone to be as understanding and accepting when it comes to children with special needs. Homeschooling protects your kids from traumatic emotional attacks that they will be exposed to once enrolled.


Enhances Family Bonding

Guiding and supporting your children’s schooling needs at home strengthens the parent-child bond. Kids usually thrive and strive to gain their parents’ attention and approval; this builds their self-confidence and self-esteem. Aside from that, parents will learn more about the way their kids think and react to specific subjects taught at home or online. Parents can also participate in promoting positive behavior to their children that they usually cannot do if they send them to a regular school.


Eliminates Peer Pressure

Friends or even schoolmates have a massive impact on how children think and act. According to data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015, there were more than 220,000 newborns that were from women who are between 15 to 19 years old. Though this data is said to be a record low, it does not assure parents that their children will not be victims of peer pressure. Homeschooling can prevent this kind of phenomenon from happening since parents are often around to look after their kids.




Homeschooling your kids does not necessarily mean that you are curtailing their freedom. There are just certain situations that would require the need for children stay inside the house. Besides, there are a lot of studies that show many homeschooled children outperform those who went to regular schools during standardized exams.“Of course every situation is different: the child, the public and private school options, and your ability and motivation to home-school,” said Marty Nemko Ph.D.