Can parents of children with learning disabilities fit the bill as a homeschool teacher?

If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, the quality of his or her education becomes a very important consideration for any parent. Questions arise: what teaching method is best for that child – and what extra help will be needed? Therapists, special courses, assessments, and the push and pull of doctors and school districts can be overwhelming. And the biggest question of all for a parent may be: “Am I good enough to handle this?”

The answer is resounding YES!

If you believe that your child may be struggling with a learning disability, click here to see the tell-tale symptoms.

Let’s take a look at why homeschooling a child with disabilities may be a wonderful option.

Why Public Schools Often Fail Children With Learning Disabilities

In 1975, long before the current epidemic of developmental disorders began, Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires public schools to identify children with disabilities and provide them with a need specific free education in the least restrictive environment.

Over the past decade, the skyrocketing expenses of complying with the IDEA have school districts all over the country scrambling to find money to meet the needs of disabled children in overflowing classrooms – in a time when governmental budget cuts are hammering them hard. It becomes a difficult endeavor for both districts and parents to meet in the middle to provide exactly what a child with disabilities needs, with the money that is available. It sets the stage for conflict, IEP wars, and for some children with special needs to be literally swept under the table in a “life skills” type of classroom.

It becomes completely up to the parent to watchdog their child’s education, and step in firmly if there is any indication that a school district is not meeting their needs. Many families have discovered that homeschooling is the best and ultimate answer to such battles, preventing the surrender of your child to the uncertainty of the traditional school system.

The Beneficial Homeschool SettingStory time

The familiar and loving homeschooling setting can provide a child with learning disabilities with abundant advantages. Statistically, it has been shown that when parents decide to homeschool children with learning disabilities, the child shows a much improved learning capacity (and speed) than in a traditional school setting. Here are some excellent reasons why you should consider homeschooling!

  • Your intimate knowledge of your child’s needs allows you to modify your teaching methods based on those needs, instead of having to conform to a stranger’s teaching methods or classroom rules.
  • Having your child at home gives you the opportunity to keep distractions at a minimum. The flexibility t space out your teaching time between subjects or your other children is a plus!
  • It gives you the ability to focus on your child’s strengths rather than their weaknesses, bolstering their self-confidence, and helping them to discover their place in the world.
  • Homeschooling also gives the parents an opportunity to teach what really matters, including family morals, values, and manners.

And you don’t have to do it alone.  Bridgeway Academy’s HOPE package provides a complete individualized homeschool program coupled with sensory integration therapy for children who struggle with learning disabilities.  This combination is not available anywhere else and has been taking students from struggle to success for nearly 20 years.  Learn more here.

Getting an Assessment

If an assessment has not been provided by the school district or privately, it is very wise to have one completed for your child.  An assessment will identify specific weakness and give you an idea of where you are going to need some help. Parents should have the option of both homeschooling AND being able to have the child continue professional academic therapy within the school system or other resources that are funded by the school district. Children with diagnosed learning disabilities cannot be denied the extra therapy they need, so make sure you actively seek whatever outside support you can get.

If you would prefer to get an assessment from a source other than your school district, Essential Learning Institute (ELI) is the place to turn.  ELI provides a comprehensive assessment of your child without the labels.  Keep it for your own reference or use it to gain much needed learning therapy for your child.

An in-depth Learning Styles Assessment is also critical to discovering the HOW your child learns and the BEST methods for teaching him or her. Is your child able to learn better by a visual auditory or a tactual-kinesthetic teaching style? And many times, children with learning disabilities need a combination of these styles to absorb material to the best of their ability. Your curriculum lesson plans will need to be designed to your child’s learning style. Make sure you have these assessments completed BEFORE you start writing your homeschool plan!

The Family Bond and Homeschool Success

Group of students standing on the mountain topIt is a given fact that no one knows and understands your child’s needs better than you do. You were there since birth, and have spent huge sums of time at doctor appointments, in therapy sessions, and by their beds when they were sick. You know and sometimes understand a need or behavior your child migh be experiencing with better insight than any professional. Who better to teach them than the parent who loves and cares for them on a daily basis?
Remember that not all socialization is good or positive–especially for a child with learning disabilities or other special needs. Developing a positive relationship with the family unit is one of the best experiences a child can have in life. By choosing to homeschool, you are able to help your cild nurture and develop positive relationships with others around them. Some of the most positive socialization comes from family and friends of all different ages, who can help them learn to interact with adults as well as children – much like real life (and not the high-school social hierarchy).

***Remember to look for and reach out to homeschooling support groups. It is good to be involved in social conversations and/or gatherings with other parents who are also homeschooling their children with learning disabilities.

Want to know more?  Request an information pack today.

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