By Heather Walton
Sometimes parents wonder if they should homeschool a child with special academic, social, or emotional needs. Even if they believe they can properly educate a neurotypical child, they may feel intimidated about working with their children who struggle. Others are considering homeschooling specifically because they have a child who is having difficulty in school. Though homeschooling any child has its challenges, an individualized education can be a delight and a blessing, both to the child and the parent. Here are several reasons to consider home education for a struggling learner:
- You can create a program that targets your child’s specific needs. You can remediate those areas of challenge, while also giving him opportunities to do things he’s good at, so he experiences success.
- You eliminate the social stigma that comes with being “different.” Often kids (and even teachers) will look down on a student who struggles academically or socially. Unfortunately this is par for the course in many schools.
- You can work with your child when she’s at her peak time of day to be successful. You don’t have to keep the same schedule as the schools do. Your state may require a certain amount of hours, but that doesn’t mean you have to work at the same times as the local schools operate.
- You can incorporate the educational components that most schools leave out, such as life skills and social skills. These are important for all young people to learn, but even more for struggling learners. Home education provides you the opportunity to spend necessary time on instruction in these vital areas.
- Children who need to see therapists and tutors have more time in the schedule to do so, and it counts as part of your home education plan. Often parents of children with special needs spend afternoon and evening hours shuttling exhausted kids to appointments. However, the sessions would likely be more effective, and the family less frazzled, if they could be fresh for these appointments.
- No more fighting over homework after an already long schooldays. Since you can create a tailor-made education program for your child, no need for homework, and hopefully you can have an enjoyable learning experience with your child.
- Avoid bullying. Many kids, especially kids who are perceived to be different by their peers, deal with bullying, which is so destructive to a person’s self image. Today, more than ever, bullying presents huge risks, including and up to suicide. It’s not something to mess around with.
- Avoid social pressure to conform. Let’s face it: Everyone wants to fit in, and kids with special needs are often tempted more than neuortypical children to do whatever it takes to be accepted.
These are several great reasons to homeschool a child with special needs. The list could go on and on, as reasons are as diverse as are the children we love. Now that we have explored some reasons to homeschool your child, stay tuned for tips on how to successfully work with students who have challenges.