Yes, I Homeschool My Special Needs Children

Yes I Homeschool My Special Needs Children

I always get a surprised look when I tell people I homeschool my two children who have special needs. Then come the comments like, “Don’t you think actual teachers are better qualified to help them?” “Where do you get the patience?” “That must be so hard.” And the list goes on. Some comments are said in a way that the person means well but it comes across almost as an insult. Yes, I homeschool two special needs children. They each have their own set of issues and needs.

The days can be trying. When it comes to curriculum, a lot of trial and error has occurred and will continue to do so. I find myself constantly having to change my approach to teaching concepts. I sometimes forget that what comes naturally to most of us through observation of the environment and people around us, I have to teach step by step to my children. And usually more than once.

I’ve also discovered that a big portion of their education is focused on life skills. Sure, academics are important. But my kids are developmentally behind. In fact, as is the case with quite a few kids on the autism spectrum, my oldest is not fully potty trained. This skill is more valuable to teach him than diagramming sentences. Some days it is a challenge to pull him out of his own world, much less make sure he knows the difference between historical fiction and non-fiction.

What it comes down to is that God called me to this. He chose me as their mother and then He put homeschooling on my heart after trying a different way. He reminds me of my purpose every minute of the day. I can’t imagine not teaching my kids, not just how to read, write, and do math, but also how to become independent, productive members of society.

Oh, and patience? I have none. I never have. I have to ask God for that every hour of the day. Sometimes, more often!

Comments

  1. says

    I needed this today. I am homeschooling 3 kids and have one graduate. Three of our four have significant special needs that keep me jumping (the last child has some very mild learning issues). Three of my children are thriving. However, one is doing very poorly. I am so worried about what I am going to do to help her next. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. says

    I have two special needs boys as well. My oldest is 10 and he was diagnosed at age 1 with hydrocephalus. He always has had some sort of behavorial issue and we suspected he might be on the autism spectrum although the school district ruled out aspergers even though he has many of the symptoms. He receives speech therapy once a week with his brother, almost 9, who is significantly delayed and has an intellectual disability. My almost 9-year-old is still in pull-ups as he has frequent accidents and isn’t usually even aware he needs to go. As an infant he was failure to thrive although the doctors could find no cause. My oldest is delayed emotionally and academically but just a few years and gets along well with his almost 7-year-old sister. I figure in a few more years he’ll be almost caught up. He has come a long way. I ignore labels and just tailor his schoolwork to his needs. I’ve come to realize I can’t compare my children to others. They are just the way God created them to be and they will grow in His time. My daughter also has a slight learning difficulty when it comes to reading and math. We just take it slow and repeat lessons often. She starts picking up things eventually. I am glad to teach them at home and give them just what they need. They would not do so well in government schools (We tried that two years ago for about 4 months with my boys and it was a disaster.) God entrusted me with the children I have and I will honor Him by nurturing them and bringing them up to know Him.
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