Part 2 of our series
In the public school system, students must learn to adjust to the teaching style of the teacher. Students must also successfully adjust to the curriculum, which in many states, is dictated by the Common Core or SOLs. These constant adjustments can be especially hard and stressful on students with diverse learning needs. There are options within the private school sector that cater to specific disabilities and giftedness. However, most come with hefty price tags, making it not an option for many families. If you are willing to consider a radical change in thinking about
what education looks like or what you want it to look like for your child, homeschooling may be an option. Here are the three biggest benefits I see for homeschooling a child with special needs, giftedness, or in many cases, a combination of both.
1.The ability to choose your own curriculum.
As a homeschooler, you are able to choose materials and methods that are best suited for your child and their learning style. You are able to choose things that are appealing to them and are appropriate for their ability. Imagine not having to force your student with auditory processing weaknesses to sit through ninety minute
lectures each day or perhaps you have a kid who is a human calculator but struggles to write a basic sentence. Finding materials to suit individual strengths while minimizing the impact of weaknesses can make all the difference in your child’s selfesteem and academic success. The gift of being able to learn in a safe and flexible environment with a truly personalized approach is priceless.
2. Pace of Instruction.
I am a firm believer that education is not a race. Homeschooling allows you the freedom to follow the pace of your child. If your child is particularly interested in something or If they are bored to tears, you have permission to do what works best for your student. Being able to work at your child’s pace, no matter how fast or slow, is something
public settings are not set up to do, or atleast do consistently.Homeschooling eliminates the stress and pressures of having to master information by certain dates. There are no mandatory SOL’s or Common Core testing in homeschooling. In most states you can choose to take an annual test of your choice, create a portfolio, hire a private evaluator or in some instances, not report anything at all.
3. Create daily routines that meet your family’s and individual child needs.
Another large perk for homeschooling is that you are free to teach whenever you choose. There are no mandatory
start and stop times like public schools. If your student has medical needs that make mornings rough, you can school in the evenings. Homeschooling becomes a natural extension of your everyday life. You can school year round, on weekends, it’s all up to you. Learning is not confined to specific days of the week or blocks of time. You can follow the natural rhythms of your family and child to do what works best for them.
Taking full responsibility for the education of another human being can bring about feelings of insecurity and selfdoubt, even for those of us with teaching degrees! Adding the label of giftedness or disability can cause sheer terror. But I promise, once you take a few deep breaths and realize that as a parent, YOU have the best chance of helping your child reach their maximum potential, it gets a little easier.
Editor’s Note- I am so honored to have Ms. Wright share with us, I have known her for over 6 years and truly admire all she is doing! Alycia Wright, M.Ed. is a former Special Educator turned homeschool mom of four daughters living in Glen Allen, Va.