It can be difficult for a child with complex needs within the public school system. Making reasonable modifications to educational offerings to facilitate learning access for children with special educational needs is one of the main duties of schools. While some are better than others at accommodating, most are not. Homeschooling is one solution to this challenge.

Why homeschool?

Homeschooling gives your family freedom. You can plan your child’s education around your family’s needs and adjust if something arises. In school, students face a wide range of social pressures that are absent in home education. Many people view homeschooling as an exceptional and quirky choice for educating their children. However, this perception is rapidly changing as families worldwide embrace this style of education. Homeschooled children have rich lives with other children through extracurricular programs, and in a digital world, it’s never been easier to find your community and make friends.

You know your child better than anyone else

In a public school, 30 or more students swamp teachers with their needs, leaving no time to focus on a particularly difficult topic or explain it in a way that makes sense to each child. Homeschooling offers that personal, one-on-one time necessary for many special-needs students. You, the parents, understand how special needs affect your child’s mood, energy, focus levels, and overall health daily. You can recognize when your child is becoming overwhelmed or frustrated with assignments far sooner than anyone else can. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to hit the brakes to allow your student to cool down or rest as needed.

Homeschool offers a custom and flexible curriculum

One of the very best things about homeschooling is the FREEDOM. Going from public school to homeschooling does not need to be a struggle. If your student struggles with handwriting or essay writing, typing, and oral answers are acceptable ways to display retention and understanding. If your student struggles with sitting still and focusing, the homeschool classroom can move outdoors so they can learn as their body moves.

When a difficult topic comes around, you and your child can tackle it together for as long as you need rather than moving on because the curriculum says to. Sometimes, mornings are hard. When this happens, you can start schooling an hour later. When the afternoon slump hits, you can add a naptime (wonderful for students and parents). The possibilities are endless when it comes to customization. Schedule, difficulty, breaks, frequency, and more are all in your hands!

Support is more available now than ever

The HomeScholar has TONS of resources for parents with unique or challenged learners.  There are also resources on homeschooling special needs students in high school. If you need more homeschool coaching, consider joining the Gold Care Club, where you’ll get one-on-one time with a homeschool expert each week to discuss your family’s struggles. Your teaching and care could be invaluable to your students with special needs.

Building your homeschool curriculum

Before diving into becoming your child’s teacher, educating yourself on the process is important. Many homeschooling resources help you understand how it works, why families might choose this education model, how to homeschool, and examine some of the main benefits and challenges.

The critical thing for all curricula is that you go at your student’s pace. You build reading, writing, and math skills based on where they are currently, not age or grade. Allowing your child to take their time in one or excel in the other as needed. Your kid can become an active learner and gain knowledge through discovery and exploration. You always know your child’s environment is safe, supportive, and, best of all, fun.

Understanding homeschooling laws

Be sure you know the laws in your state. Homeschooling laws can vary, and they can change frequently. Check out your state’s Department of Education website for more knowledge. We recommend you check it often for any changes. Many great homeschooling groups will give you advice and support throughout your curriculum-building journey. 

Curriculum development

To build a curriculum, you’ll need to research subjects you’re unaware of. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to borrow a book on whatever topic you must teach. Most books aimed at specific age groups are a wealth of knowledge, are simplified for ease of understanding, and can be pretty comprehensive. Your homeschooling groups can recommend texts or sites; the library is a fantastic resource. Once you understand the topic, you can break it down into specific units and ask your child what they are interested in learning about. Remember that sometimes parents inadvertently can pass on their aversion to subjects like math and science to their children.

Online learning platforms

A great tool for parents and guardians who are home-schooling their children is online learning platforms that support curriculum-standard learning. They have over one million learning resources available for free, along with the freedom to create your own. Your children will have fun (yes, fun!) learning through interactive quizzes, while you can be assured that they are learning from robust, curriculum-tagged materials.

Establishing learning goals

Once you have a curriculum plan, you’ll create learning goals. Goals are great; you can adjust and continue striving for them if you miss them. You get to decide what’s best for your family regarding schedule and workload, so don’t be afraid to pivot as needed. There will be a lot of trial and error early on, but if you trust your process, you will find the magic that works for your child and yourself. A helpful way to achieve this is with a free printable planner.

Creating a homeschool space for your kids

It takes more than a great curriculum to maximize your child’s potential for homeschooling. A great space will facilitate great learning. The goal of this space is to be somewhere inviting, safe, and optimized for learning. It should be somewhere practical, comfortable, and productive. It doesn’t need to look like a classroom; if you choose to, try to decorate it as if it were a classroom. Depending on your child, the space might be far from the classroom design. You will need a flat surface to work on, great lighting, and some comfortable seats. The last thing you want is for either of you to fidget when seated constantly. If they have questions, having the space near a parent’s workspace might be an idea.

Establishing a dedicated learning area

Ideally, you have enough space within your home to dedicate a specific desk or table strictly to learning. If the desk has other family needs, try minimizing them and keeping the space clean and uncluttered. You want this desk to be as conducive to learning as possible. Any setup to return to a learning space should be minor. Developing good family habits about ensuring the space is set up for its next use each time.

Organizing supplies and storage

Beyond the desk and your comfortable chairs, you will want to consider storage and supplies. Some homes have an entire room dedicated to teaching, and the supplies are kept there. Others do not. Whatever your setup is, you’ll want the supplies easily accessible and nearby. Your children can play a big part in helping you keep these tidy and organized if they can easily access them. Consider a mix of shelving, drawers, and other options to keep organized. You’ll want a space for your home library, including reference books and your curriculum. Beyond that, you’ll want supplies for arts and crafts, space to store works in progress, science tools, and more. Everything needs a home, and it can be a great idea to create one with your family’s needs in mind.

Managing clutter and distractions

Clutter can be a major distraction for anyone. Your children’s toys, even the educational ones, should have a home out of sight when not in use. Your children can build habits in this regard, too. Some parents call it “putting the toys to bed.” Clutter isn’t just visual, either. You will want to eliminate noise clutter as well. A television or streaming service in the background is an unnecessary distraction. Once everything has its home and the distractions are gone, you’ll want to ensure the space is aesthetically pleasing. Some kids work best with calming colors, while others are inspired by vibrancy. Perhaps you can try mixing both and create or hang vibrant art on the walls, which you can change seasonally.

Maintenance and flexibility

You want your space to remain clean, so ensure you can also clean it easily. Have a trash can and some cleaning supplies nearby for quick use. This way, the room is easy to tidy without much fuss. Don’t forget — you’re not limited to inside your home. You can also go outside on beautiful days.

Using assistive technology

Assistive technology is designed to help your child succeed at what would have been a difficult or even impossible task. Good assistive tech works around learning difficulties and disabilities using your child’s strengths and interests. Once you’ve identified your children’s learning difficulties, you can find the equipment best suited to their needs.

Apps can range from free to quite expensive, as can various machines and options for teaching your child. These can seem overwhelming, but there’s great information to assist you with the specifics. You want to find a tool that addresses your kids’ needs and enhances their strengths. Ideally, it’s simple, effective, portable, and easy to incorporate into your children’s lives. Beyond that, your child needs to be able and willing to use it. You’ll want to ensure it’s easy to learn how to use, that you’re trained, and that it’s compatible with the tech you already have. You’ll want your child to be part of the process when searching for the right AT.

Some organizations will help with funding, should you need it. Most places will let you and your child try the technology before buying it, and you should try it first. The ATiA, or Assistive Technology Industry Association, has a thorough funding guide, and many state programs are available, depending on where you live. Accessing assistive tech can be daunting, but many options can assist you. Take your time, and ask experts for recommendations for both techs within your budget and funding and grant options. You’re not alone in this. Many are trying to help.

Homeschool abroad

The term “road schooling” refers to homeschooling on the road – even during a break, you can do some “summer homeschooling,” mainly those families who are full-time RV living with kids, whether it is for financial reasons or a simple lifestyle choice, roads schooling is here to stay. And honestly, it’s more popular than ever, so you’re not alone. Many families have done this, trading learning at the kitchen table for the open highway with classroom time inside an RV.

Homeschooling as you travel with your vehicle, also known as “road-schooling,” is popular among the RV community, providing a flexible and interactive educational experience. You can outfit your RV to be the best road-schooling experience!

One of the most beautiful things about nontraditional schooling is the child isn’t stuck inside four walls. Rather, their education far exceeds the limited boundaries set forth by our public education system.

Expert tips to get you started

  • Determine your state: Even though you visit 50 States, you’ll need a place where you can have a permanent address; you will need it to file for any educational plans or homeschool permissions.
  • Find your curriculum: You should explore various curriculum options available. Since many homeschooling resources use computer tasks, consider you’ll have to have spotty WIFI in your RV park. Offline options are the best options. We highly recommend E-Books; this is an amazing tip since you are low on space.
  • Get the right tech: In recent years, technology has been adapted to meet the needs of home-educated children in multiple ways. Since we live in such a technologically driven society, it has become impossible not to incorporate technology in home education. So, Laptops and Tablets are the most attractive options since they do not take too much room and are great for life on the go.
  • Plan for technical difficulties: The best would be to rely on something other than stable WIFI or data coverage on the road. If the RV park is crowded, we recommend downloading the content previously. Use your time in connected areas to save documents or e-books.

Many people experience difficulty during the transition from working to being homeschooled parents. As a result, many parents are adjusting to their new normal. The emotional aspect of homeschooling is one of the most important for you and your child.

Protecting your home learning: homeschooling and home insurance

Given the dynamic of homeschooling involving tutors, study groups, and collaborative learning, reviewing your liability coverage is necessary to ensure adequate protection. A comprehensive home insurance coverage plan establishes a secure and conducive learning environment for all household and non-household members.

Determining whether your home could be classified as a place of business is also necessary. Despite homeschooling being a personal pursuit, discussing any potential business-related implications with your insurance provider is recommended. A brief conversation can clarify the distinction between personal and commercial activities.

Your educational resources and equipment play an important role in homeschooling. Ensuring your property coverage extends beyond standard policy limits safeguards your assets against unforeseen circumstances.

Remember to inform your insurance provider if you’ve undertaken structural modifications to accommodate homeschooling. Keeping them informed ensures that your policy accurately reflects your property’s enhanced value and purpose.

The more your child can interact with and set up the space to suit their needs, the better they will find spaces in adulthood where they can maintain employment. Your lessons and patience at home will foster growth in a way no school system can truly provide. Best of all, your space can grow and adapt as your child does. Your curriculum will do the same. Over time, you’ll see the benefits of homeschooling and that it is worth every effort. Looking at how far you and your child have come — after months or years — you’ll feel proud of both of you for taking this path.