If you have children with medical or special needs and/or you suffer from a chronic illness yourself, you can still homeschool! I have all of the above and have been homeschooling from the start. We currently have 7 “students” and multiple medical and special needs. Homeschooling has always been the best option for our family. Though we also have children without learning disabilities, our entire family must work together to make homeschooling around special needs work. It takes flexibility, some creativity, and a lot of perseverance, but it can be done!
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Homeschooling Around Special Needs
Like I said, it takes flexibility. This means you need to adjust your homeschool routine/schedule to fit the needs of your family.
Do you have regular doctor appointments or therapy sessions to work around?
Do you have low energy or hyperactivity to deal with?
Is it too difficult to leave the home often?
Are there time-consuming medical needs?
Consider all of your family’s needs and the natural flow of your life. Plan accordingly. This applies to your day, week, month, and year. Since surprise doctor visits and hospital stays often come with the special needs life, you must be prepared for them. Year-round homeschooling works perfectly for this!
Perhaps you will need to do a lot of video or audio schooling to accommodate your child’s learning abilities. You can find many documentaries on Netflix or to rent from your library. There are also so many wonderful educational audio books/dramas available now for history and even science studies.
You can choose a literature based curriculum that will have you reading a lot of living books with your children to cover many school subjects. Have your child give oral reports rather than doing a lot of seatwork. Recitation, flashcards, or other learning tools also work great for visual/auditory learners and can be used for many subjects.
Mix & match curriculum and resources to meet your family’s needs.
You will have hard days emotionally, physically, and spiritually. You will have days when you do not get any schoolwork done. That’s okay.
Here are some ways to persevere when homeschooling around special needs:
Just pick up where you left off and do the next thing.
Find a community of homeschoolers for encouragement (whether online or in real life).
Cut out any unnecessary activities or commitments outside your home.
Take a break away from your kids occasionally (one day a month works for us).
Realize that parenting is hard work but it is the greatest job a human can have!
Just do your best and it will be okay.
Clarissa is a Christian, Wife, Homeschool Mom to 7 Children with Medical Needs, Grieving Mom to 1 Child in Heaven, Homemaker, and Owner/Writer at The Sincere Homemaker. She seeks to encourage others to embrace life and bloom into who God wants them to be. You’ll also find her sharing practical tips on marriage, parenting, homeschooling, and homemaking.