Making the decision to homeschool your child, special needs or not, is a big one. Here are 101 reasons to stop worrying and jump in.
I hear from so many moms and dads who are considering homeschooling for their child with special needs.
I completely understand the concern, the hesitancy and the fear woven throughout their words.
Making the decision to homeschool your child, special needs or not, is a big one. It certainly was for me. I can remember the sleepless nights, the constant research, and the overwhelming fear that I was going to ruin my boys.
Ten years later, I can tell you, without any reservation, it was the best decision I have made for my boys needs – bar none.
There are so many reasons it works for us. There are so many reasons it might also work for you. Some of them are significant (no bullying). Some of them are seemingly small, but just as valuable (time with pets).
The truth is, across the board, there are so many good reasons to homeschool your child with special needs.
In an effort to encourage those stuck in that middle place, between pulling their child from school (or not enrolling them to begin with) and full-fledged homeschooling, I thought I would give you a list of all of the reasons I think one should consider when making the decision to homeschool a child with special needs.
Here they are, in no particular order.
101 Good Reasons To Homeschool Your Child With Special Needs
1. No bullies.
2. Your child can use bathroom as often as she likes, when she likes.
3. If your child doesn’t sleep the night before (and therefore you don’t sleep the night before) you can sleep late and start school in the afternoon if needed.
4. Time to focus on difficult but important life skills like showering and teeth brushing.
5. Your child can nap if tired or suffering medication side-effects.
6. No IEP meetings.
7. Your child can take his time – in learning, in eating, in toileting, in transitioning.
8. No loud bells.
9. Less smells and sounds that overstimulate a struggling sensory system.
10. Your child can move as much as he likes while learning.
11. When the curriculum is not a great fit for your child’s learning differences, you can simply try something else.
12. No fighting for services.
13. No notes sent home from the teacher.
14. No calls from the office.
15. Special diets are easy to manage.
16. No communication with the nurses office about meds.
17. No worrying about the nurses office administering meds.
18. A bad day can become a chance to go on a hike, bake cookies or simply relax a bit.
19. Audiobooks count all the time.
20. No homework!
21. Learning easily includes movies, TV and YouTube.
22. You can follow your child’s interests (and sometimes perseverations).
23. Your child isn’t rushed from one activity to the next.
24. Your child can process and transition at a pace that works best for her learning style and abilities.
25. Friends are friends for years, not just until summer vacation.
26. Vacations are less expensive during the times when most families are in school.
27. Recess everyday, many times a day, no matter what.
28. Same for PE.
29. Your child can progress at his own pace through all subjects.
30. You can focus on your child’s strengths instead of a constant focus on weaknesses and lagging skills.
32. You don’t have to worry about pulling-out your child for frequent doctor’s visits.
33. Therapy appointments are easily scheduled during the day when all the other kids are in school.
34. Your child can eat when she’s hungry.
35. Field trips!
36. When on a field trip, your child can take his time in the areas that most interest him, instead of being rushed to the next display, and then the next.
37. Less worksheets.
38. Lighter focus on academics in the early years.
39. More play!
40. Outdoor school is totally a thing.
41. So is Car school and Starbucks school.
42. Less peer pressure.
43. More time to care for and enjoy pets.
44. No standardized tests (at least in some states).
45. Sign language can be incorporated into learning for children with hearing impairments (94% of the time it is NOT for Deaf/HH public school students).
47. Getting to experience your child’s “a-ha” moments.
48. More sleep.
49. More crafts and art.
50. More movement and hands-on learning.
51. More fun.
52. One-on-one instruction and learning.
53. Reading delays easily accommodated in other subjects with mom reading the directions and texts.
54. I am the one who comforts my child when he is in pain or struggling.
55. Schedule flexibility – start at noon, school on Saturday, stay up late and watch the Olympics.
56. Calm mornings without the rush.
57. Learning happens all the time, not just from 9-3.
58. Your child has the time to master concepts before moving onto new learning.
59. Volunteering and service activities are easy to incorporate.
60. Siblings learn together.
61. No school bus.
62. Homeschooling fosters independent thinking and learning.
63. No lining up seven times a day.
64. Library day can be any day.
65. Daily preparation for real life activities (my son can pay for groceries and comfortably ask questions of store owners).
66. No Common Core.
67. No need to spend tons of money on trendy clothes and items.
68. Older children can easily complete internships.
69. Flexible work hours for after school employment.
70. No attendance pressure.
71. No need for doctor’s notes.
72. There is no such thing as an unexcused absence.
73. Mom learns too, right alongside her child.
74. You get the best hours of your child’s day – not just the tired left overs at the end.
75. The same is true for children with medicines that wear off. You get the best hours of the day.
76. Private school is really, really expensive.
77. You can provide a truly appropriate and individualized education.
78. My home is the least restrictive environment I know.
79. Family togetherness and closeness.
80. No shame for being three years below grade level in reading.
81. No Pull-Out Resource Room.
82. No stigma attached to the Pull-Out Resource Room.
83. Travel is a part of school.
84. No school fees.
85. No supply lists.
86. No permission slips.
87. If your child struggles with wearing socks and shoes, he can wear flip flips or crocs. (Ask me how I know…)
88. No scratchy uniforms.
89. A gifted child can zoom ahead.
90. A struggling learner can take his time.
91. Friends of various ages and life stages.
92. No need for before or after care.
93. Your child isn’t compared to other children.
94. No one laughs at my child when he struggles.
95. No test anxiety – Ever.
96. No cafeteria food – Ever.
97. Learning is a lifestyle and woven into every part of the day.
98. The trampoline is as effective as a desk.
99. You will never have to worry who is caring for your child.
100. Your child is always the top of the class.
101. Your child’s teacher LOVES him.
Resources For Homeschooling A Child With Special Needs
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.