Homeschooling Special Needs
Our daughter, 6,5 years, is a mildly special needs child with a partial agenesis of the corpus callosum. She socializes well, but cognitively she is delayed.
We are apprehensive about her being placed in a special needs unit amongst children who have bahavioural issues accompanying their cognitive delays. For this reason, we are looking into home-schooling for her.
We are still concerned she will not receive enough social interaction if she is home-schooled (she is one of four siblings, ages 2, 4 and 8yrs). Please can you offer us some advice.
Shirley's Answer to Homeschooling Special Needs
My reply might rock your world a little bit, but I hope you will give it some thought as you make the decisions that lie ahead of you.
For any child who is just not 'average' (and what child is?
), homeschooling is usually a better option, so I think you are considering a good option for your daughter.
What you may not be expecting to hear, is that I would suggest that you consider homeschooling ALL your children. I have 6 kids, currently (2011) ranging from 13 down to 10 months and somehow I manage to homeschool the older 3 (so far) and keep my sanity, so I am sure you could too!
Firstly, you need to understand that because we homeschool does not mean that we isolate our kids at home. Homeschooling is a lifestyle and so homeschooled children socialize with people of all ages, just as much as we the adults do. This is real-life socialization.
Whereas children in school mainly interact with children of the same age, and as a result, by comparison, do not have very good social skills at all. Research has shown this to be true and my personal observations also show it to be so.
If you were to homeschool all your kids, your daughter would have plenty of opportunities to develop social skills with her siblings, as well as the friends, homeschooling support group and others with whom you build a social network.
If this idea seems overwhelming at first, maybe you could consider starting with the younger three children and then at a later stage you could bring the 8 year old home too, although I would say just GO FOR IT with all of them from the start.
I suggest you sign up for the free 7 part email course - Tips for Starting Homeschooling
as this will give you lots of useful info.
Once you have researched homeschooling a bit more and found answers to your questions and doubts, then you will feel more confident about making your decisions. Its a process that every homeschooling parent has to go through, so don't feel alone!
Many homeschooling moms start off feeling very unsure of themselves, but you grow in confidence as you get more experience!
When you send your child to a school, you entrust them to a total stranger and hope for the best. A mother LOVES her children and has a vested interest in their futures, which a teacher seldom does! That alone makes a big difference!
It seems a huge jump to take because homeschooling is new to our generation in South Africa, but actually, in many ways, homeschooling simplifies your lifestyle as you are all together most of the day. It facilitates much better family and sibling relationships and can be very rewarding in many ways. Its not just about academics.
Anyway, I think you are onto a good thing. If you have more questions, just ask. I love encouraging other homeschooling moms!