Awe the old myth that as a home school family our children test above average in all subjects. Our children are usually a grade ahead of their piers. Our children are walking encyclopedias. I have been fighting these myths with my son who is delayed in speech and cognitive processes for 2 years. He is 8 and we are barely in 1st grade. He is spelling and reading on a very basic level. I have defended our position on home schooling him to friends and even family! They ask when is he going to school? Wouldn’t school be better? And, I am not kidding you, what about socialization? All this mostly from friends and family members who were home schooled themselves. Home schooling a child with a disability is a new frontier. I relate it to the early days of the home school movement. Why would anyone in their right mind do this?
Choosing to home school a child with a disability is not an easy decision. Yet if you decide to do it I want you to throw out every single, main stream idea about home school. You will just feel like you are failing your child. I know I have felt this way many times. But you are not failing your child. Who better to educate them then you? You know their touch points. You know how they learn best. You know when they need a break. You know how to encourage learning. You Know…
I like the fact that I can be more involved with therapy and so can you. You can pick and choose the speech therapist, the developmental therapist, the occupational therapist, etc. Your child is not stuck with someone that may not fit their personalities. My son was in developmental preschool at two different schools. At each there were professionals that just didn’t get him. We are currently working on speech therapy. Our therapist is wonderful! She fits Sean’s personality. She even gives us homework to work on through out the week (be vocal that you are willing to work on things at home).
Sean is a kinetic learner. In a traditional setting this means he would be getting into trouble because he can’t sit still. We have a bar table which turned out to be a God send for Sean (and to think I almost talked my husband out of getting it 7 years ago). He rarely sits through school but stands and does his work. He is loud and full of joyous movement when he finally gets a concept. I have different curriculum for each subject because a big box curriculum doesn’t work for him.
So relax. You have my permission to take it as slow as necessary. You have my permission to repeat a grade or two. You have my permission to modify tests. We are not typical home school families. We get to throw out the norms and forage our own trail. Just think, perhaps 10 years from now we will be known as the trail blazers who paved the way for other families to home school their children with disabilities.
God’s grace and patience be with you. Keep on trail blazing!