Read these 10 Special Needs/Gifted Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home School tips and hundreds of other topics.
The most important thing that a homeschooling parent of an ADHD child can do is strike a balance between order and flexibility so the school day flows. If you are overly rigid, your child may buck the system and you may find yourself in a contest of wills. If you are too flexible, your child may loose focus. No one knows your child better than you. You will know when the child should be pushed toward a goal. You will also know when your child has had enough for the day. If your child has had enough, be flexible and simply put aside homeschool for the day. If you keep pushing the issue the child may start to resent homeschooling. A child who resents homeschooling is a very hard child to teach.
If you have a special needs or gifted child who is having difficulties in public school, you may want to consider homeschooling. Many parents of special needs and gifted children choose to homeschool because of the flexibility it gives them to design their own schedule and curriculum. Many special needs and gifted children have their own inner clocks and are more alert and focused in the evening or at nigiht. Homeschooling will give you the flexibility to do school work during those windows of time.
Children with ADHD will find it easier to learn at home because there are fewer distrationcs. Children wih learning disabilities can have their school work tailor made for their needs. To learn more about educating special needs and gifted children you can visit LD Online at www.ldonline.org.
If you are going to successfully homeschool an ADHD child you will have to be organized. Chaos will only make learning more difficult for a child who tends to be disorderly himself. If you are in the middle of a lesson and you have your child's attention but then you have to get up and go find materials, a particular book, etc., you may have lost your child's attention for the day. Prepare your lesson beforehand to ensure that you have everything you need.
If you are homeschooling a special needs child, do not feel that you are alone. Many homeschooling parents use outside professionals to help with teaching. These professionals can be located no matter how remote your area. Another great resource to find help with teaching a special needs child is to look for a support group or co-op in your area just for special needs homeschoolers. Many times parents in these groups ban together to hire a certified teacher to help with those trickier subjects.
If you plan to homeschool a special needs or gifted child, you need to find out what his or her learning style is so you can cater to it. Make it your business to find out about learning styles so you can identify which category your child falls within. Once you know what your child's learning style is you can customize the curriculum to fit his or her needs. If you do not identify your child's learning style your attempts at homeschool may fall flat.
For instance, if your child is not an auditory learner and you base all of your teaching methods on long explanations, your child will be lost from the beginning. Go to your public library and check out books on learning styles. They will have descriptions of each learning style and quizzes you can take which will help you to identify which style of learning best suits your child.
When you homeschool a child who is gifted or has special needs, you need to evaluate what your definition of success is to see if it needs to be tweaked. A child who is quick to learn will have a different definition of success than a child who struggles with school. What is success for your child? Your homeschooling day should be labeled a success if you child does what he can and does it well.
By the time students who have been labeled as "learning disabled" since first or second grade reach grade 5 or 6, they are often labeled troublemakers, but parents who have taken these 11- and 12-year old terrors out of school often find that, after only two or three months, their formally rambunctious personality completely changes so that the former troublemakers become treasures to be around!
Parents whose children have been labeled as having severe learning disabilities worry that they would have no idea how to teach their children themselves. I recommend that you visit a learning styles consultant to help you figure out the best way to approach teaching your child, as more often than not, these children simply have different learning style that, once discovered, can be utilized in your homeschooling program with great results.
Not all parents are cut out to be homeschooling parents. It is not a blight on your ability to parent, either. Teaching requires a certain temperament and not all people have it. If you are a perfectionist or disorganized, you may not make a good homeschooling parent. Homeschooling requires tolerance and it can be a slow process. If you are homeschooling and it is not working out for you or your child, there is nothing wrong with stopping. If you continue to homeschool and you and your child both hate it, resentment can easily build which can damage your parent/child bond.
Are you thinking about or attempting to homeschool your child who is deaf or hard-of-hearing? You are not alone, and there are many resources on the internet that you can use to help you and your child in your efforts.
In particular, there is a support group and information clearinghouse for parents who are homeschooling deaf or hard-of-hearing children on Yahoo! groups. Although discussion of general homeschool issues is permitted, the group's focus is really on the particular challenges of homeschooling deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
Some topics that have been discussed include: IEP's, legal issues, how to obtain special ed services, and exploration of alternative educational approaches, presentation, and learning styles. All homeschool approaches are supported and discussed, from "school-at-home" to "unschooling."
If your child is deaf or hard-of-hearing, it's a good idea to join this group, talk with other who are facing the same challenge, and get advice.
The group's web address is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/deafhomeschool
My brother's oldest is in the gifted program at school. I asked him what that meant in terms of learning; what were they doing that was different than the "regular" students?
He told me that the program covered three special topics extensively each school year. For instance, one special topic currently being taught was on the judicial system, which involved activities such as taking a field trip to a courthouse while trials were in session and talking with a judge. Thus what these gifted programs provided can be also done at home with special topics, so you can further continue your child's education in this fun manner, which is very much like the unit-study method of teaching.
There is an infinite variety of places that an active homeschooler can study with his or her child! Enter your gifted child in science fairs, have geography bees, and go on field trips. Tour a plastics factory; see how bagels are made; go to a potato chip factory; visit an automobile manufacturing plant, the post office, police station and fire station; take a weekend cartooning workshop. Check your local paper for classes and workshops available at the YMCA. The list is endless and exploring it will be fun for both you and your child.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|