Struggling Learners/Special Needs Homeschooling

July 26, 2017

Hey Mama,

If you’re dealing with the challenges (and joys) of a struggling learner or special needs child, here’s some help from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine:

Homeschooling a Struggling Learner: Where Do I Find the Time?

Homeschooling Your Child with Autism

Nobody’s Normal

Homeschooling Your Special Needs Child


And remember:

Next week will take care of itself. Yes, a lot’s got to be accomplished during the next seven days, and it’s barreling down on us like a freight train, but you are not alone. Don’t forget the “God Factor” in all of this. Remember Him? He is the One who holds it all together. He is the One who builds and maintains our faith. He is the One who gave us these children, our beautiful families. All part of His plan, we are squarely in the center of His hand, completely cared for by Him.


He never tears down what He is building. He is not the God of chaos or confusion. If He has put you on this path, you can trust that He has a plan, and you can rest in it. You can walk in full confidence!


So, sure, there’s stuff that has to get done today. But first off, take a moment to look up to your Lord and Savior, and thank Him. Worship Him for all He has done and continues to do in your life. He is with you today! Enjoy it. Go through this day remembering that YOU, Mama, are the Daughter of THE only King, and as this much loved princess, you can put one foot in front of the other, in all the grace, courage, and tenacity you are made of. You’re doing things right.


His hand is still on your head today.



Young Entrepreneurs of North America invites you to check out our website for more information about our courses in Entrepreneurship, Accounting, Personal Finance, and Public Speaking.  Contact me, Jason Lindsay, at or 902-209-3147 for more information.

Young Entrepreneurs of North America

As long as children are involved in an organized forum for learning, such as public/private school or homeschool, there will be struggling learners.  Many parents experience this challenge, and it can be a frustrating experience, to say the least! Now don’t get me wrong – I was a good student - but here are two things that you need to understand about that:

First, not everybody will be a good student. Why? There are different learning styles – visual, physical, aural, logical, verbal – and perhaps the child’s curriculum is not suited to their particular style. In addition, there are different levels of “brain power” among children. Finally, the child’s environment can also play a role. The most important thing to realize, however, is that God blesses each one of us with certain skills and abilities that we are to use as we go through life, and we need to be content with where he has placed us. The Apostle Paul speaks of this in Philippians 4:11-13.  

Second, getting good grades does not guarantee you any kind of material success in life. I would even go as far as to say that being a good student can sometimes be a hindrance in life, if the knowledge a student has acquired is not accompanied with other important skills, such as communication, work ethic, and a willingness to try new things. I have met many people in my life who were strong students, but not very successful in their chosen career, because they did not have the people skills necessary to move forward. Also, sometimes children who do very well in their studies will not develop a strong work ethic because their school work came so easily.

Society has a way of getting people to think that one must get a great education, attend university, find a high-paying job with a pension, and retire from the work force at age 55. This rarely happens, and I don’t even think it should be one’s focus. I think one thing that is often overlooked in the homeshool world is the development of character. This is addressed in Proverbs 22:6.  

What can parents do when they are working with a struggling learner?

  • Exercise patience.

  • Focus on the child’s strengths and look to develop them further.

  • Realize that the child’s struggles do not need to result in an unsuccessful path through life.

  • Most importantly, trust in the LORD.

~ Jason

Jason Lindsay currently resides in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Christina, for more than seven years, and together they run "Young Entrepreneurs of North America." Their company is dedicated to working with youth and teaching them various skills, such as business, accounting, personal finance, and communication, which they can use to honour and glorify God in their lives. Jason has been in business for the last fifteen years working as a financial advisor, a university tutor for accounting and finance courses, and a bookkeeper, in addition to his work with Young Entrepreneurs of North America. It was approximately eight years ago that God changed his heart and convicted him of his sin, and ever since then he has been attending church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he holds positions of Deacon and Treasurer. Besides being an avid sports fan, he enjoys running, reading, and spending time with his wife. Check out the company website at:


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Staying Relational 

Dear Friends,

Before we talk about “special needs” children, let’s first consider the BIG need of every child (and every adult), because if we do, we’re going to discover something powerful about today’s topic.

So, what’s your vote? Apart from our obvious need of God, what is the BIG need of every human being? That’s right!! Love. The unconditional loved-because-of-who-you-really-are kind of love. Regardless of height, weight, hair color, skills, strengths, wealth, intelligence, language, or culture, we all have a massive need to be loved—and known—for who we are.

And, my dear friends, that is something that YOU can provide for your own children. Whether their skills are in calculus or cuddling, in literature or laughing, in reasoning or rugby, they need to be loved (gently and kindly, Galatians 5:22), especially by their parents.

If kids know they are loved by their moms and dads, then these parents have the best foundation for teaching them. You are uniquely qualified for the task, because you bring a depth of commitment, of love, and of personal knowledge of your children that no one else can match.

We also need the wisdom and counsel and experience of those who have gone before us, as well as of those who have deeply studied how people learn. This wisdom and counsel is more precious than silver or gold.

With the twin concepts of unconditional love and wise counsel in mind, if you are considering homeschooling a child with special needs, let me point you to some very qualified people and resources who can help you in your quest.

The first is Hope and a Future. I met Linda Kane years ago, and was deeply impressed with the specific knowledge and help she brings to families with special needs children. She will direct you to a nationwide group of very capable counselors.

Dianne Craft also offers specific help in working with learning and behavioral difficulties.

For helpful reading, Joyce Herzog’s book, Learning in Spite of Labels, is filled with practical encouragement and insights for families who face learning disabilities of any sort. And, Homeschooling the Challenging Child, by Christine Field is a book that helps you sort the challenges you might be facing—whether discipline, disability, learning style, or attention disorder—and then practical suggestions for how to address it.

There may also be people in your local community who will help you build on the foundation of your love and commitment for your child. Seek them out, dear friend, without any condemnation or guilt! Prayerfully seek the help and encouragement you need because what you are doing IS difficult.

Remember, stay relational,



Bring History . . . to Life! 

Discover the heart-warming story of Bessie; and how ‘Bessie’s Pillow’ brings real, living history to life in your homeschool!

Kerry Tittle    

As I’m writing this, I have graduated a child with special needs, and now it seems I have yet another struggling learner. I am much more relaxed the second time around, but the stress is still real.

There are a few suggestions I have for homeschooling a struggling learner.

  • Chill! I would first encourage the parent to RELAX! We serve a big God who doesn’t make mistakes. He has knitted your child together perfectly for the purposes He has intended. Try to be intentional to remember this plan is for your family’s good and for His glory!  
  • Don’t Compare! Do not compare your child’s progress to siblings or children of other families. Believe it or not, they can pick up on this, and it will further discourage you and your child.  
  • Research. There are many levels of learning struggles. Find a way to identify the problem. This seems to be the hardest part, but once you have done this, you can customize a curriculum tailored to your child’s needs. When I scan the various booths at homeschool conventions these days, I never cease to be impressed with how many options are out there to help strugglers! Most of these folks are willing to talk to you and offer a wealth of information.
  • Environment. I am finding that an environment that is comfortable for your child is key to being able to focus. One of the things I noticed about both of my strugglers that was different from their siblings (Oops! I’m comparing!) is that they thrived with a messy desk!  It drove me insane.  Whenever I would tidy and organize their desk, I would be met with blank stares, and I seemingly had messed everything up. Become a student of your child’s needs and character.  This will help enormously!
  • Find Support. I would highly recommend Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Not only do they provide legal defense, they have special needs consultants, as well as support groups. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has many resources to guide parents in this area as well. Obviously, local support is needed. If you don’t have a local support group, it may be time to start one. Once you are transparent, it will encourage other parents that they have a safe place to share as well.

This time with your child shouldn’t be constantly marked with challenges. Find activities that your child does well, and be a part of that with them. Find things that interest them. I believe I have memorized every exhibit at our local zoo, and, quite frankly, have lost interest, but I keep going because it brings her joy and it's her favorite place to be. Affirm them in areas whenever you can.

Having a child with challenging needs may seem difficult at the time, but someday, you will look back and see how much God taught YOU through caring selflessly for these little ones. Press into Him! He is faithful!

~ Kerry

Kerry Tittle is a mother of 9 children and an 18-year homeschool veteran. She was the founder of ReformationKidz Publishing that was lost to a natural disaster. Her desire is to honor Christ while encouraging parents during the hard years of homeschooling.


Refocus. Refresh. Restart!

This workshop provides parents with the education, tools, and support needed to reduce stress and help children thrive.

Contact: or

I am crazy busy as I write this. In fact, the last two weekends I've been in Phoenix and Pasadena, and we leave tomorrow for Houston. So, this will need to be short and to the point.

Here's the deal: Wherever I speak to homeschoolers, I inevitably have parents of struggling learners/special needs children who make their way up front after I've spoken to ask me a question. The question usually goes like this: "Everyone around me is telling me to put my child in "real" school. What do you think I should do?"

My answer is the always the same, "What do you want to do?" Usually they get choked up and say, "I want to homeschool them."

To which I affirm, "Then you SHOULD homeschool, and stop listening to those around you." I then go on to tell them why home is still the best place for their child, that they are the best teacher for their child, and how that child is a masterpiece created by God.*

So, if you're a mom, and you're feeling the pressure to put your "masterpiece” in "real" school, I'll say the same to you, "If you want to homeschool . . . then you SHOULD homeschool your child!" 

But, first, you should stop thinking about school, and keep enjoying your summer with all your “masterpieces”!

Be real,


*Get the life-changing audio CD of "This We Believe,” here. Best thing you'll listen to all summer!


The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and curious homeschoolers everywhere want to know what you think are the Best Choices for homeschool curricula and products! Cast your votes for the 2017 The Old Schoolhouse® Excellence in Education Awards!

The Old Schoolhouse® Excellence in Education Awards are awarded to the companies or curricula that you and your fellow home educators feel are the best of the best in homeschool educational materials, curriculum providers, and supplemental products!

Click on this link to take a short survey* and let us know which homeschool materials are your favorites. (The Old Schoolhouse® will give everyone who completes our survey a $100 gift certificate to our Schoolhouse Store for any digital purchase!**)

We’ll also hold a drawing to give away three Kindle Fires! Yes, THREE Kindle Fires—a wonderful addition to your homeschool!

Then watch for the results to be revealed in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine 2017 - 2018 Annual Print Book. Hurry! Survey runs through August 1, 2017.

Have You Heard These Homeschool Lines Before?

We have an Udderly Fabulous Deal for You!


Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those 
CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here: . Corner 
Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for members! 
No limits.

Do you need a new approach to a subject? Could you use a break from traditional instruction? Would you like to rekindle your child’s love of learning with something that doesn’t look like “school”? Try some of the many non-traditional options available to you as a member such as:

  • Videos on a wide range of Bible and history topics, including the fun and engaging Drive Thru History series on ancient history and American history
  • World Book resources including science experiments, text-to-speech options, a visual dictionary, games, trivia quizzes, and more
  • Courses with a non-traditional focus such as Bug Science, Hands-On Architecture, ABC: What Will I Be?, American History in Picture Books, and many more

If you need some additional resources to help your struggling learners, don’t forget the Special Needs Focused Learning Center, full of lessons and resources to help you teach your child at home.

Every resource on is included in your membership. It’s just one low fee, and there are no per-child fees or additional fees for textbooks.

Don’t forget that our summer programs end July 31! Come enjoy both the reading and outdoor activity programs today and enter the summer writing contest and the photography contest for a chance to win prizes! See the site for the details.

If you aren’t already a member, you can try the entire site for just $5. If you or someone you know is interested in designing lessons for our site, please contact Director Bonnie Rose Hudson at

Join today!

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.

As homeschoolers, there are so many skills we teach our children, but none is more important than how to read. The ability to read and do it well often determines how your child will progress through his education. Reading for most children is not a challenge. Then at times, there are children who experience reading difficulty due to struggles with conditions like dyslexia or are just new readers who have difficulty with learning how to put the patterns of language together as rapidly as the average reader.

Author Sarah K. Blodgett was one of those parents who watched her own child struggle with reading. If you have ever been in that position, you understand the helplessness that may ensue. Rather than give up, Blodgett relied on her background in research. The result is Noah Text, which is one of those, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” ideas.

The concept behind Noah Text is quite simple. Noting the complexity of the English language, Blodgett focuses on the “code” or patterns used in teaching reading. The recognition of syllables and vowel sounds in words is further defined by highlighting and bolding those areas in the sentences students read. Learning the language patterns of words is easier with visual reminders as students move through the words in each sentence. Students navigate through text that notes the patterns in the words, which helps them improve their reading fluency and comprehension.

Blodgett has created three reading levels for Noah Text. This is an example of one of them:

Using all three levels of text presentation, Blodgett has written a chapter book series, The Mystical Years of Franklin Noah Peterson, which includes three volumes. Blodgett uses the same specific text in all three volumes of each level of the books in the series. It is that consistency that helps build a level of comfort in the struggling reader. As the student grows in his confidence with reading, the Noah Text graduates with him allowing the student to move from the visual support to eventually reading plain text without the coding of the words. Whether the student needs to rely on the Noah Text patterns throughout all three books in the series, he will still be able to feel a sense of accomplishment as he turns and reads the last page of the chapter book. (. . .)

(Read the rest of the review.)

YOU can WIN this nine-book set for your homeschool!

TO ENTER: Email Kathleen with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, “Noah Text” for a chance to win it for your family! 

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