Special Needs Homeschooling: Resources
October 2, 2019
In This Issue:
A Special Word of Encouragement

Hey Mama,

Today we're hoping to encourage a very special group of homeschoolers. Some of you, probably more than we even realize, are homeschooling children with special needs. Your children are your unique gifts, but maybe not in the way the rest of the world thinks. You and I know that God made them exactly the way He wanted them. And Mama, they will bring glory to His name unlike others!

But it can be challenging at times, and that's why we're here to encourage and help along the way—if we can. Today's THM is focused on resources to help you homeschool your unique learners.

And I have one resource hidden away in my back pocket (just for you) that you won't want to miss. Know what it is?

SchoolhouseTeachers.com, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine's Christian, self-paced, online homeschooling curriculum.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com covers every subject . . . every grade . . . every student. You heard right . . . EVERY student, even your special needs learners, and we offer a complete preschool through high school curriculum—no extra textbooks or curriculum to purchase. Our Focused Learning Centers provide help for all kinds of areas, including Help with Special Needs.

I also want to share our free Directory of Resources for Special Needs Students from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Through the years, these directories have been invaluable to our readers.

But most importantly, Mama, take a deep breath and remember. . .

No fear. No sadness. No grief. No worry. He is on the throne and never sleeps, and He has conquered those things. Justice is His character, Mercy is His name. His eyes miss nothing. Ask Him to show you favor. Ask Him to be gracious with you. Ask Him to be your Defender.

He will because He Is.

And His hand is on your head tonight.

- gena
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A Special, Struggling, and Different Teacher

By the grace of God, we raised a special needs child all the way through our private homeschool. Rebellious with a side of Aspergers, we had a lot to learn and had to lean hard on God’s Word and His mercy. Even though those were the most difficult years of our schooling, home was the best place for this special learner. 

I have had other children that have struggled with things like dyslexia, dysgraphia, and visual/brain issues. But, rather than talking about these special, struggling, and different learners, I want to talk about their special, struggling, and different teacher

I have found in teaching my special learners, that I need special grace. Some days I struggle more than they do. Some days I am overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy for the task to the point that my inadequacies seem even larger than theirs. I struggle with having to meet so many different needs and feel that maybe none of our needs are being met adequately. I believe that a special teacher could certainly do a better job teaching these children. I think that perhaps I wasn’t cut out for this special job after all. 

What keeps these discouraging thoughts at bay is to consider a few questions. Is my God good? If so, is everything He’s placed in my life good or for my good? Does He love me? Is everything He has given me out of His love for me? Has God shown me mercy and grace? Does He give me enough mercy and grace to overflow and share with others? Has He given me everything I need for life? All a resounding YES and A-men!

So, what is keeping back His goodness, love, and grace from flowing through me? When my focus is on my own resources, I find that I have nothing to offer, and I become discouraged. When I shift my focus and see the abundance of God’s provision, I find rest because I find that He has and is enough. 

As I humble myself and realize my own needs are fulfilled in Christ alone, I am able to rise and serve those He’s placed in my life with His resources and not mine. I just need to stay low and let His grace flow. The answer is abiding in Him. I have no goodness, no love, and no grace to offer anyone. But as I stay in the flow of God’s grace and mercy, He bears fruit in me—even enough to share with all those around me. 

His grace . . . His free and unmerited favor—it’s what He pours out on this struggling, special, and different teacher. It’s the treasure we have to offer our struggling learners as we keep them Home Where They Belong.

“In the house of the righteous there is much treasure” Proverbs 15:6. 

We have an abundance of articles about special learners through The Homeschool Minute archives and through The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. The new Fall issue has four beautiful articles relating to special needs homeschooling. Check them out for free at www.tosmagazine.com. Plus, you can hear our own story about raising a rebel here

God Gave Them You 

Hey Mom! I don't know much about the special needs of special needs kids, but I do know this: God gave them exactly the mother they needed AND God gave you exactly the kids YOU needed.

That should make you feel good. Oh, sure, some other kids might be easier or fit the mold better, but God knew best. He knew your children needed you and you needed them. So take a deep breath, thank God for this amazing team He put together, and then tackle some of the issues your children might be dealing with.

Now, I won't pretend to have a clue how to do that, but I will direct you to a podcast we did on The Smiling Homeschooler with Dianne Craft. She's a special needs expert and deals with these issues with ease and positive, fix-ability. You should listen because it's going to make you smile.

Be real, and keep smiling at those children of yours,
Todd

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Moving Forward in Understanding and Skills

I found with my special needs kids that it is not always a matter of different resources but how we use them and how fast we go. Instead of trying to teach through a book, I try to teach a concept. We stay on that concept until we get it, often returning to it for review. I don’t worry about grade level but rather what level in each subject my child is ready for. We are often ahead in math by years and behind in spelling and writing.

Math manipulatives are very helpful. Kids learn best by doing. Often a math workbook has a few pages for a new concept and moves on. I seek additional worksheets on the concept (Pinterest and other online free worksheets) and also try to figure out how I can represent the concept in different ways using all of the senses. For instance, when learning about even numbers, we put plastic bears into groups, hung monkeys by two’s, skipped on a number track made from chalk on the driveway by two’s, and sang by two’s.

A great spelling help is AVKO Sequential Spelling. I do not use it as advised. Rather we take as few or as many words as the student can handle that day. He writes them out as I read them, we correct the words, rewrite them, draw pictures with the letters in them, skip around the table while spelling them, and then write them again using large motor skills on the white board and smaller motor skills with pencil. The next day we start with the same words. When the student is spelling a word correctly consistently, then we add new ones.

Reading is learned through review, card games, pictures, and listening while I read. There are many books available with high interest but low reading vocabulary. I find these helpful for struggling readers. 

We handle science and history through the student reading out loud and stopping often to discuss while I also write out a reading list of new words or words he stumbled over. I read longer books on the subjects out loud, and we always do lots of projects and field trips.

Learning is about taking your child from where he is and moving him forward in understanding and in skills. Having clear, definitive goals and expectations is important. Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your child. He is a gift from God!

Dara Halydier is an author, speaker, and mom of five grown boys! She homeschooled for twenty-one wonderful years and is now encouraging other homeschooling families. She is the executive director of Abiding Truth Ministry and the author of the Practical Proverbs series and other books. Dara has learned life’s lessons the hard way—experience! The lessons she shares come from truths that she has learned from dealing with chronic pain, having moved thirty-three times, having four boys with learning disabilities, and having overcome a past of abuse to proclaim God’s grace, forgiveness, and freedom. Find out more at  www.abidingtruthministry.com .
Are you trying to figure out how to assign separate classes to each of your students within  SchoolhouseTeachers.com ? Watch this  tutorial  to learn how to use the great Bookmark feature to organize course assignments!
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CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here:  www.TryHomeschooling.com .
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No limits.
From a nineteen-part program to help parents of children with language delays or deficits, dyslexia, difficulty with math, or other challenges, to dozens of encouraging articles full of practical tips, the Special Needs Resource Center for members of SchoolhouseTeachers.com is packed with incredible material. Come take a look at the resources we’ve created and assembled to equip you to help your children excel. 

If you haven’t joined SchoolhouseTeachers.com, come give us a try! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at bhudson@TheOldSchoolhouse.com. Discover the wealth of materials available right at your fingertips at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. 


Bonnie Rose Hudson
Director of SchoolhouseTeachers.com
A division of The Old Schoolhouse ® Magazine
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner
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