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Old 04-16-2014, 08:57 PM   #1
RN01
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home schooling a special needs child??

My daughter is in 3rd grade in a public school with part of her classes in the special eduaction classroom. She had a brain hemmorage when she was 4 resulting in a brain injury. We have had trouble since then with her behavior on and off. Also this year she has fallen farther and farther behind in math and reading. She is distracted easily and has a hard time keeping her place while reading. Also her short term memory is greatly affected. I think she would benefit from me homeschooling her one on one but that means me quitting my job of 12 years which I am willing to do but its still scary. Ive looked at many homeschooling programs and cant find one that looks right for her. Any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated....especially from anyone who has or is homeschooling their special needs child.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:30 PM   #2
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I am a homeschooling mom and I used to be a special Ed teacher. I would do it. I think there is nothing better than educating your child at home. I always said when I was teaching that if I ever had a child with special needs that I would pull him or her from school. Schools are just not equipped to provide the time and instruction special needs children require. Not the teachers' faults. There just isn't enough resources. When I taught I had sixty students on my caseload.

At home you can choose your programs. Look into Direct instruction programs by Siegfried engelmann. SRA McGraw hill sells them. They have programs for reading, math, science, spelling and language arts. They are research based programs. Google "project follow through" to learn about how effective they are. I have taught special Ed with them for over twenty years.

My daughter has been home with me for two years now. She is ten but reads at a grade seven level, she is doing grade nine math and we are well into high school level science. We accomplish so much in a day and pursue her interests.

My four year old twins will join us in September. I am teaching them to read now and they are reading beyond a grade one level now.

Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:45 AM   #3
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I homeschooled DD who is mildly dyslexic. She will graduate this year.

I know several families with kids on the Spectrum and with other needs that homeschool. Their kids flurished and bloomed.



They would try differant programs, curriculum to see what worked for them. They tried differant set up for their school:4day week, 30min work 10 break, year round, following the "typical" school year, 6wk on 1 wk off.

They gave themselves permission to fail, to change, to try something new.

They also joined local group.

They followed their kiddos lead. Kid needed a break they took it. Kid into art, they ran with it.

You can totally do this
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:41 AM   #4
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Our neighbor pulled her DD who was falling behind in both reading and math. She said her DD would cry every night because the homework was too hard, and she was embarrassed when called on in class, since she rarely knew the answer.
It has worked out wonderfully for them! She has DD reading books that interest her, and they go at a slower pace. And they've found different strategies for math that were not in place at school. The lightbulb has turned on for her DD in math!

I currently work in a school as a special ed. aide, so I know first hand how difficult it is to give each student what they need. We are understaffed, and overburdened with a huge amount of children. We try our best to give individualized attention, but there is not enough of us to go around. Kids are often lumped together, even if their abilities are not compatible, just so we can have some instructional time with them.

You know your DD best, and she will do well with you I'm sure!!
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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We homeschool all 6 of our children. We have 2 on the spectrum and one with severe dyslexia and dysgraphia. It is definitely challenging but I wouldn't change it for the world. My oldest son has moderate autism. He was struggling so much in school. We had to fight him to get on the bus every morning. Every afternoon when he got home from school he would have meltdowns because he knew he had to go to school the next day. He was being pushed forward even though he wasn't meeting goals because "special education children can't be held back". We did hold him back a year at home and he is working on grade level. We have tried multiple programs...there is so much trial and error. But it's nice to know that you have the freedom to switch and figure out what works for your child. My son with dyslexia (who I was told would probably never be able to read well at all) is now reading a year above grade level. I'm not bashing the school systems, but sometimes with special needs children, it is very hard to meet all of their needs in the classroom. At least for our family, homeschooling has been the best option.
Oh and also, I get what you are saying about not finding a program that seems to be perfect for her...most of the time you end up piecing together several different programs. And you also have to prepare yourself that you will probably make a wrong choice at some point and need to switch. Like I said, it is definitely a process of trial and error.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great responses. I'm curious what curriculum those of you with special needs kids are using?
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:13 PM   #7
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Reading mastery
Connecting math concepts
Reasoning and writing
Spelling mastery
Academic core level a (science)

All sold by SRA McGraw hill
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:02 PM   #8
Usandthe4kids
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My oldest son does well with Lifepac by Alpha Omega Publications. For him, seeing exactly what needs to be done each day is important. A lot of special needs parents haven't had success though because it is fairly boring.
My son with severe dyslexia did very well with The Wilson Reading program.
I have several friends who absolutely love Math-U-See and say it is perfect for kids who are struggling.
We tried Sonlight as well but that one is expensive and none of my children were fond of it. However, some families love it. In my opinion, it lacks the structure for special needs kids...but that's just my experience.
Hope that helps a little
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:44 PM   #9
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Is she getting one on one instruction in school?
If not, have you spoken to the school about whether this is an option? My daughter needed more help so they moved her into the resource room for instruction and it has really helped her out. I just want to remind you that while there are definitely many districts where special needs kids don't get enough, there are some that have the funding a resources they need to really meet your needs. If you're lucky that could let you keep your career if you want that. Before we tried the resource room out I was trying to figure out how I would keep DD home, but I know I am just not the right person to be a teacher. Luckily, I didn't have to be.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:21 PM   #10
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I homeschool my 5 children. Some of them are developmentally a little different, but they're actually gifted academically, so it's different than what you're dealing with.

Nevertheless, I think the best way to choose curriculum is probably to start by doing a little work to discover what your philosophy of education is. After you decide how you think children learn, you can narrow down your choices to just the programs that teach the way you want to teach, and then you can make your choice from those selections. You probably won't need special books just because she's lagging behind. You'll just start her at her level, regardless of what grade is written on the cover of the book. You take as long as you need to progress to the next level. Sometimes it will go faster, and other times it will go slower. Sometimes she'll need more practice in an area than your curriculum provides, so you'll get some supplemental activities.

Longterm, you'll have two choices. You can either teach her until she's achieved what you would consider a 12th grade education no matter how long that takes, or you can school her until she's 18 and be happy with what she's learned. Even if she only has, for example, a 9th grade education at that point, it will be better for her to have a thorough understanding of all the stuff people learn in the 9th grade instead of just sitting through more advanced classes and not learning most of the material because it was going too fast for her.

I have two favorite books that I always recommend to people where you are right now. One of them is So You're Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel (that's Blair from Facts of Life). It's an awesome book because she profiles several different homeschooling families and gives details about why they're homeschooling, how their children learn, etc. The greatest part is that she tells you the name of the curriculum they use. You can find the family that's closest to you and check out that program. The second book I'd recommend is Cathy Duffy's 101 Top Picks. It's wonderful because the first part of the book has a quiz where you find out what kind of program is best for you. Then she reviews a lot of available programs for all different kinds of learners.

You're not going to find the "perfect" curriculum the first year. You'll probably never find it, but you will get close. You'll just have to find one to start with that sounds good and looks good. Once you've used it for a while, if it's not working as well as you need it to, you'll have something to compare. You can ask other homeschoolers what they've found that's more of this and less of that than the specific curriculum you're using.

It's a great time of year to consider homeschooling. The convention season is starting, and there's probably a convention near you sometime soon. See if you can find one so that you can go actually look at and touch the books that sound best to you to see if they're as good as you hoped. There will also be lectures you can attend. The lectures that draw the most people are the ones about schooling children with special needs and the ones about schooling gifted children, so you can always count on their being several sessions that address special needs students.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:36 PM   #11
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I homeschool all three of my kids. The youngest has down syndrome. It can definitely be challenging but I wouldn't want it any other way. He is learning so much from his brother and sister and from being around so many different kids at our co-op. Nobody knows what your daughter needs like you.

We use Math U See for him and like it. We also have tried some online things because he loves that - Reading Eggs, Time 4 Learning.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:10 PM   #12
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We've been a homeschooling family for 8 yrs now. Both of my kids are developmentally/academically on track, but there is a site I'd like to recommend. If you're not familiar with The Homeschool Lounge, you may find help and wisdom there.

It's a huge homeschooling social networking forum, and is very similar to Disboards in it's layout.

I know there are forums for parents homeschooling children with some of the same concerns your child has, so it would be a great place to ask questions and seek advice.

Regardless, best of luck!
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Old Yesterday, 06:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistysue View Post
Is she getting one on one instruction in school?
If not, have you spoken to the school about whether this is an option? My daughter needed more help so they moved her into the resource room for instruction and it has really helped her out. I just want to remind you that while there are definitely many districts where special needs kids don't get enough, there are some that have the funding a resources they need to really meet your needs. If you're lucky that could let you keep your career if you want that. Before we tried the resource room out I was trying to figure out how I would keep DD home, but I know I am just not the right person to be a teacher. Luckily, I didn't have to be.
Not to discourage the OP, but I think your point about you not being the right person to be a teacher is a big one. I homeschooled my son all the way through, but many in our homeschool group ended up sending their kids to public school because it got to be too much. It is a really big commitment, both time and money-wise. Are you able to survive with just one income? Can you handle possibly being asked to explain one thing over and over without flying off the handle? Can you handle being around your child 24/7? I don't ask that last one to be mean or snarky or anything, but those that did send their kids back to public school just got burned out. Giving up your job to homeschool is a huge life-changing choice. Just make sure it is the right one, both economically and emotionally.
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