Hi, My name is Tiffany and I homeschool a child with special needs. Our daughter (I’ll call her “A”) was part of our family’s big why as we began this homeschool journey 5 years ago. She shares several learning and development needs with my husband. He tells horror stories about his time in public school — It just wasn’t a good fit for a child with special needs 30 years ago.
In case you think “I don’t have children with special needs so this isn’t for me”… I would encourage you to read on. It helps us stop better love others when we understand a bit of what they are going through.
I want to give A her best chance for a successful life. That has to begin with a quality education. Who better to insure she gets that than someone who loves her more than life itself? Right?!?!
Right away I saw that she would learn so much different than my oldest little blessing. We began with a sort of trial and error way of discovery.
- What would work with her?
- What would completely miss the mark?
This was hard because I hate to fail. It literally sends me into panic mode (and anxiety is a struggle of mine so I had to learn skills to cope with that). I needed to learn her specific learning style so I could pick a good curriculum and make it work for her special needs.
Our Special Needs
OCD with Social Anxiety
Sensory Processing Disorder
ADHD – not tested yet
Aggressive Behavioral Disorder
Possibly on the spectrum for Autism – not tested yet
The Best Advice I Can Give You
Sit down with a few homeschooling momma’s who deal with similar special needs
They offered me so much advice and encouragement. Even now they will often touch base with me to see what I need or how they can pray for me. This is a special kind of community that helps keep me motivated on the bad days… the days I want to quit. Community is key to success while homeschooling with special needs.
Remember your “why”
Bad days will come. You need a clear why to make it through these days. Sit down and put pen to paper.
Why are you homeschooling?
What do you hope to accomplish?
When you little blessing is grown and entering the world, what do you want his/her character to reflect?
When you’ve answered these questions for your family, type it up and print it out. Put it where you can see it often. It will keep you motivated.
Make a plan
I know that organization is not everyone’s strength… I wouldn’t say it is my strength. What I have learned is that it is easy to get overwhelmed with all that has to be accomplished in a homeschool year. If I have organized my lesson units and then broken them out into a weekly plan I am ready for the year.
I have worked through lots of options for organizing my lesson plans. I found spreadsheets worked best for my life. They can be easily changed, saved on Google Drive and accessed wherever I am. I’d love to share mine with you and will be offered as a freebie at the bottom of this post.
Know that life will hit you with craziness
If I didn’t have a well-organized plan, I would get way off track. I can easily take away from or add to my plan when needed. It can be changed to accommodate a family vacation. We can adjust it if we are moving faster or slower than expected. With a plan, I can relax through the school year because I know what I need to cover and where I want to land at the end of the year.
Give yourself grace
Your homeschool does not need to look like anyone else’s! What maters is that it works for you and your family. Give yourself a break if it’s not happening the way you expected. Adjust and forgive yourself. God gave you this child and He has a plan for both of your lives.
Pray – He will help you.
He is made strong in your weakness. Embrace it.
You were not meant to do this alone. Be in a community – a co-op, a church group, a momma’s group in your community – something!
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help! Others will welcome the chance to encourage and equip you… but we can’t if we don’t know what your dealing with.
If you are like me you enjoy a visual reminder! Pin this!
To receive your FREE Homescool Organization and Weekly Lessons Plan Guide simply fill out this simple form.
I’d love to be praying with you through this transition in your life. Comment below and know I will be lifting you up throughout this school year.
Hi, my name is Tiffany! I am a Disciple of Christ, a wife of 14 years, a homeschooling mom of 2 beautiful little blessings. My passionate is biblical discipleship even through the chaos of life by encouraging women to keep their eyes fixed on God (Isaiah 26:3-4 NASB). (Tiffany writes at HopeJoyInChrist.com)