Homeschooling Special Needs: Resources and Support
If you’re homeschooling a child with special needs or considering doing so, finding support is vital. Sometimes it can feel like you’re alone in your journey, especially if you live in an area with few homeschoolers or resources for special needs families. Fortunately, with the many resources available online, parents all over the country can connect with experts and other special needs families for advice and support. You don’t have to do this alone! The services below offer individualized learning plans, online tutoring, parent support sessions, mentoring, curriculum recommendations, recommendations for local service providers, and more. You’ll also find blogs and websites created by parents homeschooling special needs children and online support groups. Whatever struggles your family is experiencing, there is someone out there who has been through it too and is willing to help.
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Different by Design Learning
Shawna Wingert of Different by Design has experience as both a special education teacher and as a homeschooling mother of two boys with special needs. Different By Design’s aim is to help parents of children with learning differences, behavioral challenges, and other special needs. In Shawna’s blog, you’ll find a wealth of information on sensory processing disorder, ADHD, anxiety, autism, and more. For a fee, Shawna also offers individualized learning plans, online tutoring, and parent support sessions. For a video interview with Shawna, watch Homeschooling with Special Needs and Learning Differences.
SPED Homeschool is a nonprofit organization that connects special education homeschooling families with information, materials, services, and support. SPED Homeschool’s board and team members have a wealth of experience in homeschooling and special education. The website offers articles, videos, podcasts, guides, and more that address a large variety of special needs. They also provide SPED Strong Tribes, which are free regional online communities where you can connect with other parents for support.
Homeschooling with Dyslexia
Marianne, the creator of Homeschooling with Dyslexia, has over 20 years’ experience homeschooling her seven children with dyslexia. In this website’s blog, you’ll find valuable information about dyslexia, teaching tips, curriculum suggestions, encouragement, and much more. Homeschooling with Dyslexia also offers parent courses and a mentoring program for a fee.
Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
HSLDA offers families personalized support for homeschooling with special needs. This service is included, at no additional charge, in the cost of an HSLDA membership. HSLDA’s Special Needs Consultants can review test reports and make recommendations for curriculum, program planning, and provide encouragement. They also have a directory of private, homeschool friendly providers and can help parents find tutors, evaluators, or therapists in their area. You can find more information about HSLDA membership here. For more information about HSLDA’s consultants, or to make an appointment, stop by the HSLDA Educational Consultants Facebook page.
Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with other parents who are homeschooling children with special needs. Below are some groups you may want to try. If none of them is a fit for your family, you can search Facebook for others. There are countless support groups on Facebook.
- Special Needs Homeschooling
- SPED Homeschool Support Group
- Different By Design Learning – Special Needs Motherhood and Homeschooling
- Homeschooling Dyslexic Kids
- Autism & Homeschooling
- Homeschooling our Aspergers, ADHD, ODD, etc.
- Homeschooling the ADHD Child Support Group
- Dysgraphia and Homeschool
- Homeschooling with Chronic Illness
- Homeschooling and Down Syndrome
- Unschooling Special Needs
Blogs About Homeschooling with Special Needs
The following blogs provide information, advice, and encouragement to parents of children with special needs. The authors are all parents who are experienced in special needs homeschooling.
- Inside Our Normal – The author of this blog has experience homeschooling children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, giftedness, dyslexia, and dysgraphia.
- Our Crazy Adventures in Autism Land – A mom who homeschooled her son with autism shares her experiences, information, and encouragement.
- Ben and Me – A mom homeschooling a child with ADHD shares her experiences and advice.
- Every Star is Different – This blog is written by a mom of children with various special needs. Also, her husband was diagnosed as an adult with autism, ADHD, and an anxiety disorder.
- Special Needs Homeschooling – A mom of four children with autism writes this informative blog.
- Raising Life Long Learners – Here, you’ll find posts about parenting and homeschooling gifted and twice-exceptional children, from a mom experienced in both.
- ADHD Home – A mom with ADHD shares her experiences in homeschooling and homemaking.
Blue Collar Homeschool
In Blue Collar Homeschool’s Facebook group, you’ll find encouragement, support, and ideas for homeschooling students headed for trades, the military, technical careers, or entrepreneurship. This group is for all homeschoolers who are interested in pursuing educational goals outside of the college prep path. While the group isn’t specifically designed for special needs learners, many parents there (including the admin, Cindy LaJoy) are homeschooling children with various special needs. Cindy and others in the group are full of advice and encouragement for homeschooling children who learn differently.
Blue Collar Homeschool also has a website where Cindy offers encouragement to parents whose children are working towards “A Different Kind of Homeschooling Excellence.” The site has curriculum recommendations, post-high school information, and a blog. In the blog, you’ll find posts about Cindy’s family’s personal experience, blue collar career profiles, and more.
You can homeschool your child with special needs! There are lots of amazing teachers, but they will never be able to love or care for your child like you do. The best schools won’t be able to provide the one on one, personalized instruction of homeschooling. The most highly-trained experts don’t know or understand your child and their unique needs as well as you do. You are the expert in what’s best for your child.
As you consider homeschooling, I hope these articles will be encouraging to you: