Homeschooling under any circumstances can be a challenge, but when you have one or more children who have learning disabilities, the challenge increases. Fortunately, there are ways that you can make your journey a little easier. Finding ways that you can help your child to focus on the tasks at hand is your priority. Consider these tips:
Determine Your Child’s Challenges and Strengths
Each child is different, so you need to find out your child’s challenges and strengths. This lets you know what types of strategies to try with your child. For example, a child who suffers from dyslexia might have trouble reading tight print. You might be able to help your child by increasing font size and using all capital letters or increasing the spacing between letters and words slightly. You can always adapt lessons to fit a child’s needs.
Be Willing to Try New Methods
Some parents who homeschool children get stuck on thinking that traditional school models are the only ones that are effective. When you have a child who has a learning disability, sitting at a desk for hours on end is likely going to be more of a struggle than what you want to deal with. Try new methods because you never know what is going to work.
A parent who has a child with ADHD might find that having movements incorporated into the lessons can help the child expend energy and focus. A child who is learning letters might benefit from using his or her entire body during the lesson. To do this, you could use a pencil to outline each letter on its own poster board. Allow the child to step in paint and walk the letter. Be sure to have something to wipe the child’s feet with. Display the posters in the homeschool classroom or child’s room. You can do this one letter at a time or make an alphabet wall or border.
Stay Focused on the Ultimate Goal
Children learn at different rates, so don’t be surprised if your child picks up some concepts quickly and others slowly. Always reward your child for a job well done, even if the child was unable to complete the task but gave his or her best effort. Using tangible awards can help to keep a child who has a learning disability focused. For younger children, using stickers or stamps can help them to focus. Be sure to set achievable goals for this.
As a home schooling parent, you can help a child with learning challenges succeed with a little experimentation and a creative approach to teaching.