What Comes Next? Life Skills with Special Needs Homeschoolers

For some parents, having a special needs child is the impetus to homeschool. Many families are choosing to homeschool because their special needs children’s needs are not being met in the traditional classroom. For others, it’s just one more challenge they aren’t sure how to face. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, homeschooling a special needs child is an adventure!

Homeschooling allows the flexibility for students to go at their own pace.  You get the set the schedule.  You can change the curriculum if it isn’t working.  You can have one long work period, or several shorter work periods spaced out with transitional times.  With family-style schooling, older special needs students can school alongside younger siblings, at the same level, without them feeling as though they’re “behind.”

It can daunting to think about what post-graduation brings for the special needs student, but s/he is in a great position as a homeschooler!  In the upper grades years, homeschooling allows students the time to explore passions and career interests.  Take some time to examine your special needs student’s strengths, combining those and their interests to find a career exploration starting point.

Background Information & Resources

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) covers thirteen specific disabilities, but its implementation varies widely from state to state when it comes to assisting homeschool families.  Learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, health disabilities, impairments (speech, visual, hearing, orthopedic, and emotional), intellectual disabilities, and traumatic brain injuries are all addressed by the act.  Check with your state department of education, and HSLDA, to see what your state will and won’t do for homeschooling students.  

A federal agency, the Rehabilitation Services Administration provides vocational rehabilitation and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment and independence after the high school years.  Each state has their own local agency to help work one-on-one with families.

SPED Homeschool and HSLDA are good general resources for any homeschooling family with special needs students.  These resources are primarily for the younger student, but are a good place to start.


Getting Started with SPED Homeschooling


Addressing Specific Needs


Life Skills for SPED Teens

Special Needs-Friendly Curriculum


An Age of Revolution! Exploring World Change in Your Homeschool

From the mid 18th century to the mid 19th century, the world underwent a series of revolutions across many areas of life, including culturally, politically, economically, technologically, and through war. Call it the age of Aquarius…call it a response to the world connectivity spawned by the age of exploration…whatever the reason, new ideas and actions swept the world, changing it forever.

The American Revolution, largely influenced by the Enlightenment period, is considered the beginning of the Age of Revolution.  Then came the French Revolution, Irish Rebellion, Haitian Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, and civil unrest in Spain and Germany.  Shortly after the War of 1812, European powers came together to form the Holy Alliance in an attempt to restore the monarchies and prevent future unrest.  Less than a decade later, there were uprisings in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.  The working class would no longer sit back, and around the world they began to demand more rights.  

The Age of Revolution also includes the Industrial Revolution – this is when mass production in factories replaced hand-made goods, led to the growth of cities, birthed consumerism, and eventually led to the transportation revolution.

American Revolution Resources

Novel Studies

                  Take a Virtual Field Trip


                  Hands-On / Funschool Learning


                  World Event Unit Studies


                  Additional Reading


                  Government Resources


                  Complete Courses


                  • For more resources, check out Expansion, Independence, and War! It covers both American and world history. Students will learn about major conflicts in American history, spanning from the French and Indian War to the September 11 terror attacks.
                  • The American Revolution course introduces elementary and middle school students to the key battles and players of the Revolutionary War and incorporates history, geography, reading, critical thinking and analysis, and cursive writing throughout.
                  • From the discovery of the New World to the end of the American Revolution, let Dave Stotts take your family on a Drive Thru History. Join him as he takes you to the places where America was born, shares facts about history you have never heard, and has a great deal of fun along the way. Plus, enjoy a special set of worksheets only available here!  Find out more about Drive Thru History

                  Download the FREE World History Timeline with Study Connections!


                  Celebrating the Autumn Holidays in Your Homeschool

                  It’s time for pumpkin spice and everything nice!  By autumn, we’re starting to settle into our homeschooling routine, thinking about upcoming holidays, and wondering how we’ll fit it all in…  Here are activities, books, and resources for incorporating the holidays into your homeschool.  Pick and choose what works best for your family.  Happy fall, y’all!

                  All of these resources are appropriate for middle and high school.


                  Books to Incorporate


                  Unit Studies


                  Online Unit Studies


                  Cooking Activities


                  Download the entire holiday bundle of book lists for free.  Can’t get enough of the holidays?  Incorporate the Bricks Through the Year and History of Our Holidays bundles into your homeschool year, too!  

                  Exploring Asia in Your Homeschool

                  As the largest and most-populated continent, Asia birthed some of the world’s oldest civilizations and continues to shape the world as a whole in the 21st century.  From the Bronze Age ‘Assuwa,’ to ‘Anatolia’ in the Golden Age of Greece, to the approximately forty-eight countries that comprise the region today, economically, politically, and culturally, studying Asia and its history helps students to learn more about the modern world.



                  Resources to Study Asian Geography


                  Resources to Study Asian History (& Food!)



                  Resources to Study China


                  Resources to Study Japan


                  Resources to Study Korea

                  Resources to Study Vietnam


                  Resources to Study India

                  Resources to Study Polynesia

                  Resources to Study the Middle East



                  Download the FREE Diversity Book List with Study Connections!

                  Homeschooling Around Town – The Art of the Field Trip!

                  A big part of our school year is the field trips. Generally, we will study a topic ahead of time and then take the field trip – this helps them to fully understand the hands-on experiences. The kids have been to nearly every state, and experienced a wide range of of historical, scientific, and cultural activities that they wouldn’t have been able to do solely in our home state. Not every family is able to road school, but that doesn’t mean that field trips shouldn’t be a part of your school.

                  Field Trips in Town

                  • Attend a library program
                  • Local historic architecture
                  • Air Shows
                  • Historic Re-enactments
                  • Climb rocks
                  • Historic Museums (some are free)
                  • Pick-Your-Own Farm Visit
                  • Zoo (only free on certain days, or with a pass)
                  • Local newspaper
                  • Factory tours (some are free)
                  • Visit the beach, lake, or riverbank
                  • State Fairs have homeschool days
                  • Visit the local airport
                  • Work in a community garden
                  • Shadow a business (teens)
                  • Animal workshop at the pet shop

                  Field Trip Starters


                  Unique Field Trips


                  More Field Trip Ideas

                  • Check out the Roadschooling Page to find unit studies and field trips built around your location.  There’s something for just about every state in the United States up there!
                  • Finally, though these aren’t free, educational subscription boxes are a great way to bring the field trip into your home. Here are some of our favorites!
                  • Use the world diversity book studies from Literary Adventures to travel the world from the comfort of your own home.  You can go anywhere!