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.
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.
For more resources, check outExpansion, 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.
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.
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.
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
Historic Museums (some are free)
Pick-Your-Own Farm Visit
Zoo (only free on certain days, or with a pass)
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
Zoo Studies — unit study bundle with sixteen zoo features