HomeAboutAdvertiseBooksResource DirectoryCurriculumArticlesContactKids PagesFollow Beverley Paine, The Educating Paine, on Facebook



Tap into Beverley's
Educating Parent
experience through her books

You are being redirected to Always Learning Books where you can purchase Beverley Paine's books on how to home educate your children

 


Download your free copy

Download Beverley's free The Educating Parent Resource Directory for information about getting started, support groups, blogs and an extensive list of books about homeschooling and unschooling



Want to learn how to write your
own education plans to suit
your unique children's
individual learning needs?

 

Looking for quality curriculum
and teaching tips ?

 

Over 1000 reassuring and
informative articles to help
build your confidence as an
Educating Parent

Beverley's books are excellent for building confidence as a home educator says Tracey, homeschooling mum.

Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Join Beverley's The Educating Parents Homeschooling and Unschooling Facebook or Yahoo online groups.

Home Educating Children with Special Needs

Vanessa Whittaker, Exploring Approaches to Home Education Seminar, Adelaide 2008

I believe, and our experience is that it is possible and even beneficial to home educate children with special needs.

There are a series of questions to ask yourself when evaluating whether it is possible to home educate your child. Some may include:

  • What are my child's needs and limiting issues? Are needs physical, social, educational, psychological, emotional/behavioural or intellectual? Are limiting issues lots of medical appointments, occupational therapy, speech therapy, ability to move independently, family time commitments, are there two parents to share the responsibility and are both parents in agreement about home educating? If there is only one parent, is social and emotional support available?
  • What is it that your child wants and needs to learn to prepare them for their future? Are you able to prepare a curriculum based on their needs? Is it that life skills are more important? Or is it social skills for your child? Do they have a 'normal' intellectual potential? Will they work in the future? What type of job will be suitable or are their 'dreams' possible?
  • Do you have the support of your child's medical or para-medical providers? If not, is it possible or do you feel able to search out others who would offer support for your decision to home educate your child?
  • Sometimes, parents of children with special needs need to advocate strongly and determinedly for what they believe is their child's need or right. Often against strong opposition. Would you have the ability to cope with strong opposition and be prepared for the stress that could cause? (Sometimes, conditions are rare and there may be only one specialist available, if that is your circumstance would you be willing and able to work towards changing that person's opinion to one of support for your decision?)
  • Find out, if your child was to attend a 'regular' or 'special' school the type of curriculum which would be provided and would that curriculum be appropriate for your child? Would you be able to replicate a similar program for progress to be observed?

These are some questions I can think of that it is important to consider if you are planning a journey into home educating a child or children with special needs. From our experience, where the professionals initially started telling us we were not qualified to meet our child's needs, it was intensely stressful to get to the stage where our decision was finally accepted.

In my opinion, it is a very good option to home educate even if your child needs frequent hospitalisations or visits to medical specialists. I know there are schools in major children's hospitals but this can still lead to a fragmented education program, due to problems communicating between school and hospital school, if the child has to miss a lot of days at school. It may be that they constantly miss the same day and therefore the same lesson, or maybe they miss different days and thus miss a range of subject areas. If you are providing the curriculum it doesn't matter when (or where) your child does their school work. It is just important it happens. You may also choose for your child to do some school work on the weekend and possibly make two weekdays your family's weekend. Flexibility is a major strength of home education.

Sometimes the fact the child has needed frequent visits to hospitals means the family has been separated a lot and maybe siblings have often had to stay with family or friends. Home education can help the family to bond again. The child with special needs may have had lots of painful contact. Home education can help rebuild family relationships and trust. There is enough research available which tells us that children with chronic health issues which involve pain and frequent visits and time in hospital are at high risk of attachment and trust issues which can lead to high risk behaviour later in life. Siblings are also at risk because they can feel excluded. If the family are able to do things together this can help heal or prevent these types of issues. Our experience has been that home education helps in these situations.

In determining a curriculum, for your child with special needs, are you able to record a plan under the eight areas of learning? Are the eight areas of learning relevant for your child?

We understood that our child may show learning disabilities as a result of his medical issues and the treatments he required. He hasn't as yet but the knowledge of the possibility has meant I have been aware and alert to how the issues may present. Our child has been able to learn, to process information like most children, with his issues initially requiring his being fed with a gastrostomy device 23 hours per day and in the long term being associated with physical strength, energy and co-ordination and damage done to nerve tissue and bone development. Planning an appropriate curriculum, for him, has been quite easy.

It has been more complicated for our daughter who was identified with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and visual issues just after we began home educating and we found rather than just hating to read and developing many avoidance strategies, she actually did not know how to read and how to decode words. We then developed a language rich, phonics based program for her and she has made amazing progress since that time. (I wrote an article about this in one of the last issues of Education Choices and I am happy to send people copies of this if people think it may be useful to their situation.) Now we have been home educating for about five years it has become quite easy to plan and record our curriculum.

Our home education program is perhaps more formal than other families but it is the style that our children both want and need. We have found our groove and if something doesn't work I just need to remind myself why we do what we do.. And the children then direct us back to where they want to go.

A benefit for home education has also been to keep self-confidence and self esteem at a positive level. Children who are different for whatever reason know they are different and if they don't know, someone in a school or social environment will feel it is their duty to let them know they are different and to keep on telling them, often in very negative ways. Home needs to be children's safe place - home education assists with this.

An important point, if you are home educating a child with special needs it may be that what you do in your family, for your children, will be different from another home educating family. It is important to know that it is okay to be different. There is not just one way to home educate. It is important to determine and then meet the needs of your child or children.

The daily time required to home educate is a firm and regular commitment. This time commitment is more when the child has special needs as often you need to be with them as they participate in activities. Some children may never be completely independent while other children may be older when they can complete activities without assistance. The home education program for your child may need to be a lighter load, daily, but with less breaks or holidays if your child has issues retaining or remembering information. Again there is the notion of the need for flexibility.

It is important that regular time to relax and enjoy some regenerating time is placed high on the family priority list for the person who has the main responsibility of the home education. 'Burnout' may be a real risk if relaxation time is not seen as important.

Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you? Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating offering encouragement and reassurance to families wanting better outcomes for their children.

Thank you for your gift contribution!

Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people."
Vanessa

"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!"
Davina

"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others."
Lesley

"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
2am in the morning, I 've been encouraged!"
Louisa

"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful."
Gythaa

I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.

Welcome to the
World of Home Education
and Learning without School!

We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!

The information on this website is of
a general nature only and is not intended
as personal or professional advice.
This site merges and incorporates
'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

Advertise with The Educating Parent

cover of Getting Started with Homeschooling by Beverley Paine DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!

Great value $60
Natural Learning
and Unschooling Pack

Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review

Only $29 or $33
Select A4 or A5 Diary

Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.

Access all the content plus BONUSES from the Australian Homeschool Summit

Stocking all of Beverley Paine's, the educating parent's, books!

30% discount off ReadyEd Publications for homeschoolers until 31st December 2016

Find out more about Brain Builder by clicking here!

Link to Educate and Assist for home educating familiesEducating the World One Student at a Time AOIA Online Education

Supervised school of distance education

click to go to the Sunshine Collective providing ‘Brilliant Boxes’ to families of pre-schoolers and primary school aged children, throughout Australia

Belinda Cowie Whisper Waters Educational Resource for Home Educating FamiliesSTEM tutoring

Click here to go to Home Learn cover the 'core' with room to explore! Sydney Dance/Sports Classes for home educating students

Maths Mentality helping parents understand primary school mathematics

 

animated Australian flag

Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!


Support Centre
Contact Us | Join a Support Group | Beverley's Books | Resource Directory | Blog | Donate

About The Educating Parent
Beverley Paine | April Jermey and Always Learning Books | Advertise with us

Sitemap

What is Home Education Why Home Educate Getting Started & Registering Different Ways to Home Educate
Life as a Home Educator Resources & Support Teens and Beyond Curriculum and Teaching Tips
Unschooling & Natural Learning Travelling & Home Educating Other: just for fun, general, etc Children's Pages
     

animated smiling faceThank you for visiting!

Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
nor do they endorse or recommend products listed in contributed articles, pages, or advertisements.
Site Map
. Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2017.