Homeschool Environment Hints for your Special Ed Homeschool
A resounding problem among homeschoolers teaching special needs children is they all feel like they are sacrificing their typical children for the needs of the special needs child.
Homeschooling children who do not learn like most kids presents unique challenges for us as we attempt to purchase curriculum and implement the techniques in those curricula. Most of my homeschool acquaintances have used the same curricula, altered slightly for each of their children. What I have found is that none of the curricula that worked for my first born, and other ‘typical’ children in the home, can not even be used for my special ed. children. I was always having to start from square one, which made the process even more daunting.
Here are some Helpful Hints in setting up the homeschool environment for your special ed children:
- Provide a place with Freedom from distraction
- Provide White noise to cover distracting sounds
- Provide and help the student learn to maintain an Uncluttered desk area
- Have the student Wear headphones for computer time, to decrease stimuli from the household busy environment
- Provide hand fidgets when you are requiring your child to listen for extended periods of time.
- utilize auditory trainers
- Utilize Sponge cushions to satisfy the wiggle need that some have and/or pressure lap bags (5 pound sand stuffed animals)
- Rotate auditory/visual/tactile tasks so child does not become board and you create more ‘connections’ in the brain.
- Eliminate clutter in their rooms. No need for 200 books on a shelf, keep it to 20-40 and rotate them. Keep a small box of toy entertainment in rooms, not their entire toy inventory.
- Allow some chores to be performed between school tasks as tactile stimulus
- DO NOT stay on a subject longer than was recommended by your evaluator. If he/she said, 5 min/subject, do not keep on going because their doing well. You may ruin your school day.
- Fanny pack for all supplies put on at start of school day. Remove when school is over. (Crayons, markers, eraser, scissors, glue stick all readily accessible)
- Hide a video camera and tape a day of school with your child. You will learn a lot just watching it later with your spouse about your child and yourself.
- Post charts in obvious places, review at start of each day
- Allow for snack time. Have pre-made snacks in little baggies, with acceptable snacks ready to eat and get right back to work.
- TURN OFF THE RINGER DURING CLASS TIME. Check messages during child’s tactile times or when you send them out for a chore.
- Visual timer. A MUST!!!!!!!!!!!!
* Flat table space that allows child to stabilize their body with 90% angles.
- Work right along side of or directly across from child
- Toddlers playing nearby do not help the distractible child. If you want the material in their head, make sure the little ones are not around during intense subjects.
- Eliminate other stimuli that will distract too. Visions of the perfect homeschooling mom sugar plum moments do not apply when teaching the distractible child.
I look forward to expounding on each of these on future posts!