When selecting or designing a homeschool curriculum for your special needs child, you might be intimidated, excited, or overwhelmed—or, of course, all of the above. Every child learns differently, and children with special needs are no exception. Here are some tips for tweaking a homeschool curriculum to benefit your special needs child.
Change Up Your Questions
Many times, homeschool curriculums ask questions the same way that they would be in the classroom. Unfortunately, many children with special needs struggle with answering questions, even if they know what the right answer is. Open-ended questions are typically a bigger issue. Think of asking questions like “did Sally eat the apple?” instead of “who ate the apple?” to help guide your child through learning. If your child has a particular issue, restate your questions in a way that they are more likely to understand.
Use Modifications or Accommodations
If your child was at a public school, they would be given an IEP after the application process to outline all of the different modifications and accommodations they can receive. Modify your homeschool curriculum to include reasonable accommodations for your child, like they would receive in school. These typically include:
- Verbal instructions, not just written
- Dictate the answers instead of writing them down
- Using a calculator
- Using a math facts table
- Use a spell-checker
- Extra time on tests or assignments
- Answering a smaller number of questions
- Using sensory tools during instructional time
Take a Break
Children in public and private school get a break, so modify your homeschool curriculum to include the same. Many children with special needs have a hard time remaining focused and quiet for extended periods of time. Make sure that you allow them multiple breaks during the day so that your budding student can have a brain break.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.