10 Unexpected Benefits to Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

10 Unexpected Benefits to Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs - jenniferajanes.com

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When I began homeschooling my child with special needs, I knew that homeschooling has benefits, many of them unexpected. What I didn’t expect was how many unexpected benefits there would be to homeschooling a child with special needs. It didn’t take me long to find out!

10 Unexpected Benefits to Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

  1. Flexibility. I know that flexibility is mentioned often as a benefit of homeschooling, but what caught me off guard is just how flexible I would need to be. When my younger daughter began collecting diagnoses, the number of therapy and specialist appointments was overwhelming. I was thankful for the opportunity to homeschool in the car, in waiting rooms, and during field trips we combined with out-of-town appointments. I was also thankful for the ability to completely cancel school when needed, make up days on Saturdays or during holidays, and be a bit unconventional when necessary.
  2. Fun. Since I began looking for effective ways to teach my daughter, I have found that homeschooling a child with special needs is fun! We use lots of multisensory activities in my daughter’s lessons, and it’s more fun than I ever imagined.
  3. Conflict resolution. Homeschooling means our family spends a lot of time together—during good times and bad. This has led to us doing in-depth teaching and role playing with our children to help them resolve conflicts in age- and developmentally-appropriate ways. We’ve also taught them to know their limits and to ask for help when they need it.
  4. Strength. God has used homeschooling a child with special needs to show me that I’m stronger than I thought, and I’m capable of doing more than I imagined, with His help. I never dreamed I could homeschool a child with special needs, but I’m doing it successfully!
  5. Rest. I get more rest than I used to. It didn’t take me long to realize I couldn’t keep up the pace of working from home, homeschooling, and making therapy sessions and specialist appointments without enough sleep.
  6. Sister love. Although my children have other friends—in our homeschool group, at church, and through extracurricular activities—they spend a good chunk of most days together. This has forged a bond between them that I never had with my sibling. I’m blessed that they see one another as friends, not just sisters. They help one another and want the best for one another. I’m not sure they would be as close if they were separated into separate peer groups most days.
  7. Food preparation. Because my younger daughter has food allergies/intolerances and sensory issues, preparing food for her is challenging to someone who isn’t familiar with the routine. Homeschooling has provided the unexpected benefit of allowing me to prepare safe foods for her with minimal drama.
  8. Patience. While my patience with my daughter has increased as I see how much she struggles, my patience with myself has increased while homeschooling her too. As much as I would like to, I can’t accomplish everything I want to as quickly as I’d like. I am learning to be patient and extend more grace to myself and those around me.
  9. Reality check. Homeschooling a child with special needs has provided me with a much-needed reality check. I can’t do everything myself, nor should I try. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
  10. Superhero status. Apparently, homeschooling a child with special needs means you can also leap tall buildings with a single bound. It’s not true, but I have to laugh when people act as though I’m doing something extraordinary and should be wearing a red cape!

What unexpected benefits to homeschooling have you found?

Related posts:

For more great lists, visit iHomeschool Network’s 10-in-10 blog hop, and be sure to link up with Top Ten Tuesday with Angie at Many Little Blessings. Click the graphics below to join the fun!

10 in 10 for iHomeschool NetworkTop Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

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19 Responses to 10 Unexpected Benefits to Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I agree!! With all of it! I’m homeschooling my children with Aspergers, ADHD, Autism… and there are so many reasons it’s easier than public school was with them. And best of all, no more IEP meetings where I get to sit and listen to how they’re lacking in some areas (when really, they’re thriving in others!!). Thanks for this post.

    • Wow! I have never traveled the IEP path, but I have heard that it can be difficult. You’re so right about them thriving in certain areas while struggling in others. It’s all a balancing act—supporting their interests while helping them advance in the weaker areas.

  2. Meghan Birch says:

    I just found your blog and I must say – Thank YOU! I love your positive attitude and writing style. Special needs children are a wonderful mystery and adventure. It always feels like a victory when you can figure them out, even if just a little!! What a blessing that you are able to stay home and care for your child.

    • Thank you, Meghan! I love the way you describe the journey—mystery and adventure. That’s it exactly! I am truly blessed that God has enabled me to work from home so I can homeschool and care for both of my children.

  3. Rebecca says:

    You, my friend are a super hero because of the one you follow! He has given you just what you need for your sweet girls and to help other Moms out there! You are a blessing to me and so many.

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  5. Valerie says:

    I love this list!
    #3 is definitely an amazing and surprising benefit we’ve experienced over the years. And LOL about #10! It’s funny to me too, when so SO many people have commented on my apparent “patience” because I am at home with MY children, teaching them. ?? 😉

    • Thank you! Apparently, we are the most patient people on earth. I wonder what they would think if they spent a day with us and realized that we’re just as human as they are!

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  7. Joan says:

    Oh, I so agree! And things like food preparation, lighting, temperature and other sensory issues are a HUGE thing for us. Sarah was literally failing a public school class because the fluorescent lights were immediately over her head and she could not do anything in that class except be miserable about how the light made her feel. It’s so nice to be in control of those 100 things that don’t have anything to do with learning so that we can just focus on what does! :)

    • Yes, it is! You are so right about the sensory issues being a big block to learning if they’re not dealt with. I’m glad we’re able to homeschool our especially sensitive daughters!

  8. Brandi Duncan says:

    I too homeschool a special needs child, My son is 8 years old, Autistic and as food allergies. I also teach our daughter who is 6 and is ahead of the game! I could not have said it any better! I applaud you, because I know how difficult it can be but also how wonderful it is! We are truly blessed!

  9. stephanie gilbert says:

    Wonderful points. I’m in process of facing this issue with my son. He is 4 and I had to pull him from pre-K this past year due to safety issues. May I share this on my site? I have a Special Needs article that I link different subjects and share events/movies/support groups and would love to add this.

    • I’m sorry you’re having some issues with your son right now, Stephanie. Yes, you may write a brief description and link to my article. I’m honored that you would ask!

      • Thank you, I know we are better off without the school. They were not following his IEP he was coming home with cuts, and being bitten by another student….just a mess. But also better off than what others have faced. I feel much more confident in my own skills to teach him than I did when we first found out he had autism.
        I will add the link this Sunday when I publish. May I add you to my subscribers?

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