Homeschooling has its pros and cons, but when it comes to homeschooling children with learning difficulties or disabilities, all those advantages and disadvantages should be considered with special care. If you plan to start homeschooling your child, be aware of the challenges and problems you might experience.
Solving one problem and creating a few more
For many parents the decision to homeschool their children is a necessity, especially if no school in their vicinity can provide them with accommodations their child requires. Other parents decide to start homeschooling their children because they are tired of continuous fights for special treatment of their child at school. The moment you make the decision you might feel a relief, but soon you will realize that you are now facing new problems. First of all, are you sure you have the skills necessary to teach your own children? You probably know more about their learning difficulties than any teacher in their old school, but do you know as much about all those school disciplines that you will now have to teach to your kids? As a private person you might not have an access to certain resources and services provided by your children’s school. Those problems can be easily solved, if you hire professional tutors, but can you afford that?
Having a full control is also a responsibility
As a homeschooling parent, you can make all decisions related to your children’s education, but while you will probably make those decisions with your children’s best interest in mind, not all of those choices will really benefit your kids. For example, you might decide to homeschool your children at those times of day when they are most responsive and skip days, when they are not feeling or performing well, but many children with learning difficulties respond well to structured lessons, even if they occasionally fail to adhere to the schedule.
Socializing is important for every kid
Even if your child was bullied at school, it does not mean that changing his or her environment for one, where they make no new social relationships, will be good for them. The lack of new friendships and school buddies are some of the most important disadvantages of homeschooling. Of course, you can look for afterschool programs, where your kids can meet other children, but that also means more expenses.
To sum up, whether the decision to homeschool your child is a good or a bad choice depends mostly on you and how well you are prepared for the new challenge. Before making the final decision, look for a training that will help you learn how to teach math, science and other disciplines, which are not your specialization. Check the offer of local tutors and afterschool programs to find the most competitive solutions. Look also for group meetings of homeschooling parents in your area. Other parents, who go through the same thing as you do, are always very resourceful and knowledgeable. Their tips and suggestions might be priceless for those, who are less experienced.
Marta Gromadzka is a writer and editor with a wide variety of experience, including writing for websites internationally and editing books on many different subjects and in a variety of formats.