By Mrs. Tammy Hill
Homeschooling can be very challenging! Homeschooling special needs children can be even more so! How can we homeschool our special needs children?
Children with special needs are children who need extra help in life due to a medical, emotional, or learning problem. Special needs children, however, are not alone in their need for help. All of us, in one way or the other, have special needs - our most crucial one being our need of God and His Mercy!
In God’s good pleasure, all of us are created with unique gifts and challenges! He looks at His special designs, and says, “Perfect!” whether these designs are our special needs kids or our children without these challenges. So, you see, our special needs kids are perfect to God - and a different kind of perfect to us!
Parents of special needs children have the same life desires and goals for their children as any other parent does! Raising children in light of those desires is always challenging, but raising special needs children comes with a few, and sometimes, many, more challenges! Homeschooling is not the only way to help your special needs child attain these life goals, but, in my opinion, it’s a really great one!
Having been blessed to homeschool my special needs kids, I am always looking for and learning about ways to unlock and encourage their God-given potential.
Often, God has shown me solutions to challenges upon which I have pondered and for which I have sought His guidance! I have been humbled by God many times in my 25 years of homeschooling, and I still don’t have all the answers! Yet, I know that I can trust in the Lord!
We know what God’s Word says to parents about raising and educating children. His injunction also applies to parents of special needs children and to our special kiddos. The school experience we are called to give our children, no matter their ability, must be Christ-centered!
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deut 6:6-9
One benefit of homeschooling our special needs children is that we know and understand our special kids better than anyone else. We are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. We know when to push and when to slow down and try again - and again - and again! We know when to forge a new path and when to get creative. We never give up!
And if you are like me and have been entrusted with one or more of these special children, you’ve spent time marveling at the joys and blessings along the way! Though there are the days when you may feel guilty about the tears shed in sadness or out of frustration - or sheer exhaustion – yet you know you wouldn’t trade this journey for anything!
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those Who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Another homeschooling benefit for our special needs children is the opportunity to flourish at their own pace, through one-on-one attention, in a loving, safe, and controlled environment!
Our goal in raising our special needs children is to point them to their Savior and to help them grow in independence - not to compare them to others!
Your journey will not look like anyone else’s - PraiseGod! Remember to pray often, to rely on the Lord, to slow down and take things one at a time. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! Also, a cheerful attitude and a sense of humor are always helpful!
I am often reminded by the Holy Spirit how patient and gracious God is toward me every day! Hopefully, these attributes will overflow as I homeschool my specially blessed children! To answer the question at the beginning of this article, you and I can homeschool our differently perfect children by the Grace of God!!
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4