Some of you know that Monkey has ADHD. She has always had a bit more trouble in school due to her lack of focus power.
We are just at the start of our learning journey with Monkey’s ADHD, so I asked some other expert homeschooling moms to share their experiences with homeschooling a child with learning disabilities, learning differences, or learning difficulties.
If you have a child struggling in one area or another, know you are not alone! Sit back and take in the vast wisdom of theseexpert homeschooling moms.
Homeschooling Experts on Homeschooling a Child with Learning Disabilities
Alicia from Vibrant Homeschooling says:
“It’s so easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed in homeschooling… especially when a child has learning difficulties. However, the Lord has taught me so much through my wonderful son (a now 12-year-old that deals with Aspergers and ADHD). Teaching him has taught me to not focus on what he can’t do (or what’s challenging for him) but to celebrate the little victories instead. There are SO MANY of these for all of our kids… everyday!”
Kayleen from This Outnumbered Mama says:
“My middle son has dyspraxia, severe sensory processing disorder, and high functioning autism. I think finding the ways that your child naturally learns – even if that isn’t how you naturally teach – and using it to your advantage is huge. A-Man learns best through songs or TV. I desperately wanted to be the one to teach him everything, but the fact is, he learns signs better from Rachel (signing time DVDs) and Daniel Tiger’s catchy songs are much better at teaching social rules than I am! Also, taking things at your child’s pace. He doesn’t necessarily need to know 100 sight words by first grade because the public school says so, and she doesn’t necessarily need to learn long division in fourth grade. Do what works for you and your child!”
Lindsey from Simply Lindsey Loo says:
“Bend as much as you can, but not so far that you will break.
I want to change around as much as I can for my children who are very distracted (we all have ADHD). But if a change or method is too difficult for me and too “foreign” then chances are whatever tactic/change/strategy I am implementing won’t last long or have lasting success. I try to do what works for both of us or meet halfway. They, too, will have to learn to bend and adapt.
My belief is that too much “tailoring” doesn’t encourage that. One day they will be in a world where not everyone will understand. Ease them into it. Expect some growth, a bit at a time.
Example: I went to school for Special Education and have worked for four years with a little boy with a rare disease. His parents coddled him and moved things around for him. I took a different approach and worked with him consistently on what I thought he could do, getting him to fit into a normal lifestyle as much as possible. I didn’t expect less of him. He grew incredibly and I received many comments on his growth.
Remember, competency contributes to healthy self-esteem. We don’t want to feel like “I can’t because I have…” We can be our children’s partners in that growth.”
Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom says:
“If your child is distractible, more than likely it’s inherited from a parent, and quite possibly from Mom. The same structure that helps our kids, helps us. Model forgiveness, show them you can forgive the mistakes.”
“With a child with special needs, we parents are tempted to focus on weaknesses in basic skills and academics. List them, but also notice strengths. Build your plans around their passions, strengths, and weaknesses.”
Susan from Education Possible says:
“My son (with dysgraphia) will often answer questions verbally rather than in writing. We use narration in our lessons (summarizing and repeating back what has been learned) as a way to gauge understanding.”
For a long time, I didn’t want to admit that Monkey had ADHD, because it felt like a “problem.” But, identifying her differences have gone a long way toward focusing my approach to how I try to teach her. I am no longer expecting her to do things that she is actually unable to do, which helps me feel a lot less frustrated while teaching her.
I’ve found that creating a routine and minimizing distractions are the two biggest things I can do to help her learn in the best way possible. When we go off of our routine, her response to school is negative. When we stick to our routine (which right now is doing most of her school when Bo is asleep), she flies through her work with easy.
I don’t know if this approach would work for all learning differences, but it has really improved the tone of our school and our relationship in general.
Helpful Resources for Homeschooling a Child with Learning Disabilities
Discovering and Celebrating Tiny Miracles at Vibrant Homeschooling
How I Teach Keyboarding to My Child With Dysgraphia at Education Possible
How I Teach Writing to My Child With Dysgraphia at Education Possible
Tips on Teaching Highly Distractable Kids from Adventures in Mommydom
How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum for a Child with Special Needs from Homeschool Creations
Helpful Books on Homeschooling a Child with Learning Disabilities
Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner by Kathy Kuhl
How-To Homeschool Your Learning Abled Kid by Sandra K. Cook
Homeschooling the Child with ADD (or Other Special Needs) by Lenore Colacion Hayes
Homeschooling the Child with Autism by Patricia Schetter
Homeschooling the Challenging Child by Christine Field (contains practical tips- I always prefer books from a practical prospective)
Are you homeschooling a child with learning disabilities or differences? Share your experiences with us!
Don’t forget to check out the link-up of all the other amazing expert posts from iHomeschool moms!