Most children thrive in the classroom when they are involved in engaging activities with their teacher and classmates. However, a child with a learning disability may become overstimulated or have other obstacles in the traditional classroom. Making the switch to learning at home may be a better alternative. You can set the stage for a positive experience. Take the following tips to make homeschooling successful for students with learning disabilities.
Create an Environment that Promotes Learning
Setting up a structured environment at home should be a priority to get the most out of homeschooling. Begin by establishing an area in your home that is intended for learning. A desk, chair, computer, and supplies should be placed in an area where your child will not be distracted.
The television, radio, and video games should not be turned on during learning times. If a view of the outdoors is going to keep your child from focusing, close the blind, the curtains, or set up your homeschooling space in a room without a view. Make sure other members of your household give your child privacy when in his or her learning space.
Set Up a Routine and Stick to It
Don’t make the mistake of being too flexible when choosing to homeschool your child. To set the proper tone, time management is key. Choose a set time for school activities at home every weekday. Build-in break times, including mealtimes. Create a schedule that touches on each subject. Children need routines. This especially holds true for children with learning disabilities.
Use Captivating Materials
In the modern age, children are used to the excitement of cell phones, video games, and mobile devices. You may feel like you have to stand on your head to get your child’s attention. Choosing materials developed by experts in education, like whiteboard animation, can help you to keep your child engaged. There is an abundance of resources available that can help you to get your son or daughter excited about learning.
Try Multi-Sensory Teaching Strategies
In the past, a lecture was the standard in the traditional classroom. Desks were lined up in straight rows while the children faced the front of the room. Their teacher would stand at the chalkboard and deliver instruction. While that tried and true method worked for most children, many fell through the cracks. Children with learning disabilities are often distracted. They are either paying attention to everything around them, overwhelmed by a stimulating world, or they focus intensely on only one thing that interests them. Some children learn best when they hear something.
Others need to watch a lesson. Your child may do best when performing hands-on activities. When you use multi-sensory teaching strategies, you will take many different approaches to meet your child’s needs. Physical activity may help your child to turn on a lightbulb about a difficult concept.
Songs and rhymes may be the best way to retain information. Using a variety of mediums, such as sandpaper, shaving cream, or finger paint, may also be helpful in making connections between topics and thought processes. In the end, a combination approach can help you to find the best way to keep your child’s learning disabilities from being a disadvantage.
Make Learning Fun
You are making a brave decision when you choose to take on the role of teacher for your child as well. It can seem like a daunting task. You want your child to reach his or her full potential. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself or your child that it becomes frustrating. Enjoy yourself. Choose topics, books, and songs that appeal to your child. Build virtual and in-person field trips in your learning activities. End each day with recess, embracing the outdoors as often as possible.
When you make the decision to homeschool your child, you want it to go as smoothly as possible. Proper planning, tapping into the abundance of materials that have been developed, and perseverance are a recipe for success. Be prepared to go back to the drawing board time and again. If one approach doesn’t work, try another. Over time, you will find the homeschooling techniques that work best for your child.