for a Child
Rest assured that homeschooling struggling learners
and children with special needs works!
Question: My son, age 11, has been diagnosed with a learning disability and
low cognition. In school, he has an IEP,
but he is so frustrated with learning.
He says he feels dumb. I would love to
homeschool him, but don’t know if I can
do this because he is so far behind.
Answer: Good for you for wanting to help
your son feel as smart as he really is and
recognizing that the setting he is currently
in is not doing that. Actually, each year
many parents are courageously withdrawing their children from settings in which
they don’t feel successful and are teaching
them at home.
How Do I Find Out How to Help
There are many means of “at-home
teacher/parent training” available. You
can successfully become your child’s own
“Resource Room” teacher by doing the
• Read the many articles about identifying
your child’s struggles and working very
specifically with them at home. The Old
Schoolhouse Magazine® has many articles
that show you exactly how to work with
your child who is struggling with read-
ing, spelling, writing, math, test-taking,
attention/focusing, speech issues, etc.
One of these articles, Low IQ: Fact or
Interpretation? provides ideas of how to
begin helping your child overcome his
auditory processing problem at home.
• Watch Parent/Teacher Training videos
that are available—many are on You Tube.
• Attend your statewide homeschool
conventions, and go to the presentations about struggling learners.
• Ask your local homeschool support
group for referrals to those who can
help you understand your child’s
needs. They can give you names of
educational consultants who can help
you set up a plan to teach, and regularly assess your child’s progress.
What Does the Research Show?
Studies demonstrate that parents are providing a superior form of education for
their special needs children by teaching
them at home. It has been found that parents do not have to be specially certified or
have special qualifications to teach their
child with special needs at home. Dr. Steven Duvall conducted a year-long study
involving eight elementary and two junior
high students with learning disabilities. In
end-of-the-year standardized achievement
tests, he found that the homeschool students averaged a 67% increase in reading
compared to only a 6% gain by the public
school students. In writing, homeschoolers
made an 89% gain, while their counterparts in public school made a 28% gain.
There’s No Place Like Home to
Learn: Individualized Teaching
A child with special needs often has an
“IEP” (individual education plan) created