I know what you’re thinking—if as a homeschooler, you’re already customizing your child’s homeschool program to meet your child right where they are, then why would you need to create an SEP? Isn’t it just an extra unnecessary step?

Well, it IS an extra step but often worth its weight in gold! We consider having a well-written SEP an extra thick layer of protection for your homeschool—with many benefit. Here are seven great reasons to create an SEP for your child.

Your SEP:

  1. Documents special education related services/specialized instruction/intervention that are a part of your child’s homeschool day.
  2. Provides a plan for teaching that allows you to augment your child's school program to best suit his needs (and yours!)
  3. States the frequency of those services
  4. Identifies who will deliver the intervention/therapy/services
  5. Explains where the services will be provided
  6. Sets measurable annual goals that can illustrate growth and achievement (developed for specific areas to include behavior, academics, social skills, language, etc.)
  7. Serves as written documentation for seeking special accommodations or helps during post-secondary education (such as for the college entrance exams, classroom accommodations in a vocational school, community college or university).

You can find the structure, confidence, and peace of mind you need to stay on track by beginning with an SEP in place for your special needs learner.

Resources

To read more about creating special plans for homeschoolers with special needs here are some great blogs, books, and resources:

  • Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs: Practical Support And Encouragement For Learning With Differences  (2019) by Shawna Wingert—Shawna is a special education teacher, writer, speaker, consultant, and homeschooling mom to two boys with special needs, will equip you with confidence! She goes deeper in chapters on homeschooling with autism, ADHD, anxiety, and more. This can help you with understanding how to set goals and objectives in your child’s SEP. You can also check out her blog.
  • Homeschooling Children with Special Needs (2013) by Sharon Hensley—This easy-to understand, practical book equips parents with the vocabulary, resources, and guidelines to plan out their child’s homeschool year and confidently help their child learn more effectively day by day.
  • The Student Education Plan (SEP): A Preparation Guide (2nd Edition, 2010) by Judith Munday—This oldie-but-goodie is a helpful guide for homeschooling parents who don’t have a background in special education. It walks parents through identifying their child’s strengths and weaknesses, narrowing down options for goals, setting priorities, monitoring progress, etc.
  • Bridges 4 Kids SEP/IEP Goal and Objectives Bank—This free helpful list offers 177 pages of frequently used grab-and-go language for setting personalized goals for your child in many content areas.

If you’re an HSLDA member, HSLDA’s Special Needs Consultants can help you get started on your SEP, answer any questions, and even review it and give you feed back! You can reach out to us right here.

Ready to start working on your child’s SEP right now? Head on over to Part 3 in this series, where we’ll walk through five steps to creating your student’s SEP and you can download a sample SEP, a blank template, and a handy printable SEP guide.