What brought you here to thinking about homeschooling your child with learning challenges? We know it’s a big step.

We’re so glad you’re here. And we’re here to walk alongside you with encouragement and support.

Maybe your child was doing fine with their public-school IEP until this year, but now they can’t seem to progress . . . and you’re wondering: is there a more effective way to help them learn?

Or perhaps your gifted child’s private school just isn’t challenging them enough and you want to offer them all the educational opportunities they’re craving.

Or maybe you’ve already been homeschooling a few years, and now your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability—or you’ve noticed them struggling significantly to learn—and you’re asking: can I continue to meet their needs through homeschooling? Is this you?

It is a bold and brave move to trust that mama instinct and think, “Maybe there’s an outside-the-box solution!” But bold and brave is what we moms are about, isn’t it?

Tackling some of your biggest questions

First of all, we want to assure you that you can homeschool your child and meet their special needs—and we are here to help!

But if you’re still deciding whether this is the right option for you and your unique child, we encourage you to thoughtfully consider the following questions.

Why would I homeschool?

What are the factors that are leading you to contemplate home education?

  • Maybe you are drawn to homeschooling’s flexible schedule, which would allow you to meet your child’s physical, emotional, or medical needs more effectively than a traditional school routine.
  • Perhaps you want to provide your child with a safer learning environment.
  • Or, you want to offer a more positive social setting.
  • Maybe you see that your child needs a different educational approach in order to learn successfully—and enjoy it!
  • Are there financial or family factors motivating you to look at homeschooling?
  • Want to know why other parents choose homeschooling? Here’s a sampling of reasons . . . in their own words!

Knowing your why can help you gauge whether homeschooling is the right option for your child and your family!

What is homeschooling with special needs really like?

For this question, we recommend you ask a real live homeschooling parent who is teaching a kiddo with learning challenges. If you can, try to connect with one or two parents who are homeschooling kids with special needs similar to yours.

There’s a good chance you have one of these in your circle of friends! But if not, you’ve got several other ways to connect. Homeschoolers are a friendly bunch and love to answer questions!

You can reach out to a local homeschool group and ask to visit a meeting or attend a group activity. You might discover an in-person or online group that offers support for special needs homeschooling—or even for your child’s specific diagnosis. Here are some ways to locate a group:

Search online or on social media. (In fact, some groups are entirely online!)

  • Use your zip code to search HSLDA’s homeschool group directory.
  • Ask area churches, libraries, and private schools if any homeschool groups meet there.
  • Check to see if there’s a national or international nonprofit advocacy group related to your child’s special needs (like Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder aka CHADD) and ask whether they  provide any specific homeschooling and parent/education support resources such as this article.
  • Consider some blogs or online communities that offer mentoring and resources for teaching kids who learn differently, as well as support for the whole family. You can check out several creative ideas and links here

Want options? Homeschoolers got options!

You probably wouldn’t be considering homeschooling if you didn’t recognize how one-of-a-kind your child is and want to provide exactly the kind of customized education they need. But do you worry that the right approach just isn’t out there?

One of the great things about homeschooling is that it isn’t one-size-fits-all! There are so many teaching approaches and curricula available. You can even pick and choose—maybe selecting a hands-on math program for your student who has dyscalculia (a math learning disability) and traditional textbooks for the other subjects.

Can’t wait to start brainstorming how your homeschool could look? These articles will help you organize your options:

Wondering if your child needs an IEP? Here’s the homeschool version—the SEP!

If your child has been attending public school and received an individualized education program (IEP)—or a similar plan from a private school—you may be anxious about obtaining the services your child needs through homeschooling. Without getting into the nitty-gritty here, we want to reassure you that homeschooled children do have access to services, both public and private.

When a homeschooling parent creates their own written-out plan that documents the evaluations, accommodations, and therapies their child is receiving, we like to call that a student education plan, or SEP. Learn more about creating an SEP!

Our educational consultants and legal staff are here to help you understand the different paths available to you for accessing the services your child needs—and to help you smooth your child’s transition from a public-school IEP to your very own parent-created program.

You can nurture those sparks of learning and confidence in your child!

You know that ability to see the best in your child, even on their worst days? The glimpses only you have of their potential to learn . . . that spark of joy you see in their eyes when something that was just too hard suddenly becomes possible?

You know your child, mama. You already see and cultivate their unique personality and abilities. That insider knowledge is one of the best reasons to homeschool! As your child’s mom, you are in a unique position to ignite their love of learning and build their confidence.

So, are you ready to get started homeschooling now?

From here, there are a few directions you can go.

  • If you’re brand-new to homeschooling, you could get a quick intro to how it works (and its benefits!) by checking out our “Explore Homeschooling” page, and then learn more about special needs homeschooling specifically here
  • Perhaps identifying and meeting your child’s specific needs is top-of-mind for you right now. In that case, explore our “Why is learning so hard?” page—it’ll bring a selection of articles and resources right to your fingertips.
  • If you are an HSLDA member, one of the best ways to begin homeschooling your special-needs child confidently is to simply call or email our educational consultants! We are homeschooling moms with years of experience and training in specific areas of special education: early childhood, early intervention, reading challenges, language processing, ADHD, autism, and more. Through one-on-one consultations, we can help you streamline your next best steps so you are able to make smart use of your time and money.

Honestly, sometimes homeschooling our exceptional kids can feel overwhelming, expensive, and confusing . . . but you don’t have to do it alone! HSLDA—and a whole community of homeschooling families around the world—are here to walk this exciting journey with you.