As the world continues to evolve, so does the way we approach education. One option that has gained popularity in recent years is homeschooling. In Australia, homeschooling has become an increasingly popular choice for parents of neuro diverse children. The ability to tailor the educational experience to their unique needs has proven to be a game-changer for many families.
For neuro diverse children, traditional schools can often be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. The rigid structure, large class sizes, and social pressures can create a hostile learning environment for these children. Homeschooling provides a safe and comfortable space for neuro diverse children to learn and grow at their own pace.
One of the key benefits of homeschooling is the ability to customize the curriculum. Parents can work with their children to identify their strengths and weaknesses and create a personalized learning plan that caters to their specific needs. This level of flexibility is simply not possible in a traditional school setting, where curriculum and teaching styles are predetermined.
In addition to the benefits of customization, homeschooling can also provide a quieter and more comfortable learning environment for neuro diverse children. Many neuro diverse children struggle with sensory overload in crowded and noisy environments. At home, parents can create a learning space that is tailored to their child's sensory needs, with appropriate lighting, minimal distractions, and other accommodations that can help the child focus and learn more effectively.
Steps to Get you Started.
State links - check out your regulations.
Step 1:Look at your states regulations. See above.
Familiarize yourself with your local laws and requirements such as what age you can register - it will usually be the age that kindergarten starts in your area.
Who needs to sign the registration form.
Do you need a plan and when/if you need it.
The rules and regulations are state based, so make sure you find out on a local level what you need to do.
Step 2: Breathe and reach out to fellow Home school families in your state. Talk to those doing it, refrain from talking to schools or those who have never home educated. People love to share their opinions, often they are not informed opinions.
A great place to find these groups is Via social media like Face Book.
Try and meet a variety of families, there are all sorts who home school and it may take a little time to find the group you resonate with.
Join home schooling organizations like co-ops and online communities if available.
There is usually a "main" group to which most home schoolers in your community will belong, and you can find out when you talk to them.
Step 3: Educate yourself on what education looks like and opposed to what school looks like, we all know what school is - not many know what Home Education can be.
This is very important because you will find it challenging to replicate school. Though it is often our first instinct, to go with what you know.
You have different resources, less students and more time for 1 to 1 facilitation. You have choices and freedom. Explore them.
Step 4: Deschool yourself so you can support your children to decompress from institutional learning and micro management.
There is a lot written about deschooling and is the most important step towards and confident and successful home educational journey.
I offer weekly sessions to support families through this journey.
Reach out to see how I can help.
Step 5: Relax and get to know your child again, especially if they have spent time at school.
Look at it like you are on holidays and reconnect to that joy of discovery. But be warned, do not try and make everything "educational", the children will do 1 of 2 things.
- Firstly they may jump into the learning and educational aspects of your outings and adventures because that is what is 'expected' of them - (you've decided to home school; the kids are on board and this is what they know.)
- Secondly, they will hate every moment with you if you start to make it "educational". They will rebel, avoid and groan their way through everything you attempt to do. So treat it like an extended holiday and research the Deschooling process. See step 4.
Step 6: You might be wondering when I will talk about the 'teaching the kids' stuff.
Sorry to disappoint but the 'How to Start Home Schooling' is all about the parent/guardian at the start. Children will keep on learning no matter what you do.
At this stage you need to become confident around your choice to Home Educate, and to do that you need information and knowledge. I have a program that can guide you through many of the confidence issues you may experience. Contact me for more information.
Step 7: Choose a curriculum or style that is right for your child.
This is where many would-be home schoolers get stressed out!
But it does not have to be stressful.
Think about what makes your child "tick" - if your child enjoys stories and reading, there are curricula that are based on children's classic literature.
If your child is physical, get out and about, explore your local area, parks, tracks and talk about where you are, why things are named as they are, the types of plants, what rocks you can use to write with, use a stick to write your name - this is all learning and also an excellent way to deschool.
There are also more "traditional" types of curricula that are fairly structured. Some curricula are based on social studies and geography; others on reading.
But make sure you understand about deschooling - and yes I will keep going on about it! It is essential for everyone.
Step 8: Keep good records of what you are doing day to day, especially at the beginning.
Take photos, create a private social media page or group and upload the photos with a little description, keep a journal if you love writing, a video diary if that is what you love and if it works for you.
Do not try and write as a teacher would.
Just observe and enjoy the adventures.
Home schooling is Individual and empowering.
Do not let your child be defined by what they cannot do, but by all that they can achieve!
Furthermore, homeschooling can provide a more relaxed pace for learning, which can be especially beneficial for neuro diverse children. Traditional schools often adhere to strict schedules and deadlines, which can be stressful and overwhelming for children who learn differently. Homeschooling allows for a more flexible approach to learning, where children can take their time to master concepts and move on when they are ready.
Finally, homeschooling can also provide greater opportunities for socialization. Many parents worry that homeschooling may lead to social isolation for their children, but in fact, there are many opportunities for socialization within the homeschooling community. Homeschooling co-ops and support groups provide a chance for children to socialize with peers who share similar interests and experiences. Additionally, homeschooling can allow children to interact with a wider range of people, including people of different ages and backgrounds.
In conclusion, homeschooling can be an excellent choice for parents of neuro diverse children in Australia. The ability to customize the learning experience, create a comfortable and quiet learning environment, and provide a more relaxed pace for learning can all contribute to a more successful educational journey. Additionally, homeschooling provides many opportunities for socialization within the homeschooling community, which can be especially beneficial for children who struggle with socialization in traditional school settings.