Dear Dr. Bill,
I have a four year old who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. He was diagnosed almost two years ago with a speech delay. Rather than putting him into the daycare program the school district recommended, I took his Individualized Education Plan and began to teach him myself. Not only did we meet their goals, we surpassed them!
Now, I am almost convinced that I should homeschool him. I certainly won't
put him in a public school, as I have major concerns about the schools in our area.
My question is this: is it a good idea to homeschool a child with a developmental or a possible learning disability? I want him to have every advantage possible, and to progress as he should.
Homeschooling can be a great option for many kids, especially if they are confident and enthusiastic.
Having a special needs child is a concern, so I would ask the local school district what resources are available to your son even if you homeschool him.
After all, you have already paid for those services through your taxes. School districts can vary as to how they accommodate families who homeschool.
You might need to spend some money out-of-pocket to schedule one-to-one sessions for your son with a licensed speech therapist or other specialist. Often the district can recommend someone if you doesn't know where to go.
Read as much as you can on your son’s disability and consult experts. The more you know about your son's special needs area, the better service and help you will get from the education community.
By the way, Focus on the Family has some excellent resources for homeschooling families. Their website is focusonthefamily.com.
Thanks for writing, Tanya. I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.