Every child is special, from their individual freckles right down to the size of their pinkie toes! But some children have needs that are considered “extra” special – – outside the scope of the ordinary. If your child fits into the category of “special needs,” then you understand that they also have special learning needs, as well.
Children with ADHD, for instance, often require shorter lessons and untimed tests. Children with vision impairments need accommodations for reading, writing, and testing. Dyslexic students often benefit from visual aids, assistive technology, and books on tape. Homeschooling can incredibly beneficial for many special needs children. Parents who have been battling the school system for the most minor accommodations for their child feel like homeschooling is their last hope for getting their child the help they need.
Homeschooling in Special Circumstances
Does it ever seem like you get finally dressed for the day around the same time other people are putting on their pajamas? Have you ever washed the bottom of your body in one shower, and saved the rest of you for another shower? Do you ever feel like you just finished the breakfast dishes, and it’s already suppertime? Any of these may be familiar to you if you are homeschooling a child with special needs. Life just simply takes longer for us than for other people, doesn’t it?
Homeschooling a child with challenges is made even more challenging by trying to fit it in between the business of living – – personal care, food issues, doctor and therapy visits, networking with other parents with special needs children. So just how much time is left for learning? Not a lot. Special needs homeschooling families need educational materials that are easy to use, require little preparation, and are accessible for varying educational abilities and learning styles.
Homeschooling Curriculum For Special Needs
Fortunately for homeschooling parents, there is no need for an advanced degree in special education to adequately teach their child. Many curricula available today are designed with the special needs child in mind.
When evaluating curriculum for special education and needs, you should make sure that it:
- Proceeds at the students own pace.
- Builds on existing reading, writing and math skills.
- Allows placement and progress for each child at independent levels for math and language arts.
- Encourages kids to become active learners through exploration and discovery.
- Introduces new learning opportunities in a safe, supportive environment.
- Balances learning with fun!
Multimedia curriculum and software is perfect for children with short attention spans, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. For parents who want an overall curriculum for their special needs learners, there is Time4Learning. With interactive multimedia lessons, text-to-speech capabilities, and on-board writing tools, this is one of the most engaging and accessible computer-based curriculums available. In fact, it may be the next best thing to having a special-ed teacher move in with you!
My daughter always liked learning, but Time4Learning has turned “like” into love! I’ve never seen her so excited to do lessons, before!
It’s amazing how quickly my kids are learning difficult concepts. The animation really helps them apply the lessons to something tangible!
Time4Learning & Special Needs Success Stories
“Both of my boys really enjoy the Time4Learning program. Of course, their favorite part was the play time but they enjoyed the lessons as well. Thank you.” Penny – Mother of Twins with Learning Difficulties in Reading.
“I just wanted to say thank you for Time4Learning…a great tool for Zac through the summer. He was asking yesterday to do ´his work´. I would definitely recommend this program to other families. I think it offers great characters and fun learning activities. It also gives you a chance to monitor the progress, and you can even print out reports and activity pages that your child completed what more could you ask for. Also this is very kid friendly.” Theresa – Mother of a Five Year Old with Autism.
“The content was varied and was able to keep Benjamin engaged without frustration. It also moved him gradually through the skills and once mastered was appropriately quizzed. The timer was also beneficial as Benjamin learned that once it got to ´0´ he was free to go to the playground. I also feel that the ´Magic Hand´ was instrumental in aiding Benjamin in how to proceed with the lessons.” Ann – Mother of a Six Year Old with Development Delay, Speech Language Impairment, ADHD.
“Elizabeth really enjoys the website. She especially liked the language sections (stories, family trees, etc). She also found it easy to use. It is very good for children with Aspergers, as they are such visual learners and the computer gives prompt feedback.” Marianne – Mother of a Fourth Grade Girl with Asperger Syndrome.
“Lena and I both found it to be age appropriate and interesting. I LOVED the fact that I could start Lena and she was able to continue at her own pace. Ninety-five percent of the time the language level was appropriate as well as the assignments. Initially, she rushed through to get to the ´Playground´, but as she became used to the lesson structure, she forgot about the time and ´Playground´. The graphics and sound were awesome. Both, Lena and I enjoyed all the adorable characters and narrator’s voices. I would highly recommend this program as a support system during the school year, and SPECIFICALLY, during the summer months (especially if your child is not receiving any services.)” Mother of Daughter with ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome.
Homeschooling with Time4Learning
Time4Learning is a great homeschool and after school partner because it offers each child their own learning path, with animated lessons, interactive activities, unit assessments, and integrated printable worksheets for reinforcement. Here are other ways the Time4Learning curriculum specifically addresses special learning needs:
- Activities are clearly organized and formatted consistently within each level.
- Concepts are repeated, reviewed, and summarized for clarity.
- Language arts texts can be read online or printed in PDF format for offline use.
- Students can work at their own pace in the assessment tests and in the learning activities.
- Activities teach concepts through songs, graphics, videos.
- Visual enhancements include font, font size, spacing and color for contrast.
- Bullets and numbering are used when teaching concepts.
- Graphic organizers are used to create rubrics.
- Graphics and pictures are added to practice sheets and tests.
- Activities use the different intelligences.
- Activities use interactive games, puzzles and programs that have built in feedback and repetition capabilities.
- Activities have tasks that are broken up into manageable units which help improve student self-esteem.
- Multimedia in activities is used to trigger the sympathetic imagination and improve emotional intelligence.
Time4Learning’s comprehensive Pre-K to 8th Grade language arts and math curriculum can enrich your children’s educational programs, whether they are special needs, mainstream, or gifted.. Time4Learning has helped thousands of children, why not try it today? There is no long-term contract and it makes learning fun. Click here to find out more.
My daughter almost had to repeat the 2nd grade, but after a year with Time4Learning she tested above grade level in math and is at a 5th grade reading level!
Second graders learn to recognize the different letter combinations that create the “a” sound from the Phonics Puppets.
Diagnosed at Age Six with Epilepsy
My daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 6 and in Kindergarten. She was in the process of learning to read when she would stop reading and blink her eyes and lick her lips. We had no clue what was wrong with her so we took her to the pediatrician and he thought it was odd behavior so he sent her to have an EEG. Little did I know the day we had the EEG her life and ours would change forever! The lady administering the EEG looked at me immediately and said she is having seizures and has had 30 in the last 10 minutes.
Disbelief and Confusion
I was shocked. I wanted to cry, hug her, search for help and just hope I was dreaming all at once. She was having hundreds of seizures a day. We were referred to a neurologist and things only got worse for our little girl. They decided to put her on medicine to take away the seizures but the medicine made her very sick. She was losing weight from throwing up and the doctor said to keep her on the medicine. I couldn’t understand why he would want to do this to our child.
Couldn’t Attend School
She couldn’t go to school because she was so tired from throwing up so much and being so sick. She began to fall behind in school and wasn’t learning much of anything so we made the decision to bring her home to learn. We bought book after book through the first 2 yrs and she just could not memorize or retain anything like her multiplication facts. One of the side effects of her seizures is when she is learning or reading something and she has a seizure her mind kind of clears so we have to start over what we were doing at the time of the seizure because she has no memory of what we were doing. It makes it very difficult and definitely takes a lot of patience on both of our parts.
Noticed How Our Daughter Learns
We started to notice that when something was put to music and made into a song she would learn the song and was starting to memorize things easier! Well most curriculums don’t come with music to all their books. It’s mainly just books and workbooks which was clearly not what she was going to be able to do at this time so the search continued on and I told my husband we are going to have to just put the kids back in public school. I kept thinking I just can’t do this! My husband told me we agreed to try homeschooling and that he really wanted to help me get through our daughter’s illness. I was doing a search online and came across Time4Learning.
In Love With a Curriculum
I fell in love with it the first day. Where was this program when I was at all these home school fairs trying to put different pieces together for each child and spending hundreds of dollars only to feel like I still was missing something? I enrolled my daughter and she is doing great. It gave her EXACTLY what she needed! The sound and animation was enough to get her mind going. She could do just a little at a time if that was what she needed to get through the day. If she is sick one day then she can skip that day without falling way behind. She was probably behind a whole grade level in math and was able to learn and move at a slower pace in math but move faster in Language Arts. She has loved to log on and do her work and see her accomplishments by getting a star or a check mark as she moves along. I think it has really helped her realize that although her life is different than most kids her age she can still make it in life it just takes a little extra work.
I LOVE Time4Learning! It holds the attention of my kids, plus I can keep track of their learning without hovering over their shoulders.
I am really pleased with Time4Learning. It has made a world of difference in my son’s academic performance in school!
The Time4Learning Program Structure
Time4Learning has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. Subjects are organized into chapters composed of interactive lessons, printable worksheets, quizzes and tests. Students are guided through the activities at their own pace by an automated system.
When students log in, they choose a subject, select a chapter, pick a lesson and complete the activities. A bright green arrow tells them where they left off, and completed work is clearly labeled with a check-mark or a gold star. Visual and auditory prompts guide students through the lessons making them easy for young learners to follow, and an online playground (controlled by parents) rewards and motivates them to finish their lessons.
Parents get access to printable lesson plans, teaching tools, detailed reporting and parental support through our online Parent Forum.
Does your child have different achievement levels for math and language arts? No problem. Time4Learning lets you set each individual subject at the appropriate graded level, making this program great for special needs and gifted students.