Home education is an extremely supportive and successful option for children with diverse learning needs. As a parent, you know your child best and are ideally suited to selecting an educational experience which allows them to experience success, and focus on their strengths whilst supporting any areas where extra help is needed
Children with a diagnosis (or not) of autism, anxiety, ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia thrive when learning is removed from a school setting. No longer exposed to sensory overload, released from unrealistic expectations about attention span and keeping still, able to avoid negative social interactions and an environment where reading and writing are kings, children can embrace the style of learning which best suits them.
Home education provides the flexibility to structure our own day, to banish unnecessary ‘busy work’, and to embrace learning at any time in any way. For those with conditions that involve fatigue, pain, or concentration lapses, being able to take a break for a day, week, or month is vital. While at school, often when they return they have missed so much, because school cannot pause with them. Whereas with home education, if multiple appointments and therapies are needed, these can be worked into the child’s schedule, and used to help meet the key learning srea (subject) requirements. Exemptions from one or more KLAs are also available, allowing parents to focus on what’s most important: supporting their child and their mental and physical health needs.
Because home education does not require adherence to the Victorian curriculum or to grade levels, it’s also successful for children who are at a different level to their peers. It’s common for children to be several years ‘ahead’ or ‘behind’ (often both at the same time) and schools struggle to cope with this. With home ed, allowing children to move forward academically at their own pace can happen at the same time as supporting them with reading, social skills or other areas you feel need attention.
For children who struggle to keep up at school, a practical, skills based approach is more successful than traditional academic programs. Craft, outdoor activities, life skills, volunteering and social skills all satisfy KLA requirements, and mean that rather than feeling ‘behind’, or being seen as less capable than their peers, they can grow and learn through appropriate tasks thereby experiencing success on a daily basis. The same is true for those who have difficulties with physical tasks. These can be exchanged for activities which work with their strengths so that they no longer spend a portion of their day on the sidelines.
HEN has support volunteers who can help you discover the best way to support your child, to create a truly individual learning plan for your home education application (rather than a standardised plan which has been tweaked around the edges). We also have links to resources you may find helpful.
We are always interested to hear about the experience of those who can share their experience of disability, health or diverse needs to help us support others better in future. Answers to the survey may be given anonymously.
Our Resource Directory has a section on Diverse Needs, as does our Pinterest board https://www.pinterest.com.au/HomeEducationNetworkAustralia/education/diverse-needs/
For general help and support, including learning plans – firstname.lastname@example.org