Distance learning is a giant leap forward for many people who do not have the time, money, or capacity for a standard classroom. One group of people who benefits greatly are people, particularly children and teenagers, with special needs. This can mean autism and Aspergers Syndrome, as well as behavioral or learning problems. Some children cannot effectively function in a classroom as we know it, and for them distance education could help them significantly.
Home schooling a special needs child offers many advantages. First and foremost is stability, something imperative to many special needs children. The home school environment is completely controlled by the parents or guardians, and can be customized as needed for the child. Second is flexibility – home schooling will allow a family to create a curriculum specifically designed to fit the needs of their child.
There are several qualified schools on line, and even more programs, that cater to the special needs student.
One of them is Laurel Springs School, an accredited on line private school. Laurel Springs has approved curriculum for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. With more than 20 years of experience, they certainly have the expertise to guide your child toward an excellent college prep education. They claim a 94% success rate in its graduates going on to college.
Edanywhere is a diverse home schooling/ distance education program, that doesn’t at first seem to be designed for special needs students. But a quick look on the FAQ proves otherwise – the center has credentialed counselors in special education on staff, as well as a psychologist, to help design a curriculum for the special needs student, customized on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the child.
The site states, “When addressing special needs, the severity and type of disability should be taken into account. You must also decide if you are willing to invest the time, as it will mean special efforts to familiarize yourself with the latest teaching methods. Families who are ready to work diligently with their children will accomplish far more than families who take a more laid-back approach. Homeschooling children with special needs is a more specialized arena, so be prepared to show your child’s educational progress, gather resources to help you, and become knowledgeable about specific ways to help your child learn.”
Bonus points for honesty – this won’t be a walk in the park. But like all good distance learning programs, it will give you the tools you need to help the special needs student. Edanywhere is accredited to establish curriculum for students kindergarten through grade eight, as well as high school (and a GED program), and test prep for college-requirement standardized tests like the ACT and SAT.
There are also a great many helpful sites and programs that provide learning tools, work sheets, and assistance with home schooling, that are not accredited in any way. Some of these sites also charge money. They may or may not prove helpful, but as always do your research before joining any program.