Do you think that parents should home school students with special needs?

United States
March 20, 2007 8:26am CST
I have a concern about children who are home schooled. If a child has special needs, such as dyslexia, or any other learning disability, do you think that a parent without any training should home school their children? This is hard for me to explain my feelings, but I'm going to try. I think it does the children a disservice because they can't possibly be getting all they need from an education without being taught by someone trained to teach with the need in question, if parents have no formal training in teaching special needs. I know most parents know their own children, but we can't all know how to teach everything. I know a family that has been home schooling their children for almost a year now, some of the children do have special needs and I have noticed, not only are they losing any social skills they did have, but they appear to be lacking in other common skills too, such as spelling, grammar, and reading. I have noticed the decrease in skills. I have a child who was in special ed for a couple of years (he was significantly developmentally delayed from a hearing loss), I know there's no way I could have taught him the way his teachers did, also my sister is a special ed teacher so I have a little bit of knowledge in the area, and I can't see why people wouldn't want to take the help when offered from the schools. We have a great school system that really helps when you ask for it. I know some people can teach their children that have special needs or learning disabilities, and that's great, but I don't think everyone should.
5 people like this
22 responses
@mobyfriend (1019)
• Netherlands
20 Mar 07
I have a special needs child and I would never have considered homeschooling him. Simply because I don't have the training for it but also because having a special needs child costs so much energy that you are happy that trained educaters take over the schooling part. (Not entirely of course because you still have to help out with homework) Also if your child is enrolled in a school or a school for special needs children you can benefit from other pople working there like a social worker.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Mar 07
I agree with you, it's tough, and I don't know about you, but homework time is a big chore around here some days. Thanks for the response.
• United States
20 Mar 07
This is not a question that can be answered generally. It all depends on the severity of the learning disability and also the education and teaching skills of the parents. Some kids could benefit from homeschooling, yes, but if the parents don't do it correctly than you are causing more harm than good. Unfortunately, children with learning disabilities are born to families from all walks of the earth and not all families can afford to stay at home to teach their children.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Mar 07
Thanks for the comments, I realize that each case is different and that home schooling can be good in some cases, but not all. Thanks again.
• United States
20 Mar 07
This is a very thought provoking post and I guess I have come to the answer of No, I don't think Special Needs Kids should be schooled at home. As a high school Special Education teacher myself, I know how many organizations and services that kids can be connected to when they are in school. Many of these are only available to public school students. Also, one of the advantages of having these kids in schools is allowing someone else to give you a breather for a few hours each day. I know that after a full day at school, there are times that I need a break, so the same must be true for parents of special needs kids !
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
20 Mar 07
I think all children should be homeschooled. So that aside, I can see the concern you have for special needs children. Not really long ago they were hidden way. Now we do our best to integrate them into society in the manner that they are able. Some indeed need some special schooling and we homeschoolers cannot ask the school system. They are usually predatory and it starts a precedence that we are part of their school and they can then butt in. This is an important and delicate situation that needs to be addressed, I thank God that I do not have such a special needs child. My children are social and one has already written a book. So we work and are doing fine. Other do not and that is the problem it makes for the rest of us. Case by case is much better than generalization.
2 people like this
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
20 Mar 07
I think kids w/ special needs are usually better off in the public system as most of these teachers/school boards are equipped to work with these children and can usually help them most. Parents at home have limited resources and funds...
2 people like this
• United States
21 Mar 07
Each parent and child is different. I think the parent needs to look at the situation HONESTLY and see whether they can be better or not that a school environment for their child. If they have no college education, no speical training...they need to honestly decide if they are the best to help their child (and not be selish just cuz they want to homeschool). That said, i think some other parents would be even better than a special school environment. It really just all depends on the parents capability.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
oh and i think it also depends on how good the schools in the area are. The public schools here are wonderful...i KNOW i could never top that, so it would be selfish of me to homeschool. But if I lived in an area with bad schools, then it would be a good reason to homeschool.
1 person likes this
@prisidio (35)
• Canada
20 Mar 07
This is a difficult call, on the one hand you want to protect kids from the meanness and rudeness of other kids (we all know that a lot of kids are really cruel). On the other hand, these kids need to interact and develop their social skills beyond the parent-child relationship they are exposed to. In the end I think its better off for kids with special needs to go to school for a few reasons. First, the most basic one, is that they need to develop interpersonal skills, when they grow up they will have to know how to interact with others in order to be successful. Second, they need to gain some sense of independence, it is not good for children to be entirely dependent on their parents for emotional support, especially in the long run. Too often I think the social skills kids need are overlooked by parents who are so obsessed with academic performance. What good is high levels of intelligence if a kid grows up to be socially awkward and unable to function well in social relationships. Part of getting a job and being successful is the ability to work in teams, and I think homeschooling takes away from that in a large way. Many of these kids, once they have to enter the real world, will be completely unprepared for what they are exposed to. I'm glad the school your child goes to has a great special education program, many schools unfortunately don't which pressures many parents to consider homeschooling, I think more attention needs to be paid by politicians and education officials themselves to the issue of special education and the need to provide resources to these kids.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Mar 07
I believe there is NO ONE more qualified to discern what is the fitting answer to your situation than YOU yourself. Whichever way you decide to go with this - as with many other decisions in life - YOU will have to live with the CONSEQUENCES. Therefore if you don't have the CONFIDENCE in your abilities, or the flip-side, you are more CONFIDENT in your OWN SKILLS that that of the school system, it is YOU ALONE that can make that call, but MOST IMPORTANTLY - YOU HAVE TO HAVE PEACE THAT IT IS THE RIGHT ONE!!! So be SURE and CONFIDENT - HAVE FAITH - IT DOES WORK!!!
@catcai (1057)
• Philippines
20 Mar 07
Parents can home school their kids with special needs provided that they have enough knowledge on how to properly handle their kids. I think proper training is definitely a must for this type of situation. Either the parents enrol themselves for proper training or they enroll their kids to a special needs school... It is really vital that these children be given proper training as their needs are very much different from the normal kids. Unfortunately in my country there are instances where the children are being "home schooled" by untrained parents which just later on results to regression because of the high cost of special education.
• United States
21 Mar 07
Thank you for sharing, your comments are right on target.
• United States
21 Mar 07
I have dyslexia and my daughter has a speach disorder. She is smart but her speach sounds funny when she talks. She talks with a lisp and ofter pronounces her words different. I would never take her out of school because of this and I am glad that my dad kept me in a public school. There are a lot of programs in schools to help with special needs. If the parent was homeschooling and had someone to come over and work with the child then I think that it would be okay.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
special childrens should also be expose to the outside world like a normal child...for me home school is not really the best for a special child...there are schools that has specialized in those kind of disorders....and its much better to mingle with other kids so that they wont feel aloft when they are going outside the house and they wont feel insecure....and they wont feel that they are different from other kids...help them build up their confidence even though they are special kids...
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
21 Mar 07
Firstly you are right - parents do know their own children better than anyone else and whilst I believe it is their right to home school, if they believe they have the necessary skills, knowledge and patience to do so I also believe that by removing their children from school they are actually depriving them of the means to advance in social development. How in later life are these children supposed to integrate both in social settings and a work environmemt if thet have not had the chance to explore and progress through the different stages of social development in regard to peers and authority figures? My other concern is that other learning, physical or emotional difficulties are picked up in our schools every day - who is there to check that these children are ok?
1 person likes this
@lvap0628 (731)
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
I think it would be better for the child to be taught in a special education school. They have teachers who are specially trained for these students. The child needs to learn to interact with other children in order to develop his social skills.
@sharone74 (4838)
• United States
21 Mar 07
i don't think so because for a lot of parents teaching their own children is not something that they have either the skills nor the patience to do.
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Honestly I think going to school is a good idea. Home schoolingg doesn't teach them to socialize as much and some parents aren't equipped to home school especially with learning disabilities.
1 person likes this
• China
21 Mar 07
i agree your isea
1 person likes this
@hartnsoul (558)
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
I don't really approve of home-schooling coz this only paves way for the child to be introvert. There are special schools for children with special needs where they are treated accordingly. I think is is to be a more suitable environment for them along with the monitoring of their parents.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12913)
• Australia
21 Mar 07
I personally don't home school my children. I think they are better off with the expertise and variety schools can offer. Not to mention the all important social skills. However, I was a teacher in charge opf home schooling for 4 years. Homeschooling occurs for a variety of reasons: Distance.. too far from a school Religious ... school values not compatible with families religious values Bullying... parents/schools have not been able to stop bullying. Ilness... to chronic to attend school Special Needs...dyslexia, etc I agree with you, that special needs children are far better served with speciliast teachers in approiate settings. However, I personally know 2 families, close friends of mine, whose children are homeschooled for religious reasons & bullying. Both sets of parents are very happy with their progress.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
I'm against anyone that homeschools that does not have an ounce of a clue as to how to teach a child, or what to teach a child, etc. Homeschooling needs to be just that, schooling at home. And not teaching children, or teaching them incorreclty is unacceptable. However, the situation gets a bit more tough whenever the parents are trying to school children with disabilities, especially when the parent's have no formal training or experience working with children that have disabilities rather their own children. If they are lacking social skills and are falling behind where they should be with their school, the parents, or someone needs to realize that they aren't accomplishing the goal of teaching their kids at home. If they want to continue to teach their children at home, they need to have a special tutor come in (which can often be obtained through the school) to teach their kids to get them back to where they need to be. They also need to socialize with other children. No socializing means lack of communication and the ability to handle the real world.
1 person likes this
• Canada
20 Mar 07
I personally feel that kids with special needs do better in a public school system. I know exactly what you mean with your son. I have a Daughter and a son who were both developmentally delayed due to a hearing loss. They both wear hearing aids and both have a special education tutor come into school three times a week. My daughter actually won Academic Pupil of the year in her first year of primary school so that shows how much she caught up to her classmates and she made me so proud of her. There are parents who I feel are fully qualified to teach their kids at home, but I know that I wouldn't have been able to do that. Two of my kids have special needs and I'm glad that they're in a mainstream school and able to stay there thanks to the special needs teacher they have.
@avonrep1 (1862)
• United States
20 Mar 07
Glad where you live that you have a good school system. I live in Muncie, Indiana and the school system here is horrible. My son is a tatical learner. I homeschool my children now and he is one of the many many reason I believe my children are better off. My sons teacher wanted me to have him put on Ritalin. My son is not ADD or ADHD, he learns in a different format that what is taught in school. I have been homeschooling for 6 months now. My sons handwriting has improved, we do a few different styles combined and one being a correspondence study work at your own pace school. My son is doing second grade work now and has started on pre-algebra , he has completed his studies for the first grade. He had a hard time because they were holding him back in public school. Alot of kids have this same problem. Their is a big bully problem in our district. My son has had this boy pick on him from the time he started Kindergarden till I took him out to homeschool him. My daughters have had the same problems with bullies and the school did nothing to stop it. Our district is one of the districts that made national headlines a couple of years or so back. Remember the judges daughter that had her throat slit. That happen where I live. Yesterday a boy poured piss into his teacher's coffee. My eldest daugther has health problems and if I wasn't homeschooling she would be left behind in public school, because her disease is depliating at times. She was in 4th grade 6 month ago, now she is doing 5th grade work and highschool reading and english. My daughter who was in 2nd grade 2 months ago is doing 3rd and 4th grade work now. I think it has to do with the parents. And how deciated that they are to making sure that their children are getting the education that they need. Most home schooled children are better socialized that their public school counter part. The main reason why is that children in public school are being teach to socialize by children the same age that really don't understand either. Most homeschool children are socialized around people of all ages, so they have better manners and can get along and be happy even in different age groups of people. They are most often better socialized. I don't think someone needs a formal education in order to give a child an quality education, you just have to be willing to learn and keep an open mind as a parent and as their educator. Do research and want your child to have more than just outdated information, that more often than we like to think is incorrect anyways. I would rather my children have access to the correct information that is out there but at times takes over 20 years to get into the text books. There are some people out there that I am sure gives homeschoolers a bad name. But look at the trend. Even Ivy colleges know that homeschoolers are better prepared for life and college. That is why they go to major lengths to recruit them. With just an SAT score, you don't need a diploma to get in anymore if you are homeschooled. Just have to take your SAT's. For the last five years in a row. A homeschooler has won the national spelling bee.