I have been told by parents, on more than one occasion, that the reason they can not homeschool their child is because their child has a learning disability. I find this all the more reason to pursue a home education, and I speak from experience. Today I’d like to share something that has been heavy on my heart lately. I want everyone to know that home education and learning disabilities can beautifully coincide, even if it does take a lot of prayer and hard work.
To be perfectly honest, all of my children have experienced some form of learning obstacle (as I prefer to call them). We have addressed each one with prayer and trusted in God to sort out the details. My husband and I have worked tirelessly to help our children overcome many of these learning obstacles. That’s what parents should do! Nobody has my child’s best interest at heart more than me and my husband and I will never trust someone else to adequately address their personal needs and that includes the gift of learning.
We have encountered color blindness, speech impediments (2 children), severe speech delays, and a child with high functioning autism. We have never used the ‘free’ resources provided by the government, but we have done our ‘homework’ and learned how to address each learning obstacle with God’s grace, mercy, love, and prayer. I have been overwhelmingly inspired and encouraged by God’s hand in each and every situation.
We recently experienced a glimpse of the miracle God is working in our six-year old’s life as he struggles with autism. Everyday, I consistently do his lessons with him; which includes working with numbers, writing, and reading. I have to sit with him and help him through every question, number, letter, and word. Sometimes I have to help him hold his pencil to write, but we do it, everyday. All my previous children have done the same work and could do it independently, but not him (and that’s okay). My prayer is that one day he will be able to do the lessons independently. Well, this week he surprised me by bringing me two assignments that he had completed by himself! Can we say Hallelujah!!!
I send all the praise to the Lord above, for it is only by Him that we can be the parents our children need us to be. Unfortunately, more days than not I fail at this one simple task, even with God’s grace, but that is not God’s fault, but mine. Most days it would be far easier to put my child into a public school system, take advantage of all the “free” programs, and let someone else deal with the challenges that come with educating and tending to a child with special needs. But, that wouldn’t be God’s plan for our family. God didn’t give these children to anybody else, but solely to me and my husband. God’s word says He will not give us more than we can handle and that He will provide a way for us to address every need we will ever have.
Through our efforts of home educating children with learning disabilities I have learned a few things to make the journey a little more peaceable:
- Pray over your child before lessons
- Maintain a routine and stay consistent with academic requirements
- Seek to have quiet during lesson time, remove distractions
- Set realistic goals
- Be cautious with ‘advise’ from others
- Take things slow and let your child set the pace
- Don’t let your child sense any frustration on your part (trust me you’ll experience it at one time or another)
- Don’t compare your child to other children, especially academically
- Do lessons orally, sometimes holding a pencil can just cause problems when in actuality your child really does know the subject matter
- Give lots of love and praise
Having a child with learning disabilities is not without many challenges, but with those challenges comes the opportunity to practice faith and watch God work. God has created all of us special and unique and I think that is awesome! I wouldn’t change any of my children if I had the chance; each one is a blessing and has enriched my life beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I praise the Lord for giving me each one of my children and allowing me to home educate all of them. I will go to the ends of the earth to insure each of my children are given every opportunity to learn the lessons God has for them.
Don’t let learning disabilities be a reason not to home educate your child. I can’t imagine what would have happened to my six-year-old had we put him into public school. Fortunately, we will never know, for he will always have the sanctuary of his home as his platform for learning. There is no one better suited to educated a child than his or her mother, that is the way God designed it. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, live out your faith and trust in God to help you through the challenges associated with home education and learning disabilities.