Special Needs Students

Arkansas law permits the home schooling of students with special needs. The procedure for registering a special needs student to home school is the same as for any other student.

Public School Special Education Programs for Non-Public School Students

Federal law requires a certain portion of federal special education funds to be made available to non-public school students. The local school district decides which non-public school students to make these funds available to. They also decide how many students they will serve. Each year, as these federal funds are depleted, public school special education programs for non-public school students come to an end.

Practically speaking, there is so little funding available for non-public school students to receive special education services in public school, it is hardly worth the time and effort to apply. Check with your local public school district if you are interested in applying for enrollment in special education programs at your public school.

The web site below contains numerous links to information on home schooling students with special needs.

Home Schooling Kids with Disabilities

http://www.members.tripod.com/~Maaja/index.htm

Below is information attained from HSLDA. YOu can visit their website at www.hslda.org.

IS MY CHILD A STRUGGLING LEARNER?

Joey, age 7, tries to read from the book his mom has chosen for him. It is from the series that she has successfully used to teach her other three children to read at this age.

“The f-a-t c-a-t s-a-t on the m-a-t,” he reads, sounding out every word like it is brand new, even though he has read this story many times. There seems to be no retention of the words from day to day, or even from line to line.

Joey’s lack of progress leaves Mom perplexed. She asks herself: Why isn’t he learning as quickly as his brothers and sisters? He seems bright enough—but just doesn’t get it. Am I teaching him too early, or does he have a learning disability? Can he be tested for one? And where would I take him to be tested?

This scene occurs in home school households across America, with children of all ages, in many learning areas other than reading. Children who have great difficulty spelling, writing, doing math and retaining information are often a puzzle to the competent, caring parents working with them. These parents don’t necessarily see their children as having special needs, or learning disabilities, but they do see that they are working with struggling learners.

There are many levels of learning struggles. If a child has a learning glitch, he/she is working harder than h/she should have to, but is not behind. If the child is struggling more, and has a learning dysfunction, he/she has to work even harder to learn, and is about a year behind. If he/she has dyslexia, dysgraphia, or other learning disabilities, he/she has to work much harder, and is at least two years behind grade level in one or more areas. He/she may even be at a complete standstill academically. Many of these struggling learners are gifted.

These bright, hard-working children do very well in a home school setting where the parent can tailor teaching methods and curriculum to them, and spend more time working with them.

There are two things that are important to do for this struggling child:

  • Identify where the learning block is, and how to remove that block, reducing the stress in a child’s learning system.
  • Find a curriculum, and more importantly, teaching strategies that help this child get in touch with the “smart part of himself/herself.”

Our goal is to inform and educate you, the parent, in how to accomplish these goals with your child. Whether your child is experiencing a glitch, dysfunction, learning disability, or has special needs in other areas, this information should help you weave through the myriad of symptoms of stress in the learning system your child is experiencing. It will also guide you to the various teaching methods that work for these children, curriculum, testing, and therapies that are available to you.

HOW TO TELL WHY YOUR CHILD IS STRUGGLING

Many children who are not struggling have one or two of the characteristics in the checklists on the following pages. It is a matter of degree, and how it is impacting the learning process that we will consider in determining the needs of the learner.

Many educators who follow brain research believe that there are four learning gates that need to be properly functioning for a child to learn easily.

The four learning gates are:

  • Visual processing.
  • Visual/motor (writing) processing.
  • Auditory processing.
  • Focus/attention processing.

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