Due to COVID-19 and the resulting school closures, a lot of parents of children with special needs have been struggling to facilitate their child’s education and therapy at home. Homeschooling a child with special needs can be a challenging task for the parents. However, the individual attention that the child can get at home, unlike in mainstream schools, can lead to positive outcomes.
Staying at home can be frustrating for the child. Parents can use fun activities and set up a routine for their child that keeps them engaged and motivated.
Here are some tips that can help you get started with homeschooling with your child:
- Set a routine: It is good to have certain hours of the day designated for learning, rest, and play activities. This can help children know what to expect each day and make them more comfortable in switching from one activity to another.
- Comfortable environment: Make sure that the room is free of distraction and comfortable for the child. Some children with autism may dislike and feel overwhelmed with certain sensory stimulation. Make sure that your child feels safe and relaxed in their learning space.
- Know your child’s pace: Every child learns differently. It is important to set learning goals according to your child’s pace. Some
children have a shorter attention span than others, so make sure you include breaks in your study plan.
- Positive reinforcement: This can be very important to encourage good behaviors in your child and encourage them to learn. Verbal praise and rewards can be motivating for your child and improve their self-esteem as well. Encourage your child’s efforts and provide support where they are struggling in a task.
- Make learning fun: Quizzes and tests can be stressful for the child. Find creative ways to test their knowledge through fun and playful activities. Look for play activities that encourage learning and also allow the child some autonomy over their learning process. You can teach through various online resources or activities your child likes, for example, through art or sports.
- Rest time: Learning can be tiresome, especially for children with special needs. Make sure that you incorporate frequent breaks in the routine. If your child seems to be in a bad mood on some days, allow them space to deal with their emotions and take the day off if needed.
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Most schools who have children with special needs assign an IEP for each child based on their needs and assessment. You can follow the goals defined in a previous IEP designed by the child’s school. Or you can use online resources to design an individualized study plan based on your child’s needs. You can also consult a special education teacher to ensure the best plan for your child at home.
- Online forums/resources: Several groups on social media provide support to parents who have children with special needs. You can discuss your ideas and take tips from other parents through those forums.
WonderTree platform provides a great tool for parents to facilitate their child’s learning and therapy online. The augmented reality games can provide a fun and immersive experience for your child while also developing their motor, cognitive, and language skills. All you need is a laptop with a camera to play these games with your child.
You can download the games for free through our website: www.wondertree.co