Texas is what homeschooling communities label as a green state. That means far fewer regulations than many other states. Many states have extremely stringent rules and regulations for homeschooling. Texas is not one of them. This can open up the door for creativity and flexibility.
There are several options for your child’s curriculum. No, you do not have to be an Algebra expert to teach your child. The internet is a fantastic tool. Use it! Love it! There are countless programs, videos, games, and tools to help you teach your child in ways that you feel the child learns best.
The first step is to decide on a curriculum. Many sites offer a full package complete with workbooks, videos, online teachers, classes and more. If you are financially able to commit to one of these programs, they can be helpful. It’s like a one-stop shop. They are not all costly either. Some programs are free, others start at $20 or so per month. Some online curriculums are not necessarily tailored for children with disabilities—so if your child requires a special curriculum and tools, those programs are available as well.
I use a free online program called Easy Peasy Homeschool. It includes a Facebook community of parents to help guide and give advice. I have a pretty wild schedule on any given day, so a curriculum that is portable and easy to do in portions is important to me. Because my child struggles with math, I also have her enrolled in Kahn Academy. It is a free online academy (not just for math) that uses games and quizzes to help your child build up their skills. They receive online badges and things for completing tasks and levels.
If you have a need for a more structured curriculum, there are many options there as well. K-12 is a popular option for Texas homeschoolers. It is free and closely monitored to ensure your child receives school credits through the state of Texas.
Specialized curricula and sites for children with disabilities are easy to find too. One site that caught my attention was Time 4 Learning. For about $20 per month, your child will receive self-paced lessons and learning games as well as online teachers to help you. The lessons are tailored for kids with disabilities with a variety of concerns in mind such as vision impairment, ADHD, dyslexia and more. This can make your journey to becoming your child’s teacher far easier.
The Home School Foundation offers the Special Needs Children’s Fund, a fund that provides assistance with special therapies, equipment, testing and specialized materials to those who qualify. Check out the Special Needs Homeschooling Facebook page, too. Some Facebook groups are closed groups (you have to log in to see the group and join it to see the discussion, post or comment). Midland/Odessa has a (closed group) Homeschool Curriculum Swap – search Facebook for it if you are a Facebook member. A2ZHomesCool Special Needs Homeschooling offers resources for homeschool support, legal assistance, curriculum, plans, and more for children with disabilities. As you can see, there are many options for homeschool resources for kids with disabilities. Or, Google it.
If your child tends to thrive with more hands on teaching, feel free to use flash cards, marker boards, counting beans and other “old school” methods to teach your child. Remember, this is YOUR child. You know best what they need and how they learn. Do not feel obligated to stick with what works for others if it does not work for you. This is a good opportunity to get creative and bond with your child.
I also recommend joining any local or online homeschooling groups that you can. These groups (especially local ones) can provide a network of friends for you and your child to go on field trips and even just have fun with. I hope this information can be a good jumping off point for your new adventure!
Visit the School Choices section of the NavigateLifeTexas.com website for information on additional home-schooling options. You can also look for homeschooling groups in your area on our Find Services, Groups & Events page.
Here’s an easy way to organize the never-ending paperwork that comes home with your child from school.
Todd is in the 9th grade and has an intellectual disability. When he graduates high school, Todd wants to live on his own and work at a pet store. How do we help Todd follow his dreams?