Homeschooling any child takes hard work. Homeschooling a special needs child takes even more dedication and perseverance. Heck, just parenting a special needs child is a whole different ball game.
Add that child into the mix of a large family and, well, life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Our days can be messy, literary and figuratively.
Homeschooling a Special Needs Child Affects the Whole Family
We have to evaluate the activities we participate in. Often it isn’t fair to the other children some of the activities that we have to avoid. Sometimes my other children have to wait on a lesson because I need to redirect my daughter or find an activity for her or clean up a mess.
It’s a lot of give and take in the family.
Our already “different” family often stands out more.
Sometimes the other kids are embarrassed by her. They wouldn’t like to admit it, but sometimes they are.
Sometimes they get tired of it all.
Sometimes I do too.
Benefits of a Large Family for Our Special Needs Daughter
She is encouraged and challenged by her siblings. Without even realizing it, they push her and challenge her to do more.
Her efforts are praised by her family. Someone is always around to cheer on her efforts. There are no small accomplishments for her and her siblings realize that. We are so proud of her when she achieves a milestone.
Benefits for Our Large Family
We learn to have empathy and compassion for others. We see on a daily basis how difficult life can be for others, how some can struggle over the simplest activity.
We have opportunities to practice many virtues such as charity, temperance, and fortitude. Probably more opportunities than we would like!
The kids have learned to watch out for and care for others. They are working that nurturing muscle often.
Every person matters. Regardless of the disability, we have learned that every person is a special and unique child of God. Leah’s life is not any less important because she is not your typical 8 year old.
Homeschooling a special needs child is not easy in a large family, or any other size family for that matter. It’s days full of frustration and chaos. Days filled with visions of throwing in the towel. It’s also days filled joy, hope, and encouragement. Perhaps it takes the bad days to make us fully appreciate the good days.
Special Needs Resources
Special Needs Pinterest Board
Special Needs page
Be sure to check out the other Imperfect Homeschool Days from the iHomeschool Network Bloggers