SPED Homeschool Community Member Nick H.

 

Last year I became a homeschooling father to a 7-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy.  My son’s mom had already started the home school process with him, but as circumstances dictated I took over from there.

At first, I assumed homeschooling would hold a kid back from the sped up progress that traditional school settings achieve.  I could not see how a few hours of school work at home compared to 8-hour traditional school days could equate to greater learning outcomes.  This year has taught me that equating time to learning was wrong.

Being a father who homeschools has given me an alternative view on homeschooling and the advantages it provides my son like one-on-one teaching, reduced distractions, and individualized accommodations. 

 

…I have learned how much easier I can accommodate for the needs of my son at home versus the process an equivalent accommodation would require in a traditional school.

 

Homeschooling has given me a new appreciation for education.  As a parent of a child that has Cerebral Palsy, I have learned how much easier I can accommodate for the needs of my son at home versus the process an equivalent accommodation would require in a traditional school.

Teaching as a homeschooling parent isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. The way my son interacts with his mom and I during his schooling is amazing. He seems so much more focused and confident in doing his schoolwork. Watching him grow and learn has been the biggest highlight on my new homeschooling dad journey.

 

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Dyana Robbins

 

Whether your homeschooling years are ending because you are launching a graduate into the world or leaving homeschooling for reasons as varied as the ones that brought you to home education, there are adjustments and feelings to reckon with when your homeschooling season comes to an end.

My homeschooling years ended abruptly two years ago when my oldest son asked to attend school for his 9th-grade year. Making the decision to send him to the large public school behind our home wrenched my heart. There were good reasons to send him, but my heart struggled with the possible consequences of that choice. I consoled myself, knowing my youngest son was still home and that I had more years homeschooling him. And then, we took a job opportunity in Singapore and my homeschooling years were suddenly over. I’ve grieved those years learning at home together. Thankfully the Lord has greatly comforted me through this time of transition. In light of the wisdom I have gained through this transition in our lives, here is some encouragement from one mother’s heart to yours.

 

Homeschooling is Only Part of the Plan

When my son went to public school, it posed many challenges for him. His learning challenges meant that he was not at grade level and required an IEP. He had never had to navigate large groups of same-age peers alone. His first day was truly terrible in almost every way. Fear and pain made me want to pull him from school immediately.  But, by spring, he had found his place; succeeding in his classes and finding a group of great friends.

Our son graduates next year from an international school and I marvel at all he has accomplished. He gets the credit for his work ethic and resilience, but I know that homeschooling helped him develop both. The years we spent laboring together over reading, writing, and spiritual formation have borne the most wonderful fruit. As I mourned and worried about our son starting school, God was unveiling new horizons for our family.

However long your homeschooling season was, you can trust that good will come from the investments you have made in your children. If homeschooling ended before you were ready, know that God is not surprised or unprepared. He knows what the future holds for you and your family.  His love is providing for all of you even as you make unexpected changes.

 

Life After Homeschooling is Wonderful Too

Honestly, many days of homeschooling were not wonderful. There were times I cried, prayed, and believed I could not keep teaching at home. But the whole experience was wonderful. Life is like that; we have pain woven through our routines and joys.

Two years after homeschooling, I have reclaimed parts of myself that were willingly laid down so I could homeschool my children. I have more time for friendships and am resuming a career I love. My life now is filled in different ways than when we homeschooled. I still miss those sweet years but rejoice as our family moves forward together, embracing new opportunities.

 

My life now is filled in different ways than when we homeschooled. I still miss those sweet years but rejoice as our family moves forward together, embracing new opportunities.

 

Releasing and Resting is Part of the Parenting Process

The bonds we make through teaching our children can be lifelong. My sons still listen to me and my husband carefully and they respect our guidance. I know other families who credit homeschooling with forging spiritual and family bonds that have lasted generations. What I have observed is that these families also let their children go well.

By encouraging teens to make their own decisions, even when you don’t agree with them, is part of this letting-go process. Trusting God and the truth that has been planted in your child’s soul, not the ability to make perfect choices, is how to successfully navigate this transition time as a parent. The examples other parents have provided in this area have helped me navigate our family’s unexpected changes.  I hope they encourage you too.

 

As I write this, we are living in some crazy times that have put us all through various transitions and have us considering many different educational options for our children. Ultimately, there are very few things we control.  But, God is still on His throne. His love for His people is unfailing.  As we release our children and other beloved things in this season, remember that He is always making things new…our children and us too.

 

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Cammie Arn & Amy Vickrey MSE

 

Are you worried about teaching high school math for a struggling student? Before you start stressing, it is important to understand that many of your fears can be easily averted before your student even starts high school.  How? By answering 6 key questions that will help you take more confident steps forward based on what your student needs and how to meet those needs by choosing the right curriculum and/or setting the proper goals.

 

What math skills will my student need to know for life?

When considering math, one strategy is to focus on the skills your child needs to know for life. A program that teaches money management, cooking math, math skills for fixing small things around the house, and other daily tasks is just as important as completing algebra and geometry and sometimes is more important than completing these traditional high school math courses.

 

What are your student’s post-high school goals?

To determine what kind of math your child needs, first consider where your child is headed after high school. What are their plans? What are their goals? Is your student planning to go to college? Or, are they planning to attend a trade school? What kind of entrance exam is needed for the career path they are choosing?  

 

What requirements are necessary to match your student’s aspirations?

Talk to various colleges or trade schools in your area to determine exactly what math courses and math testing skills are required for admission. If your student will be requesting accommodations it is also best to talk with the disability services department, as well as the admissions department, to determine what additional documentation your homeschool will need to provide at the time those accommodations are requested.  

 

Don’t push. Don’t move ahead too fast. A solid foundation in math is more important than gaining little bits of knowledge about higher-level math concepts.

 

What remediation does my student need for basic math skills?

The best strategy for remediation is to work with your child at his/her level of mastery. Don’t push. Don’t move ahead too fast. A solid foundation in math is more important than gaining little bits of knowledge about higher-level math concepts. When choosing a curriculum, look for programs that help break down the concepts into concrete steps and provide visuals or hands-on ways to help you and your child “see” solutions. It is also important to find a math program that fits your teaching style and your child’s learning style. 

Some great programs to look into:

 

What alternative math programs might work better for your student?

If your student doesn’t need or desire to take Algebra or Geometry, many different types of math can be supplemented during the high school years.

Some great alternatives are:

 

What higher-level curriculum options accommodate students with learning needs?

For some students, instruction in algebra, geometry, and high levels of math might be needed and/or wanted to meet post-high school goals. Do you feel comfortable teaching math at this level? If so, pick a curriculum you like and start teaching. If not, here are some alternatives and helps:

  • Online or video instruction, either private or self-paced
  • Co-op or online class that will work with your student’s needs
  • Multi-sensory based instruction (making it visual, hands-on)
  • Using a graphing calculator or graphing program
  • Private tutoring through an online service, friend, or local college student

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Kathy Kuhl

 

A woman told me her son had been accepted into a good college even though he had the handwriting of a six-year-old. Happily, this sharp young man and his mother knew how to get accommodations to get his thoughts on paper.

 

Can you imagine the effect on this child if his mother had said: 

“Sorry, dear. Until you stop reversing your Es, I’m not going to teach you to write.” or “Until you pay attention and print more neatly, I’m not teaching you any new words.”

 

Many gifted people have dysgraphia, dyslexia or other learning disabilities. We should work on the problems, as I discussed last week. But we also work around them. That means you accommodate the student’s areas of weakness.

Accommodate doesn’t mean coddle. It does mean you give help that gives them a fair chance to develop their abilities. It means you don’t let a disability hijack your homeschool.

Though we work hard to strengthen weaknesses, it is vital not to focus on them.

We build lives based on strengths, not weaknesses. We don’t look at  Charles Schwab, Richard Branson, or  MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award winner Mimi Koehl, and think of learning disabilities. They built their careers on their strengths.

We don’t build our lives on what we do poorly. Neither should our kids.

 

Accommodation #1: Learn to Type

The first accommodation you may think of for a child who struggles with writing is teaching your child to type.

How do you know if your child is old enough to touch-type? Pediatric occupational therapist Laurie Chuba told me this trick: ask your child to close her eyes and see if she can touch her left thumb and each of her other left fingers in turn. Then repeat with the right hand. If she can, she’s ready to learn to touch-type.

Not every keyboarding program is well-suited to children and teens with learning disabilities. For instance, the first one we tried used a small font size on the screen. It was hard for my son, who has dyslexia, to read.

There are many typing programs, but Keyboard Classroom is unusual. It’s a typing program designed at the Ben Bronz School in Connecticut, a school especially for students with learning disabilities. It keeps practice exercises to one minute, building fluency without as much stress as longer exercises. [Disclosure: I was given, but have not used, a sample of Keyboard Classroom and the finger guides. My review is based on trying a free demo. Typing programs vary and kids vary. I recommend trying demos and reading reviews to see what’s best for your child.]

It was researched with students with learning disabilities for twenty years. By keeping its plastic finger guides between the middle and ring finger of each hand, the learner’s hands don’t drift out of place.

I met Keyboard Classroom President Carrie Shaw at LEAH Homeschool Convention a few years back and got to try out the program. I was intrigued. You can see a demo and explanation of Keyboard Classroom here.

Carrie wrote, “I reduced the prices on all my licenses so it would be more affordable for homeschoolers.”  At their site, you can contact Carrie Shaw and learn more.

If your child is not ready to touch-type, let her record answers with a digital voice recorder or into your phone. You can also have her dictate to a sibling who can type.

 

Accommodation #2 – Word Prediction Software

Dictation software is notorious for goofy transcribing errors. WordQ does a superior job, providing a drop-down list of words to choose from. Even better, at the end of each sentence, WordQ reads the sentence aloud, which can help your student notice when words are incorrect or are omitted. Get a free trial of WordQ from Quillsoft here.

 

Accommodation #3 – Dictation Software

SpeakQ dictation software is an add-on for WordQ that turns it into a powerful dictation program. Designed for folks with learning disabilities, it is easier for your child to train to his or her voice than other programs, like Dragon. WordQ and SpeakQ both offer a free trial. Dragon Naturally Speaking also takes diction from you or your student. See  www.Nuance.com for details and a demonstration.[The advantage of SpeakQ over Dragon is that to train the software to recognize your child’s voice, Dragon provides paragraphs that may be difficult for your challenged learner to read. But SpeakQ lets you upload anything your child can read well, and use that text to train the software.]

Not everyone who struggles with writing struggles with handwriting. Other writing problems require different solutions. Next month we’ll look at some. This series continues here.

 

This article was originally written on Learn Differently at https://www.learndifferently.com/2015/10/20/accommodations-for-struggling-writers/

 

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links.

 

This article is part 3 in  a in a series of articles aimed at helping struggling writers. Part 1 is here, and part 2 is here .

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Kathy Kuhl

 

What if you didn’t know your child was dyslexic until they hit high school? This happened to a family I learned about yesterday.  They just discovered that their bilingual high schooler is dyslexic. For years, the experts kept saying, “She’s only struggling with reading because she’s bilingual.”

It’s an easy mistake to make, but it wasted valuable time. Now, while taking high school classes online, the girl’s frustration has soared. She is very discouraged. My heart aches for this student and her parents, who have been trying to get her help while living abroad.

This can happen with an online curriculum, in a school, or a homeschool. This frustration and discovery often happens when the pace of education picks up. The transitions to harder level work are times when we notice disabilities. Sometimes students can overcome their learning challenges for years on their own, often by being intelligent and working harder than everyone else. But at some stage–when they start middle school, high school, or college-level work–they can no longer overcome their disability without someone customizing their education.

 

#1 – Understand

  • Educate yourself and your teen about dyslexia. Visit the Dyslexic Advantage website (see the link below) and watch some of the videos. This will help you see how dyslexia is the flip side of intelligence in one of several distinct areas. This site offers practical help and an online forum. It will help you and your teen to take heart and begin to build on their strengths. 
  • Read the book, Dyslexic Advantage by Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide. These medical doctors (and former homeschoolers) work with the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, speak around the country, and run the Eide Neurolearning Clinic outside Seattle. The last third of the book is a very practical look at accommodations—ways to work around dyslexia in school. But the first two-thirds are just as important and interesting. They will transform how you see dyslexia. See below for a link to my review of the book.
  • Understand and be sympathetic to your teen’s struggles. It is hard for non-dyslexics to understand how painful reading can be. I know two adults with dyslexia (one with an M.Ed, the other an MD) who both say reading hurts.

 

#2 – Curriculum

  • Reading instruction for dyslexics comes in varying types and strengths. The main thing to keep always before you and your teen is that there is hope, so don’t give up. Here are a few options that can work long-distance (these are only a few suggestions—I’ve listed others at the end of this post):
    • Barton Reading trains parents to teach dyslexic students. Granted, no expert visits your home to see if the parents are teaching correctly. But Sue Barton is very knowledgeable and has helped many families. Her company, Bright Solutions, provides many videos on its website. (See below.)
    • Alphabetic Phonics by Aylette Royall Cox is another Orton-Gillingham-based program that can be offered at home by a parent. (Please note: this is not Alpha Phonics, nor is it Alphabet Phonics.) This publisher also offers webinars (see below).
    • All About Reading by Marie Rippel is another program to consider.
    • Lexercise is a more intensive and pricier option that comes with online tutoring. With Lexercise, a trained therapist tutors your dyslexic student online through a secure link.

 

#3 – Experts

  • Trained Academic Therapist. Working with someone trained in teaching dyslexics  your student may find that reading can get easier. My son made progress at age 20 with the help of an academic therapist, that is, a Certified Academic Language therapist. Other experts include Orton-Gillingham practitioners or Wilson tutors with Level II certification. This sort of tutoring is expensive. But I wish I’d understood this sooner. Then we could have used the money we were saving for college to work with an academic therapist all through high school.
  • Online Learning. Because of living abroad, the family I mentioned above has been using an online academy, but it has become very frustrating for this teen. One possibility is Time4Learning. I don’t know anyone who used it at the high school level, so it may not be a good fit for a struggling teen. Time4Learning does offer free trials, though, and may be worth investigating. 

 

#4 – Tools

  • Use audiobooks. I list several below. Additionally, did you know that any PDF can be read aloud by a computer using Adobe Acrobat reader? (The read-aloud option is under the “view” tab, oddly enough.)
  • Use assistive technology.  Find someone to walk you through all the tools you already have on your PC or Mac to help—all under the accessibility tabs, but not always easy to figure out. Your state agency for helping folks with disabilities probably offers free webinars or seminars on this. In Virginia, there are eight regional Training and Technology Assistance Centers (T/TAC). These centers lend equipment out. Check out what your state provides. Your local chapter of the ARC may also help you. Additionally, Joan Green knows a lot about assistive technology—her website, listed below, has webinars and resources.

 

#5 – Strategies

  • Strategize your teen’s time. I would devote the majority of each day to the  strengths of your struggling learner. In the case of a teen who is already frustrated, morale is a primary concern. Also, I would spend a chunk of each day working on reading, but with one of the therapies listed above–not with traditional methods.
  • Rethink your current learning approaches. For instance, if your situation requires you to use an online curriculum, can you use something more hands-on for at least some subjects? What is your student good at? What does he or she like to do? Try to find or adapt your curriculum to your student’s interests. For example, I have a friend whose teen shut down at age 15 during a family crisis. All this teen wanted to do was read and watch Japanese manga and anime (cartoons). My friend built a year’s homeschool around anime: Japanese history, an online class for the language, drawing, etc. Later, the teen caught up in her academics, and graduated from The Pratt Institute, a prestigious art school in New York City. Now this graduate is supporting herself as an artist. You may not have the time or resources to do that, but realize that an out-of-the-box curriculum won’t be a good fit for many students with learning challenges. At least a good part of your teen’s education may need to be more customized. I’m not only talking about remediating the area of weakness or accommodating it by working around it. Provide something that builds on the student’s strengths or interests.

 

#6 – Resources

 

This article was originally written on Learn Differently at http://www.learndifferently.com/2017/09/07/help-teen-dyslexic/ and as shared by the author to republish on this site.

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.

 

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Peggy Ployhar

Most high school students have no idea what career or even possible career fields would interest them, so don’t get frustrated if you have asked your teen for some suggestions and all you have received in response is, “I don’t know.”

Below I have shared my top 3 career assessment tools that can help steer your student in the right direction for career exploration as useful guidance for you in helping them in this exploration process.

 

#1 – My Next Move Interest Assessment

My Next Move is an online questionnaire that profiles a student’s interests and aligns them with possible future career choices. To access this free career interest assessment for your student, visit the My Next Move website at https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip

 

#2 – Holland Code Career Test

The Holland Code Career Test is a free online career assessment that “uses the scientific Holland Code model to show you which jobs will suit your interests, talents, and aptitude.” The test takes about 10 minutes. Basic test results from this assessment are free, or you can choose to receive a full report for just $19. To access the test, visit this link on the Truity website  https://www.truity.com/test/holland-code-career-test

 

#3 – Career One Stop Assessments

Career One Stop is a website sponsored by the U.S.Department of Labor that offers a few different tests parents could use to help with assessing their student’s interests, skills, and work values. Here are the assessments you can find on the Career One Stop site.  https://www.careeronestop.org/. Below are three resources Career One Stop provides.

Career Interest Assessment – This test is a 30 question assessment that takes about 5 minutes to complete and provides a broad overview of your student’s basic interests.  https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/careers/interest-assessment.aspx 

Skills Matcher Questionnaire – This test rates a student’s abilities across 40 workplace skills. https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/Skills/skills-matcher-questions.aspx

Work Values Survey – Use the cards provided in this section to identify what you student values in a working environment and then follow the links provided to find careers that match these values. https://www.careeronestop.org/ExploreCareers/Assessments/work-values.aspx

 

Interested in learning more about homeschooling your special education learner through high school? Check out our High School Checklist for more information on how to homeschool special education high school.

 

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Peggy Ployhar

When I talk about transition planning for high schoolers, one of the first things I tell parents is that a good assessment can help you hone in on those skills your student needs most to work on, thus saving you both a lot of time and frustration as you plan for a smooth post-high school transition.

 

Here are the top 3 assessments I recommend for determining a student’s independent life skills:

#1 – Casey Independent Living Skills (CLS) Assessment

The Casey Independent Living Skills Assessment is a free online test anyone can use to gauge independent living skills for students between the ages of 14 to 21. This test covers “the following areas: Maintaining healthy relationships, work and study habits, planning and goal-setting, using community resources, daily living activities, budgeting and paying bills, and computer literacy.”

The site also states that the test “typically will require 30 – 40 minutes to complete the CLSA” and “answers are available instantly for you to review with the youth in a strength-based conversation that actively engages them in the process of developing their goals.”

To learn more and access the CLS assessment, visit the Casey website at http://lifeskills.casey.org. To access the assessment practice guide as well as a 60-page resource guide that’s filled with specific goals based on testing results as well as helpful resource links to use when working with your student to achieve specific goals visit this page on their website  https://caseylifeskills.secure.force.com/clsa_learn_provider

 

#2 – Transition Coalition Independent Living Checklist

The Transition Coalition Independent Living Checklist is a 2-page list of items to review when assessing our student’s post-secondary goals for independent living. To access the checklist, visit this link on the Transition Coalition’s website https://transitioncoalition.org/blog/tc-materials/independent-living-checklist/

 

#3 – Transition Coalition Inventory Independent Living Assessment Tool

The Transition Coalition Inventory Independent Living Assessment Tool is a free downloadable inventory tool to access independent living skills is not only an assessment tool but was also designed to help to create ”a transition plan according to the student’s capability.”

The inventory covers the following areas: “Money management and consumer awareness, food management, personal appearance and hygiene, health, housekeeping, housing, transportation, educational planning, job skills, emergency and safety skills, knowledge of community services, interpersonal skills, legal issues, and parenting and childcare.” To access this inventory and assessment tool, visit this link on the Transition Coalition’s website https://transitioncoalition.org/blog/assessment-review/life-skills-inventory-independent-living-skills-assessment-tool/ 

 

In general, the Transition Coalition is an amazing resource for families who have special education learners in high school. Their website includes training, resources, and tools for families to help students with various transition needs to plan for their post-high school goals.

 

Interested in learning more about homeschooling your special education learner through high school? Check out our High School Checklist for more information on how to homeschool special education high school.

 

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

SPED Homeschool Team

This month we asked our team to share the top three internet resources they used in their special education homeschools. Here is what they send in and little about each site. Hopefully this list will provide you with some new homeschooling resources as well as ideas for planning homeschooling lessons.

 

Dawn Spence

Teachers Pay Teachers

To find free and affordable lessons you can use to extend concept instruction and remediation on just about any subject and any grade level.

Learning Without Tears Keyboarding

A digital keyboarding program that teaches more than typing. This program also focuses on helping struggling learners with color coding, providing cross-curricular lessons, and responsible digital citizenship.

Overdrive

Access to free audiobooks and ebooks through your local public library.

 

Jace Clark

Khan Academy

Preschool through advanced placement high school free online curriculum that allows parents to pick and choose courses as well as track their student’s progress through a separate parent portal.

BrainPop

Animated online resources for teaching students general school subjects as well as SEL and ELL resources for students who need them.

Sign Language ASL

Sign language taught by ASL professionals in a fun self-paced online environment.

 

Amy Vickrey

XtraMath

A nonprofit that is dedicated to helping students with math achievement. They offer online activities to help students master their math facts and detailed parent tracking options for charting student progress.

The Crafty Classroom

Great maze activities to use in place, or in addition to, handwriting activities. This site also has great resources for strengthening your student’s visual tracking skills.

Cathy Duffy Reviews

Great place to begin researching ideas for curriculum for basic knowledge on curriculum options before asking about personal experience with the curriculum in my SPED Strong Tribe or the SPED Homeschool Facebook Support Group. 

 

Nakisha Blain

Homeschool Creations

Educational printables and encouraging blogs for parents (homeschooling or not) on how to teach their children.

Home Grown Learners

Homeschooling blog with resources on LEGO teaching ideas, Classical Conversations, traditional curriculum products, and more.

Homeschool Share

Unit studies and lapbooks ideas for teaching elementary-aged students.

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Dawn Spence

During this time of COVID-19 closures and the world’s reliance on the web for information as well as learning, it all can be overwhelming to navigate what resources to use or how to use them in your homeschool.

 

One thing to consider is building time into your homeschooling schedule to try out a new product since so many vendors are offering their services for free or at greatly reduced rates while public schools are closed.

 

This is especially advantageous to special education homeschooling families as internet learning sites and mobile apps can be powerful tools for students who struggle with pencil and pen assignments.

 

Here are some of my favorite resources that are giving away free trials right now and the type of learner they support.

 

#1 – Learning Ally 

This is a great resource for children with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, vision issues, or other learning disabilities that make it hard for a child to read. With libraries being closed and long waiting lists for audiobooks to check out from your local library, this is where Learning Ally can help. If you are needing help but can not pay at this time they have a fee waiver form you can fill out. They provide audio and your child can also follow the highlighted text as they listen.

 

#2 – Audible

Another great, and currently free, audiobook resource for auditory learners is Audible. Using this service, children can listen to a wide range of books, from classics or one of my daughter’s favorites, Hank the Cowdog. This resource is free as long as school buildings are closed, so now is a great time for the family to listen to stories together and use their imagination and build those skills of making movies in their minds while listening.

 

#3 – Boom Learning-Boom Cards

Boom cards is a website you can use to create digital games and activities. Right now you can sign up for a free account and use the free premade games, create your own, or create more elaborate games with add-on items using their online store. These activities are great for visual learners as well as children who need a hands-on approach to learning. There are also speech activities you can use to fill the gap while your child’s speech therapy is on hold. Additionally, they offer videos that walk you through how to make your own boom cards. You can also share your boom cards, find them free on Teacher Pay Teachers, and download links to your Boom Learning account!

 

#4 – BrainPopJr  and BrainPop

These sites are online tools that help engage your learner and provide a unique way to teach concepts your learner might be struggling with. Both of these websites are free right now. BrainPopJr is geared to K-3 and teaches the basic concepts of science, health, reading, writing, social studies, and technology. Each concept starts with a video for your visual learner and then allows the student to apply the concept in various ways, like playing a game, drawing, acting, doing a printable hands-on activity, or even sharing jokes. The activities are interactive and can be modified to meet your child’s needs. These tools will especially support your reluctant writers and give them a way to uniquely present their understanding of the concept they have been studying. BrainPop is very similar to BrainPopJr but targets learners K-12 and goes more in-depth teaching and evaluations.

 

#5 – Boardmaker Online

This website is an online platform that supports education, communication, and social and emotional learning using PCS( Picture Communication System). This is great for children with Autism and other learning disabilities. They are giving 90-day trials right now and you have access to over 40,000 PCS. They are also providing many other resources that can be found here. If your child needs a visual schedule or behavior support you can download them. Their website provides webinars and video libraries you may access for free as well. The free activities provide hands-on themes that can be downloaded for free. If your child has an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device they are also providing free downloads.

 

I hope you find these resources for struggling learners helpful to try out while they are free. Who knows, you may find a new way to instruct your student that makes homeschooling easier for your struggling learner.

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today

 

 

Peggy Ployhar

Are you looking for some ideas on how to create a unique and educational family night during this pandemic? Here are 4 that rose to the top in my search for some out-of-the-box ways to learn and have fun as a family while staying at home.

 

#1 – Learn to Cook Together

American’s Test Kitchen – Kitchen Classroom 

This website is offering cooking classes plus more that the entire family can use to learn recipes and more kitchen and cooking skills. You can pick and choose from their already published content or use the new content they publish each week which includes: new recipes, experiments, hands-on activities, quizzes, and even larger projects are published.

 

#2 – Take a Virtual Field Trip Together

Free Homeschool Deals – 3 Month Virtual Field Trip Calendar 

49 curated virtual field tips your family can take either following the days given on the calendar or as you pick and choose based on your family’s interests.

 

#3 – Explore New Worlds Together

Minecraft Minecraft Educational Content

Free new worlds including lessons, building challenges, puzzles and more based on history, science, and more subject areas. Your kids won’t even know they are learning and you can join them in creating and exploring this material. Downloads are free through June 30, 2020.

 

#4 – Create and Play a Board Game Together

Make Use Of9 Free Printable Board Games

Here is an interesting family activity that will get you away from the screen – make your own board game and then play it. Just print out the free downloads and add some simple “extras” from your junk drawer or other games you already have in your house.

 

Looking for more ideas? Our community is sharing them every day in our Facebook resource sharing group. Feel free to just check the posts from outside the group or join the group so you can post resources you would like to share with others. 

 

Have fun and make sure to share your adventures in one of our SPED Strong Tribes. We look forward to seeing pictures and hearing about your stay-in family night activities!

 

 

 

 

 


Did you benefit from this article?

Would you consider a small donation to support the ongoing work of SPED Homeschool?

Click Here to Donate Today