Do you have a child who often skips school or refuses to attend classes? Does your child struggle to focus in their usual classes? Does your child face difficulties in learning, reading or writing?Many parents notice their kids with autism rarely do well in school as they find it difficult to learn fast, communicate with others, focus for a long period of time and have behavioural problems. In such cases, some parents are considering home schooling as an option for their children. If you are one of the parents and are unsure of where to start. We are here to help. Keep reading to find some tips and tricks for home schooling your child.
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Why do parents choose home schooling?
Children’s abilities and the level of their autism may differ from one another. While some autistic kids can attend regular schools and only want a bit of extra supervision, others might need special education and a setting that suits their particular requirements. Traditional educational settings can be challenging for many kids with autism. Therefore, in order to reduce their stress and anxiety, parents prefer home schooling. Home schooling option gives parents the ability to keep eyes on their children’s educational development and gives them a way to make the learning more enjoyable and successful.
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Things to keep in mind
However every child is different and learn in their own way, there are three main elements that have been proven to be efficient in educating children with autism:
1.The majority of autistic kids are visual learners. This indicates that they like receiving their educational material in a visual format.
2.Kids usually respond well when given clear, precise, and basic guidance for carrying out a particular activity.
3. Phonics-based reading is the unique way of educating children to read and spell words.
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Tips for home schooling a child with autism
Here are some effective tips for home schooling your kids to make it more enjoyable and successful:
1.Prepare a curriculum
It’s essential to have all the things ready before you start a home schooling program. If you spend more time on fetching the study materials, it can be upsetting for your child and could cause them to quit and lose interest to learn with you. Alternatively, collect all of the study materials either the night before or right before you start your home schooling activities. Some autistic kids are unable to learn efficiently as other kids. It is preferable to consult a special educator while creating a curriculum for such kids, which may include components from several school boards.
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2.Choose comfortable study time and space
Every child has a unique pattern. Therefore, you should monitor your child’s stamina and attention patterns to determine which is the ideal time to plan your home schooling sessions. Establish a clutter-free and well-organised quiet place as a study space for the child so that they can concentrate on their studies without any distraction. Keep the study space lively and inviting.
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3.Follow a schedule
It is important to follow a timetable that is accessible for your children to make home schooling effective. Give them short breaks to relax and rest. Establish a “safe zone” for your child to utilise during these breaks and fill that zone with comforting things like books and music.
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4. Introduce variety of concepts
Children with autism often do repeated things and focus more on those that grab their interest. You can assist your child in overcoming this habit by providing them with a range of educational opportunities. Incorporate activities that involve key topics, such as maths, science, and languages.
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5. Visual learning tools
Make good use of visual learning tools as they tend to improve your child’s curiosity to learn. You can make these tools yourself at home which includes fruit and vegetable carvings, abacus with colourful beads, handcrafted toys to explain scientific principles, etc.
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6. Include music
Children with autism are highly responsive to music. So make an effort to incorporate music into their home schooling lessons. Singing rhymes and other informative songs that teach various ideas can be a part of this.
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7. Language skills
Language abilities are typically not good in autistic children. Reading and storytelling promotes brain development, logical thinking and imagination, develops language and emotions, and strengthens relationships in children. When children listen to a story, their imagination is on steroids! They’re picturing characters, they’re living the plot and they’re visualising the setting; they’re sowing the first seeds of creativity. Encourage them to talk to you about the plot and characters, ask them the moral of the story and how they think a character could behave, let them ask questions whenever they feel like they’re simply learning how to express themselves.
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8. Learn with nature
Another tip to improve concentration in kids is spending time in nature. Research suggests that natural environments could benefit brain development and may also improve concentration and logical reasoning in children. Show them different types of flowers, pets, and other kids around. Let them walk in the grass. This will help children to explore and learn more.
Take your kid to various locations, such as the supermarket, park, and other local spots. Allow your child to interact with people or other children which can help to develop their social skills. You can involve them in simple tasks like paying supermarket bills from which they can learn fundamental mathematical concepts.
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10. Make time for activities
Children may develop their imaginations, listening skills, and other crucial cognitive abilities through games and activities that will help them in the future. Studies demonstrate that engaging them in intense activities for more than 20 minutes can reduce typical behaviour, hyperactivity, and aggressiveness. Introducing engaging and fun activities for kids with autism makes them easier to understand things and perceive the world differently. This helps them to develop their motor skills and enhance their brain’s ability to recognize and comprehend things through their sensory skills.
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11. Physical activity
Physical activity is essential, and it should be incorporated regularly into your home schooling schedule. Involve your kid in cycling, swinging, running around bushes, jumping over a rope etc. This helps them to keep their mind and body fully energetic and contributes in developing their motor and sensory skills.
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12. Reward system
If you wish your child to continue to be interested, motivated, and delighted to join you for play and learning activities, create a reward system. Reward is necessary and effective for maintaining the home schooling activities.
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Benefits and Drawbacks of Home schooling
Benefits of Home schooling
- Gives parents complete control over how their children are educated, and socialised.
- Offers a syllabus that is specially designed depending on the needs, skills, and interests of the child.
- Increases the amount of family interactions with their kids as they grow and learn.
- It enables the kids to take regular breaks and helps to stay away from sensory stimuli and social challenges.
- Offers a safe and supportive environment which can help to avoid social pressures.
Drawbacks of Home schooling
- Regular coaching and assistance is required
- Parents should put aside funds for their children’s education, extracurricular activities, field trips, and any other materials they may require.
- Home schooling parents have less time for themselves as they are more involved in teaching their children.
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