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How to Homeschool My Autistic Child

How to Homeschool My Autistic Child

Friday, September 02, 2022

Parents weigh dozens of decisions every day regarding what is best for their child. From what to eat for breakfast to how much screen time is too much, every choice feels like it could have significant lasting effects on your child. Nothing feels like it will impact your child’s life as much as what type of educational method is best. 

There are countless factors that you have to weigh between public school, private school, and homeschool. If you are the parent of a child with autism, your list of considerations is even longer. In this article, we are discussing some of the pros and cons of homeschooling your child, and how to find the resources you need to be confident in whatever you choose. 


Pros and Cons of Homeschooling 

Here are a few of the key pros and cons of homeschooling in general and homeschooling a child with autism specifically. 

The Pros of Homeschooling a Child with Autism:

1) Flexibility

For a child with autism, there might be a number of reasons you need more flexibility in your child’s school day. Whether it’s with their diet, recreation, or scheduling appointments with doctors, therapists, and other specialists, your child might be distracted by having to be checked out of the classroom frequently. 

If you have found that you need more flexibility than what traditional, in-classroom education affords, homeschooling might be a better fit for your child. 

2) Learning Style

No one knows your child like you. You are acutely aware of the learning style to which your child responds the best. Even the best teachers have to teach in a manner that suits the classroom as a whole. 

The more students in a classroom, the more difficult it is for them to tailor their methods to individual students. Homeschooling allows you to adjust your teaching style to your child. 

3) Curriculum Choice

There are no regulations dictating what curriculum homeschool families must use. There are some standardized tests that are still required, but you can choose the curriculum that works best for you and your child. 

4) Socialization

One of the myths about homeschooling is that children are not socialized at home as much as they would be in school. The truth is that homeschooled children have more opportunities for real-world socialization. They can still interact with children their age while also getting to spend more time with more diverse age groups than they would during a typical school day. 

For a parent of a child with autism, homeschooling allows you to control the environments in which they are socialized. 

The Cons of Homeschooling a Child with Autism:

1) Time Commitment 

While some homeschool curricula may be relatively hands-off for parents, especially as children get older, this likely will not be the case for a parent of a child with autism. Taking an active role in teaching your child can be quite time-consuming, so if you are going to be working remotely, it may not be a good fit. 

2) Teacher Feeling Isolated

When you become the primary educator for your child, you may feel isolated from the support systems to which you’ve grown accustomed. Without the right support systems or resources, if your child is struggling with certain subjects or concepts, you may not know where to turn for help. 

3) Parent-Child Relationship

Some children may grasp homeschooling and love to be taught by their parents. Others may not. If homeschooling your child goes poorly, it could feel like it’s damaging your relationship with your child. 

4) Finances 

While the education itself is tuition-free, associated homeschool costs can add up. Some of these costs might include:

  • Curriculum and textbooks
  • Tutoring
  • Meals at home
  • Field trips
  • The cost of not being able to work full time

Should You Homeschool Your Child with Autism?

Ultimately, homeschooling can be an excellent option for families of children with autism. Of course, these pros and cons impact each family differently, and you can fill a notebook with pros and cons unique to your specific situation; however, there are some alternatives and resources that can help ensure doing school at home can be as effective as possible. 

Private Online School for Children with Autism

You don’t have to go into the school-at-home model of education without support and resources. A hybrid option could be a school like Ignite Learning Academy. We offer an online academy that will provide your child with instruction, curriculum, and a substantial amount of support that can help mitigate some of the challenges of homeschooling. 

Our mission at Ignite Learning Academy is to provide educators with the means to significantly improve the skill achievement of students with academic barriers through the use of a variety of educational materials and curriculums. Every child receives an individualized academic plan that outlines the curriculum that will be used throughout the year for the individual child.

If you are considering an option like Ignite Learning Academy, we would love to talk to you more about our school and how we can partner with you to provide the best academic experience possible for your child. You may find that an online private school is a perfect option for your child with autism. Contact Ignite Learning Academy for more information.