10 Oct Home Schooling, Districts and Virtual Teaching
I have the pleasure of working with people in a variety of different situations. For instance, I work with parents who are home schooling their children or with administrators and students in school districts.
Many home schooling parents find me when I am speaking at conferences about Education of the blind & visually impaired. After the speech, they talk with me at length about how to improve their child's education. Quite often, they return home and tell their local school district the news. The district checks out my credentials and within a short time we have contract for services to be provided to the home schooled child.
Many parents of home schoolers do not know that you can intermingle school district services and home schooling. School Districts can count the child on their roster and get funds for them, while supplementing the parent's teaching skills, such as with calculus or blind education or sign language. This can be a great relationship, and in general I see it working incredibly well.
Virtually, I go into the home when scheduled. The parent takes the lessons right along with their child. I send new lessons after our initial instruction for them to continue to work on the skills. The really nice thing about home schoolers is we can meet any time of the day or week. The flexibility is wonderful.
In one particular situation that came up over a year ago, a parent had become very frustrated with the school and the school lacked the skills to help. Her child was not successful and the struggle to get the correct services became overwhelming.
We began instruction and her child began to flourish with the deaf/blind techniques taught. As time went on, I explained other ways to integrate school into her child's life so she could gain more social skills, though she was already making many friends through email.
Many blind children feel very isolated so friends are important. Emailing and connecting with others is one of the first lessons I focus on when starting with a child. They need their peers to connect to. These friendships immediately get them on board with what I am teaching and they see their world expand quickly.
The child mentioned above has now been integrated into school activities and is really enjoying life. Both parent and child have regained faith in the educational process…or at least parts of it. But they have found that happy medium of home schooling and going to school outside the home. Many ways, offer many possibilities!
Lessons to help teach
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