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Homeschooling a Child with Hearing Loss
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Samuel was three before we finally knew his delayed language was due to a moderate hearing loss. I was already homeschooling a five and seven-year-old, so continuing to homeschool was an easy decision. Many mornings of our early homeschool journey began like this.

“Good morning, Samuel. Do you have your ‘ears’ in?”
“Huh?”
“Samuel, go put in your hearing aids.”

Because Samuel wasn’t diagnosed until he was well past three years old, he did a lot of speech and language therapy. Many homeschoolers find they can obtain special services through their local school districts, but we really wanted Samuel to have an auditory-verbal therapist.

An auditory-verbal therapist is required to have two thousand therapy hours with children with hearing loss. They highly encourage parents to attend therapy sessions. My auditory-therapist designed my lessons during the early years. With her ideas, I was able to help Samuel expand his language, use correct articulation, and learn to listen through his hearing aids. My therapist even included my other children in our lessons. I ordered some fun speech and language materials and games online.

As Samuel progressed through school, we were able to use a normal curriculum. We had to work much harder at spelling, often learning the true ending sound to words as we were learning to spell them. Writing was a little harder because of the difficulty with spelling. We also spent a lot more time on vocabulary. BJU Press Distance Learning was a great help with the vocabulary because the reading teachers spent a lot of time explaining new words, often with props. Because each family tends to use a set vocabulary, it was also good for him to have a teacher other than me to help expand his base vocabulary beyond what we used in our day to day life. I modified the curriculum in some ways, most notably the writing assignments that he wasn’t yet able to handle. It was far better for me to modify the assignments than to hold him in back in science, history, or reading when he was eager to learn. We did Spelling and English programs about two years behind, and BJU Press thankfully let me substitute a couple subjects at a different grade level in my distance learning package.

When I first began homeschooling, I was very natural in my approach. My children were eager learners and picked up a lot of things by overhearing. Because Samuel didn’t overhear conversations, I found that he really had to be taught everything directly. It was imperative that his direct instruction not be lacking, and it really changed my approach to homeschooling. In retrospect, it was a good change for all my children.

I have two sons with moderate loss and a daughter with mild hearing loss. In our family’s case, it’s genetic. I had suspected hearing loss growing up, but no one caught it. I remember having a hearing screening at school. I couldn’t hear the beeps, but I didn’t want to look dumb in front of my friends, so I looked for visual cues and raised my hand at the appropriate times.

Our youngest child started using hearing aids as a baby. Our family would have made an excellent case study for the difference in aiding early. I am very pleased with Samuel’s progress, but knowing sooner would have made his early education a lot easier.

If you suspect your child has hearing loss, I highly recommend you have his hearing tested by a pediatric audiologist. The test is non-invasive, and for small children they make it seem like a game. In the unlikely scenario that you find your child has hearing loss, consider homeschooling! With the help of a little technology, you can create an ideal listening and learning environment.

Meet the Author


Cynda Moore - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant
www.homeworksbyprecept.com/cynda-moore


 

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