Using BJU Press Homeschool Materials with Children with Special Needs and Learning Challenges
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When I decided to homeschool, I didn't anticipate my children having any learning challenges. God, in all His divine wisdom, called me to homeschool these kids that would need a different environment for learning than a traditional classroom.

Since beginning our journey, we have had some challenging seasons as I have endured difficult pregnancies and toddlers that were just a smidge more difficult than others. The Lord has opened doors for me that have led me to fantastic doctors and therapists that are supporting us. I love what one therapist said to my daughter as she began cognitive behavioral therapy. She said, “I am not here to fix you. There is nothing to fix. I am here to support you." I could have hugged her right there!

We decided to use this curriculum after a few years of searching and some trial and error. We have been so happy with it and the results we are seeing in our children. I pray that this post will be helpful to you as you use or consider using BJU Press Homeschool materials.

Can you use a boxed curriculum for children with special needs and learning challenges?

Yes! BJU Press Homeschool Curriculum approaches learning from so many different angles that it works for many learning styles. My children are all very different. Some of them have ADHD and sensory processing difficulties, and some don't. All of my school-aged children are thriving with BJU Press Homeschool materials.

What about a child who struggles to remember instructions or has a hard time following multi-step instructions?

BJU Press Homeschool Curriculum offers both parent-led options and video course options. We use a combination of the two. We noticed one of our children was having a very hard time remembering what she was supposed to do after she stopped the videos to work on her worktext pages. We ended up only using the videos part of the time, and when we did use them, I would be sure to listen in so I could help with repeating directions. The rest of the time, I taught her myself.

She thrived with me guiding her through each step. Now, she is eight and is doing really well with video. She has learned to pause and rewind if necessary. Sometimes she still needs me to take a look at what she is doing and what the teacher has asked of her, but it is much less often. I am so proud of how independent she is becoming! She loves to sit at her desk and get her schoolwork done. We still do plenty of projects and some chapters together just for fun or to play catch up after a busy week of therapy sessions.

Can we use video courses if my child won't sit still?

Absolutely! We have done lots of different things to work with my wiggly kids. Here are some tried and true ideas to keep busy kids engaged while the video plays:

• Playing with Lego Bricks
• Playing with Thinking Putty (bonus - it helps strengthen hand muscles which can help with fine motor skills)
• Playing with a variety of fidgets
• Doodling or coloring
• Jump on a trampoline

My kids have done very well with this curriculum for years now. I definitely see a love of learning in them. They love to mix up our week with a trip to the library to explore their latest interests. I may or may not grab some books that "just so happen” to relate to the topics they are studying or are about to study. It is fun to see them get all excited when they find those books on our library shelf.

How can I help my child get school done AND have therapy appointments?

A good friend wisely reminded me that therapy is part of my child's education. It is so true. That said, we do have regular schoolwork to get through as well. I have learned that you have to make the curriculum work for you, not the other way around. So many times, we buy curricula and think we need to do every example, every project, every recipe, every lab … you get the idea. BJU Press Homeschool Curriculum is chock full of amazing information and hands-on activities. That does not mean you have to do

Here are some tips:

• Remember your end game. Are we learning? Are we making progress? Are my children happy, or am I burning them (and myself) out?
• Go through your courses and decide what you want to work on and what you might save for another time.
• Don't skip chapters entirely. If you find yourself getting behind where you'd like to be, work through the review and the test with an open book. You can either do this together with your child or have them work through them independently. I wouldn't suggest making a habit of covering material in this way, but once in a while, it can be helpful when you are "on the go" a lot with busy therapy schedules.

Do you have more questions about homeschooling with special needs and learning challenges with BJU Press Homeschool? Check out this support group created just for BJU Press users.

Be sure to contact your local HomeWorks by Precept Consultant for more information about BJU Press Homeschool materials, great deals, and year-round homeschool support.

Meet the Author

Sharon Huizinga - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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