Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: Special Needs

Am I An Inadequate Homeschooler?

I am the 2 inch tall mom in the support group of giants.
I am the mom that tries so hard to help my child catch up to grade level while others are talking about college at 12.
I am the mom that can’t sit through an entire homeschooling workshop because I choke up in tears.
I am the mom that has a twice exceptional child that is able to go to college at 12 intellectually, but her autism makes her so vulnerable it wouldn’t be safe.
I am that mom in the wheelchair not able to drive. Reading the adventures of my friends on FaceBook thinking what great homeschoolers they are. Then comparing them to the simple home adventures we have that I feel can’t possibly measure up.
I am inadequate as a homeschooler.
I am in inadequate as a mother.
Some how along the way my worth as a woman, wife, mother, and homeschooler has become tangled into my child’s accomplishments. If my daughter gets a C in algebra, it’s my fault that I didn’t teach her well enough.  If my son regresses mentally due to his illness, I still feel the sting of the end of the year evaluation that is not at grade level or even at the level he was at last year. I have equated my worth as a person in direct connection to my child’s abilities and accomplishments.
What a burden….. for my children! Children and teens aren’t dumb. They often figure out my feelings through my anxiety at their testing or evaluations. Even my children that are mentally challenged feel there is something amiss and act out during evaluation time of year or when I get uptight about our lack of progress.
What a burden… for me! I can’t and shouldn’t live my life  through my lovely children. I should be a learning guide and teacher. I should not take upon myself the advancement or lack of advancement. I am supportive and ever-present to encourage my children, but I need to keep remembering that I already have an education. I am helping my child to receive theirs now to the best of their ability. If the Lord has not placed in that child the ability to advance past middle elementary than I need to come to peace with that and follow the Lord’s lead rather than my own path or the path culture screams at me to take from every direction.

Am I an inadequate homeschooler?

No. I am working hard and\ doing everything that is recommend while pushing my child to greater heights than I believe they would be encouraged to in the public school. I am thinking out of the box. Getting therapy when needed and even considering therapies like equine therapy, music therapy, and others. I work hard everyday to encourage progress in each child the Lord has blessed me with. I can honestly say that I homeschool my children to the best of their ability.

Am I an inadequate mother?

No. The Lord made my family. The Lord gave me my husband through wonderful and odd circumstances. The Lord saw each pregnancy through even when things looked very bleak for a couple of them. The Lord has placed this responsibility and wonder and LOVE in my life.  When I came home after a recent stay in the hospital, I was showered with hugs, kisses, and love. I have to think this is a sign of the pure and wonderful love we have for each other and the incredibly family that God has built.
I am a good mom.
I might not be the mom that is the awesome crafty mom, the foodie mom, or the mom that has her children in several sports all year round. Part of me sighs and misses the dreams I had before the kids and I became so sick. In the end I am left with reality and I will make the most of it!
I am an awesome homeschooler!
I am an awesome mother!
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Write this scripture on the inside of your planner, somewhere where you will see them everyday. Those days that are great you can smile and move on. Then the days that are tough and bring you to the edge of your nerves you can read these cards and pray over them.
You and I are doing a great job! We care for our children better than anyone else in the world. We are more invested in their life and dreams of the future than anyone else in the world. We are the guide in this wonderful journey. I am excited to walk the path with you supporting, encouraging, and edifying each other as we go along.
Heather Laurie and her husband Chris are a team fired up to help and encourage families homeschooling and dealing with special needs. They are blessed with 5 children and 3 angels. The children and Heather have a genetic disease called mitochondrial disease that gives them medical and learning disability to work with. They are uniquely trained through life experience to help other special needs families! You can find Chris and Heather at Special Needs Homeschooling   and their attached Facebook page that are very active with questions and answers for many! 
If you have not done so yet, I also encourage you to sign up for one of the free prayer series– praying for your children or praying for your husband. We firmly believe that focusing on God’s Word and His promises for your family each morning will strengthen your faith and sure up your resolve in ways you would have never imagined. Click here to start one of those series now.
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Now that fall is in full swing, it’s a fun time to explore nature and complete fun fall activities and crafts. Since preschoolers thrive on their senses, sensory play and activities will help enrich their development.

Sensory Projects

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough– Preschoolers love play dough. Squishing hands through the soft texture is very stimulating, plus it encourages creativity. Take it up a notch by making it with a fun fall scent like pumpkin.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup water

2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 cup flour

1 tsp Cream of Tartar

1/4 cup salt

1 tsp vegetable oil

Food coloring (optional)

Add an orange color to the play dough to revolve around the pumpkin theme.

Harvest Sensory Bin – Grab any size bin you desire and fill it with nature. Wood chips, shells, acorns, corn husks, pine cones, hay, etc. are just a few of the many items you can use to fill the bins. Put toy cars and tractors into the harvest bin and watch your preschooler become a little farmer.

Painting Pine Cones – Preschoolers and painting go hand in hand. Go outside and hunt for pine cones, bring inside, and paint with spice paints. Add your favorite fall spices to autumn paint colors. The pine cones will display beautiful autumn colors with fall scents.

Sweet Potato Goop – Many preschoolers like to get all gooey and sticky. Getting messy is just plain fun sometimes. Try this fun idea for sweet potato goop.


Harvest Puffy Finger Paint – When it comes to preschoolers and finger painting, you can’t go wrong. Make it more exciting with turning simple paint into puffy paint. Just mix equal parts red, orange, yellow and brown food coloring with Elmer’s glue and shaving cream. After it dries, the texture is puffy. It’s so much fun.

Harvest Discovery Bottles – These are so much fun to make and play with. Fill a plastic bottle with mini leaves, mini pumpkins, etc. To see more, click image.


Let your creativity flow and watch your child’s creativity flourish as you do. Try new things, even messy ones, and encourage your child’s willingness to do the same.

What is your child’s favorite activity? We’d love to see your ideas for fall fun. Share a link to an activity you discovered in the comments below.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.



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You may also find many more articles on the topic of Family under blogs.


Rethink Home Education

To further your reading, we have a special ebook that we would like to send to you. It’s entitled “RETHINK EDUCATION, Turning Scary Questions About Home Education Into Exciting Possibilities.” It was written after countless conversations with moms who are either considering homeschooling or struggling with doubt. My heart in writing it is to offer hopeful answers to some of the questions moms tend to be asking… and you might be surprised at which ones didn’t make the list. I would love for it to become a resource you could share with your friends who are considering home education, or who are wondering if they’ll keep going. So, grab your copy today! – Leslie Nunnery


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Early Intervention to Homeschooling Jump

Many parents find out in a well-child appointment that something isn’t quite normal with their precious child, as we did. We went through the system of early intervention for testing and therapy for each of our special needs children for years. Generally Early Intervention is for birth to 3 years old then you change over to public school, but what if you want to homeschool?

When I first brought up homeschooling to my Early Intervention team they all just looked at me astonished. Most were not openly hostile, they just didn’t understand why I would want to. A special needs child can be exhausting and intense. There were also things like therapy and additional learning needs that needed to be addressed. The general consensus was its okay to homeschool a normal child but one with special needs was outside a parent’s ability.

Let me assure as a mom to 5 children with medical needs, 4 of whom have autism, YOU CAN HOMESCHOOL! I know you can. I do it every day. My children are flourishing with homeschooling.


The first thing I needed to do was decide if I wanted to keep some contact with public school therapy system. Did I want to go with an IEP and try for therapy? All states provide testing when you can show a clear nee, but not all states will provide therapy. There are a handful of states that allow full access to school therapy, usually at the school. Most states put homeschooling at the bottom of the barrel and you get what is left over (if anything is left over.) Then there are a few states that are clear: you either come to school and get therapy or your child doesn’t receive anything at all. Here is a list of State Law Requirements for Special Needs Homeschoolers that I compiled on my site.

I decided to leave the public school system and get my children tested at a private OT clinic and the local Children’s hospital for Physical Therapy needs. The private clinics were a split decision. One of my rules is I sit in on all appointments. One clinic assured me that mothers in particular hindered children’s progress. We happily moved on from that one. The next clinic was a delight! We stayed with them for years and all my children attended it at some point for needed therapies. We would have the appointment and the therapist would give us homework to keep the progress moving throughout the week. We were even able to shave off weeks to the ‘normal’ therapy schedule.

The Children’s Hospital however, was an unexpected pitfall that is all too common. The hospital was so used to working with the public school system that they didn’t even stop to consider we were homeschooling. They even included another clinician to the Physical Therapy appointment that was meant as a school therapist. They started contact with the local school district IEP team without even asking us! The whole experience was uncomfortable and needlessly intrusive. In the end the results were very disappointing: The therapist told me that while my daughter was buckled into her wheelchair she was safe enough for a classroom setting and therefore under their current financial restrictions she would not get therapy.

I walked away from the public school and the quasi school delegates without a shadow of a doubt. My daughter went to the original private therapy clinic we loved and she thrived.

Let’s talk money, which can be the make or break of getting therapy. Many therapy options are not covered (such as music therapy.)  There are great stories where parents found a way to make it happen, but overall if your child needs a therapy you need to look at the community therapy assistance such as the local University therapy school, Scottish Rite, and pay out of pocket private care. There are also a growing number of home based therapy books, online programs, and tutorials that are a much cheaper option. There are scholarships available to some special needs families that you should look into.

You can homeschool your child with special needs successfully! You can continue getting needed therapy for you child even if you have to think outside the box. Homeschooling your child with special needs can easily help your child flourish in ways others cannot imagine. You love your child and have a beautiful grand vision that starts early with therapy and choosing homeschooling. Enjoy the journey, I know I am!


Author Heather Laurie: a veteran homeschooling mom of 5 and advocate for the special needs community. Her family homeschools and thrives despite the unique challenges of a genetic disease that causes problems from learning disabilities, autism, to strokes. Sharing how to have a Hope-filled, Help-filled, Peace-filled home even when facing significant problems when speaking or in her book, Homeschooling When Learning Isn’t Easy. Please check out Heather’s Site–— for great information, resources, helps, and encouragement. 

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Hi there!  Jan Bedell, The Little Giant Steps’ Brain Coach here to introduce you to The NeuroDevelopmental Approach to Life. “The what?” you might ask. Let me explain, it’s really easy once you break it down.  “Neuro” means having to do with the brain.  You already know about “development” – to cause to grow or progress. The “life” part of this approach is the fact that the brain controls everything you do so when it works better, all of life and learning is easier. An organized brain is the foundation of all learning.

To some extent, The NeuroDevelopmental Approach to Life is really what you do every day in your homeschool family.  You stimulate your child’s brain so it grows.  To make your life easier and your efforts more effective, Little Giant Steps teaches you how the brain works at different levels of development and how to stimulate it, outside of traditional curriculum, so it works better.

Who has been helped by this approach?  Valedictorians, adults, struggling learners and children with learning labels. The NeuroDevelopmental Approach to life has enhanced the abilities of thousands.

We will be sharing neurodevelopmental tips on how to help the brain function better in workshops at all the Teach Them Diligently conventions this year.  In addition, we are offering NeuroDevelopmental Screenings on Thursday before the convention kicks into full gear.

Why would you want your child to have a NeuroDevelopmental Screening?

  • To assure your child is on the right track to reach his/her full God-given potential
  • Discover specific ways you can enhance your child’s function
  • Insure against learning challenges as school years progress
  • Help find the root cause if your child is struggling academically, socially or behaviorally
  • For drug-free solution to labels like ADD or ADHD
  • For root causes of symptoms related to dyslexia
  • Because the brain controls all that we do and the more developed the brain pathways, the easier home school will be for everyone

For more information about NeuroDevelopmental Screenings, Click Here. I look forward to seeing you all at Teach Them Diligently this season!

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Join Leslie as she welcomes Jan Bedell of Little Giant Steps to our Museum of the Bible Speaker Spotlight! Learn all about how her neurodevelopmental approach to learning can revolutionize your homeschool, find out more about the neurodevelopmental screenings she will be offering onsite at TTDAtlanta and TTDSandusky,  and enter to win one of 5 neurodevelopmental screenings! (See links and enter to win below the video) Whether your child is advanced or struggling to keep up, learning how their brain functions will be tremendously empowering to you as you seek the best way to teach them. Jan can help you do just that!


Click here to learn more about how YOU can take advantage of the incredible opportunity to participate in the neurodevelopmental screenings.


NeuroDevelopmental Screenings

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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on

Yes, I want more from this Homeschooling Community!



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