With schools nationwide slowly opening their doors and with parents making the hard decision of whether they feel comfortable sending their children back to school. There are many parents who will choose to keep their children at home and home school them until the pandemic passes.
Until the rate of infection rapidly reduces and the number of daily deaths is lowered, the thought of sending their children back to school can seem unfathomable.
Although school desks will be spaced out and lunchtimes will be staggered, social distancing within the classroom is a challenge that teachers are still trying to workaround.
When it comes to the education of children with special needs, the importance of a school and routine is paramount in their well being.
If as a parent of a special needs child and you’re undecided whether you should send your child back to school, there are a number of methods that you can follow to ensure that they can maintain their curriculum while remote working.
Keep reading to discover our recommended methods that can be incorporated into the routine for the benefit of their education and mental well being. But also how to maintain motivation for remote learning and special needs.
How can you help your special needs child when it comes to remote learning?
A struggling and trying time for parents, the domino effect of COVID-19 can be even more tiresome for parents with special needs children. With the routine that they cling to for support uprooted and thrown out of the water, this familiarity, particularly with their education is predicted to be long-lasting.
But what simple steps can you follow for remote learning and special needs and how can you get them working towards their special needs curriculum once again?
1 – Create a Schedule and Routine
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Whether it is a verbal routine that you implemented at the beginning of lockdown, to a new visual routine to keep up morale, a routine is more important than you would originally have thought. This sense of normality and a strict schedule can allow the child to have a structure, even though such unsure and daunting times. Aware of what is upcoming, whether it be playtime or schoolwork, this routine can keep them engaged and calm as they are aware of what is coming up. When creating a schedule, if you have yet to do, be sure to add breaks for the pupils, This downtime is essential in allowing the pupil to relax between different activities.
2 – Offer Incentives
While keeping up the positivity and attention of your child to continue with their lessons, consider adding the addition of incentives. This simple addition can help to refocus and settle your child. Through the lack of structure, the missing feature of the classroom, and teachers who are aware of your child’s own individual needs, the offering of a reward through the completion of the task at hand, you can allow them to refocus on their education.
3 – Praise them often
A tough and challenging time not just for us parents, but also for our children, when it comes to educating children with autism, another recommended tip is to praise them often. By acknowledging that they are doing a great job even during these unfamiliar times can give them that confidence that they are doing a good job and can see them continue in a more positive attitude.
4 – Get creative with your classes
Continuing with your children’s education can seem a daunting task, more so when it comes to the education of your special needs child. With individual requirements in place and with a set structure to benefit their unique needs, you can be left scratching your head at how to proceed. We recommend getting creative with your classes. By offering a more visual and hands on learning experience, you can get your child interacting with the subject and exploring the topic themselves.
Where possible, take the classroom outdoors and get moving. This physical movement is essential for the brain and can offer some respite and calm through being outdoors amongst nature and out of the confinements of the house.
5- Choose your battles
There are going to be times where your child will struggle and lose interest in their studies. This is understandable and can be expected. Through the upheaval in their routine to the lack of familiarity. Don’t be discouraged when they flare up and refuse to follow your improvised classes. Our fifth top tip for remote learning and special needs and that is to choose your battles. Whether it is completing their school day whilst wearing their pyjamas, to the desire to take an early break, try to remain as flexible as possible. This flexibility and awareness to their needs can keep them feeling confident in your support even through the toughest of times.
6- Stay positive
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Our final top tip and that is to stay positive. Even on the greyest and toughest of days, try to stay positive. This positivity will be picked up by your children and can give them the strength to continue even when they themselves are equally struggling.
Another top reason why you should remain positive, and that is no matter how tough it feels, you are doing a fantastic job. These are unprecedented times and we are all being thrown out of our comfort zone and forced to juggle being a teacher, parent and employee all at the same time.
When it comes to the education of special needs pupils, making sure that they are supported while receiving a sculpted curriculum to their needs is a priority for many parents. More so during a lockdown.
Isolated from their fellow students, teachers, and their routine that they rely so heavily on, making sure that you can support and continue to nurture your child can feel like an impossible challenge.
When the motivation is running low and you are facing the internal battle of whether to send your child back to school, our recommended 6 tips could prove an added lifeline when it comes to remote learning for special needs.
We are not teachers and we are all facing new experiences that have not previously been experienced within our daily lives. Making the right decision while continuing to develop and support your child is key.
Use our top tips and ensure that motivation remains high as possible when homeschooling. We would love to hear from you and discover what top tips you have used to motivate and inspire your child during their homeschooling experience. Comment below and share your recommended suggestions for homeschooling pupils with special needs.