Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homeschooling a Blind Child

Top reason for homeschooling in 2007:
  • desire to provide religious or moral instruction (36 percent of students)
  • concern about the school environment (such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure) (21 percent)
  • dissatisfaction with academic instruction (17 percent)
  • "other reasons" including family time, finances, travel, and distance (14 percent). 
  • desire to provide their child with a nontraditional approach to education as the most important reason for homeschooling (7 percent)
  • a child's health problems or special needs (6 percent)

In 2007, the number of homeschooled students was about 1.5 million, an increase from 850,000 in 1999 and 1.1 million in 2003.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). The Condition of Education 2009 (NCES 2009-081)Indicator 6 .

So my family is now one of these statistics. We are homeschooling M for a variety of reasons listed above: concern of school environment (lack of instruction of teachers - kids running wild, climbing on bookcases, etc), dissatisfaction with academic instruction (do I really need to make it a point in her IEP that 'Yes, we do want her to be taught general academics like math, language, etc?' come on people), and of course, special needs because a huge majority of public education teachers are not familiar with teaching a blind child, nor do they take it upon themselves to learn and nor are they required to do so by the Department of Education. Simply put- the system is ridiculous and absurd. And to think that our tax dollars are going to fund this type of educational setting...

Now that we have chosen to homeschool, I've been searching the web for materials and curriculum. I've browsed countless pages of APH, Amazon, other blogs, a variety of well-known homeschool curriculum sites, and other blindness products sites. The truth is though that there is not one place that has everything we need. I'm sure most parents homeschooling their children buy products from a variety of companies, but even if I do that, I still have to adapt every worksheet, every book (if it isn't well known and already in braille), and every activity. It's time consuming and stressful. But the fact of the matter, at the end of the day, I'm 100% happier knowing my daughter is being provided with the best education for our current situation. I am legally bound to provide her with an education since it was my choice to take her out of the public school system, but she is also working with her tutor that is genuine and sincere in her endeavors as I. She provides M with the instruction from another adult, another teacher other than myself. I am happy that she has this opportunity now because that was a major reason why we didn't just homeschool M after our horrible experience with the School for the Blind. We felt she needed to have the experience with a teacher, a person, other than her own mother- at least for part of the time. Until now, this wasn't even available. But now, I can honestly say I feel that this is the perfect situation for my daughter right here, right now. I'm happy and she is happy. We are both learning and progressing in life. We are making a difference in our own lives and try to make a difference for the better in the lives of others. Yes, there may be someone or someplace out there that can do what I do for her, and perhaps even do it better, but the reality is that we can't find it. If you are the 'someone' and you are reading this blog - then make yourself known, for my family and everyone else that needs you.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world..." - Gandhi


  1. I Homeschool my kids. I am not sure if you knew that or not. I recently went to a homeschool convention in Memphis. They have conventions all over and several that are coming up in May. You may try to visit one, because they will have reps from all the companies there to answer questions. I don't know that I will be any help- but if you can think of any question I might could answer about homeschool in general just let me know!

  2. Well here I am considering homeschooling Kennedy. It is a little over whelming I must say. I would like to maybe chat with you a bit to see what your suggestions are. But I am so excited to check into this knowing its going to be amazing for our family! :)


Thanks for the comments!