As a homeschooling family with neurodivergent children, we understand the challenges of raising kids who may have different learning styles or challenges. One of the greatest joys we’ve experienced is watching our children develop a love of reading and learning. Here are some tips that have worked for us and may be helpful for other families:
- Follow your child’s interests: When we first started homeschooling, we made the mistake of trying to follow a strict curriculum. We quickly realized that this wasn’t working for our neurodivergent children. Instead, we began following their interests and building our lessons around topics they were passionate about. This approach has helped them develop a love for learning and has increased their desire to read.
- Make reading fun: Reading shouldn’t be a chore or a punishment. Instead, try to make it fun! For example, we’ve turned reading into a game where our kids earn points for every book they finish. We also incorporate reading into our daily routines, such as reading stories before bedtime or while waiting for appointments.
- Provide a variety of reading materials: Don’t limit your child’s reading materials to just textbooks or novels. Offer a variety of materials such as comic books, magazines, graphic novels, and audiobooks. This variety can help keep them engaged and excited about reading.
- Be patient: Neurodivergent children may have different learning styles or may need more time to process information. Be patient with them and allow them the time they need to learn at their own pace. Avoid putting pressure on them or making them feel inadequate.
- Celebrate successes: Finally, celebrate your child’s successes no matter how small they may be. Every child learns at their own pace and in their own way. By celebrating their successes, you’re showing them that their efforts are valued and appreciated.
By following these tips, we’ve been able to raise children who love reading and have a desire to learn. Remember, homeschooling children can be challenging, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience.
One of my children, who is neurodivergent, is an amazing drummer, writer, and visual artist. She has an incredible sense of rhythm and can often be found on her drum set or creating art. She also loves to write stories and draw elaborate pictures to go along with them. Watching her express herself through her art is truly a joy, and I am so grateful that homeschooling allows her to explore and develop her talents in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Another of my incredible children is a talented guitarist and has a remarkable talent for solving Rubik’s cubes in seconds. Watching him play the guitar is truly a mesmerizing experience as he effortlessly moves his fingers across the fretboard. His passion for music has been a source of inspiration for our family, and his ability to solve the Rubik’s cube so quickly never ceases to amaze us. His talents showcase the incredible abilities that neurodivergent children possess and have been an important reminder for us to always celebrate their unique strengths.
Our third child has excelled in both math and cooking. He’s even won a few Math Olympiads! Not only is he a talented mathematician, but he also has an incredible palate and loves to help cook amazing food. We’ve found that incorporating cooking into his math lessons has been a great way to keep him engaged and excited about learning. Watching him solve complex equations while also creating delicious meals is truly a joy.
Our youngest child is an absolute joy to teach. Her passion for learning is infectious and she is always eager to explore new topics. Despite being the youngest, she is incredibly empathetic and kind, always looking out for the needs of others. Her love for science is particularly remarkable, and she has expressed her desire to become a doctor in the future. She excels academically in all subjects and incredible public speaking skills. It’s truly a privilege to watch her grow and learn every day.
Raising children has its challenges, but it’s also rewarding to see them thrive in their unique ways. As homeschoolers, we have the flexibility to tailor our children’s education to their strengths and interests. It’s important to nurture their passions and provide them with opportunities to explore and learn in their own ways. By embracing their differences and celebrating their talents, we can help our children reach their full potential and contribute positively to the world around them.