We have come to the end of this 31-day series on Pinterest hacks for homeschooling your child with special needs. While the series is over, I hope that its lessons remain with you. Even if you don’t attempt the ideas I’ve shared, I hope you have seen how to view and use Pinterest to your advantage.
In this final post, I share some closing thoughts on using Pinterest specifically for your child with special needs.
First, I’d like to say that you need to be careful about comparing your homeschooling journey with others. Not even with mine. Remember that every family is different, every child is different and every diagnosis – even if the title is the same, is still very, very different.
Remember that in comparison to other homeschooling families, the fact that you are raising, caring for and educating a child with special needs makes your experience a little more challenging. You may not be able to fit 8 formal activities into one day. You may not be able to fit them into one week! But, remember this: you are doing so much in the “inbetweens” of “schooling”. You have diaper changes to make, and meals to prepare. You have a child to spoon-feed. You have a child to carry up and down stairs. You have a child to carry to a car and to wait with at appointments. You have a child who needs to be physically transitioned from one adapted piece of equipment to another. You have a child who needs constant reminders and visual schedules. You have a child who needs the activities specially set-up, and, then, a child to clean-up after.
Whether you know it or not, there is a lot of “schooling” going on in those “inbetweens”. Your child watches you with chores – and he learns. Your child listens to you sing as you dress him – and he learns. Your child observes as you sign all day long – and he learns.
Your child is observing you as you deal with other people, and how you take deep breaths to calm yourself down. Even if you think your child is not watching – he’s absorbing it all.
Secondly, remember that not every image you see on Pinterest is the full picture. In fact, you never got a full picture of what I suggested either. If I would have zoomed the camera lens out to capture the whole story, you would have seen the cluttered spots in my home, the fact that I did a lot of the activities hand-over-hand with my son and that we only really managed a few formal activities per day – because that’s as far as his attention span went.
Yet, I know that in that clutter and in the direct practice and in those moments he appears to tune-out – my son is doing the greatest learning of his life. He knows I honor his pace. He knows I honor quiet days so that his brain can make the connections in peace.
Therefore, my best advice for using Pinterest with your child with special needs comes down to this:
- Create Pinterest boards that are goals you wish to tackle with your child.
- Pin developmentally appropriate activities (even if below your child’s age level).
- Pin inspiring activities that you’d love for your child to do, but make a note on how to modify/ adapt it for your child (see questions below to help you come to those conclusions yourself).
Questions to ask yourself
I want to end with some food for thought. When you find yourself mesmerized with the ideas you find on Pinterest, I want you to ask yourself two questions before giving up on them entirely.
- Is my child developmentally ready for this activity?
- If not, how can I break it up to its minute parts to that I can find the “just-right” spot for him?
I’ll be closing off this series with a giveaway. Come back tomorrow to find out what it is and how you can participate.
What were your takeaways from this series? Which day was your favorite?