Homeschooling and special needs: do they mix?

Every child is unique and deserves high-quality education tailored to their needs. Homeschooling is a great way to give them that. But what if your child has needs that are a little more “special?” Does that bar you from homeschooling? On the podcast today, Melvin is talking with Dr. Rochelle Matthews-Somerville, who has a few children with special needs of her own. Not only does Dr. Matthews-Somerville think homeschooling is a great option for any family, she believes it is one of the best ways for children with disabilities to learn and lead happy, healthy lives.

“Some areas [kids with disabilities are] going to flourish, other areas they’re going to be slow. That’s okay. The important thing is: are you helping that child grow and learn and be a healthy, comfortable, confident person? That’s really the biggest part of what giving an education is.” — Rochelle Matthews-Somerville, PhD

Rochelle and Melvin discuss:

  • Rochelle’s education, her love of learning, and how she and her husband landed on homeschooling when they started their own family
  • The freedom homeschooling has brought to Rochelle’s family, especially having three kids with special needs
  • Are special needs resources available in the homeschool space? What if you don’t think you’re really “qualified” as a parent to teach children with disabilities? 
  • A quick overview of special needs education and where we are today
  • How many special needs kids are being homeschooled in America?
  • How to find out what resources your state and school district offer for homeschooling with disabilities and how HSLDA can help you connect with additional services 
  • Finding curriculum, creating a family rhythm, and finding people in your community who will support your mission
  • How to be realistic about homeschooling with special needs
  • Finally, Rochelle wraps up with an inspiring story about a discouraged homeschool mom and offers some final thoughts on what it means to homeschool well

If you like what you’re hearing, stay tuned for our next episode on The State of Education with Melvin Adams.

If you’d rather watch the video version of our podcast episodes, subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified every Wednesday when new episodes launch. Here is today’s conversation with Melvin and Rochelle:


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