Let Your Child Set The Pace of Their Education

Are you homeschooling a child with learning challenges? Are they attaining skills later than their peers? That is okay!  Earlier does NOT mean better. 

It’s Okay.

When you decided to homeschool, you took your child out of the high-pressure situation of today’s school. You choose a different option. Now, you need to accept that different is different.  There is no reason your child needs to be pushed to do things years before they are developmentally appropriate. 

Doing things “later” doesn’t mean never. Children who learn to read at 8 or 12, can still read on a high school level when they get to high school. Students who don’t write essays until later in high school can still learn to write excellent essays and make A’s in college. Students who can’t memorize their times tables can still pass college math classes, with a calculator. 

Almost none of the skills the schools say should happen at a certain time, need to happen then. Your child just needs to keep learning at their own pace. Unschoolers have the right idea here. Kids need the chance to learn about what interests them when they are ready to learn it. 

Finding Ways to Encourage, Not Push.

That said, I think neurodiverse kids need more invitations to learn things that are hard for them. You can respect your child’s development and readiness and also provide invitations to learn every day. You can use curriculums to help them and also be patient when they need to take longer or go slower.  Education is not a race. 

It is okay if your school day is only 2 hours long because that is all your student can handle, even in high school. It is okay if you need to take lots of breaks. It is okay if that online or intense curriculum you purchased isn’t working, you can do something else. 

If you give your kids the time and space to learn who they are, to make friends, and use their imaginations, they will get there. 

Don’t Worry.

So, don’t worry so much about “being on grade level.”  Grade levels are made up things that have nothing to do with child development. Grade levels are arbitrary. They don’t take into account that most kids learn at a pace that has to do with individualized brain development. When their brain and body are ready, a child can learn by leaps and bounds. But trying to force them to learn before they are ready is just frustrating for everyone. 

So, just relax and let your child set the pace! 

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About the Author

nimble_asset_Laura-in-floral-shirt-with-treesLaura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator, and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.

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