Hello Cottonwood Families,
I hope this newsletter finds you transitioning gracefully from the gentle rhythms of summer into the more purposeful cadence of fall. Each homeschooling day is a blend of joyous breakthroughs and unanticipated challenges. There’s the exhilaration of a freshly understood concept and the inevitable detours we occasionally take. Every moment underscores our unwavering dedication to our children’s growth.
One standout aspect of homeschooling is its innate adaptability, especially crucial for our children with special needs and neurodiversity. Some children grapple with “invisible disabilities” – challenges not immediately apparent but which profoundly impact their learning journey. Conditions like ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, and Dyspraxia exemplify this.
The homeschooling environment offers distinct benefits to those with learning challenges:
Personalized Learning: Tailoring the teaching pace and style to match each child’s needs.
Flexible Environment: The freedom to change, pivot, or pause. Especially beneficial for children, such as those with ADHD, who flourish with flexibility.
Specialized Resources: Incorporating tools tailored to their individual learning patterns.
Tailoring our homeschool space and time for both my neurodiverse and neurotypical children has been one of the most valuable aspects of homeschooling for my family. For example, my children have benefited from frequent “brain breaks,” a true game-changer:
Stretching: A brief, rejuvenating physical reset.
Doodling or Coloring: A peaceful moment amidst bustling lessons.
Mindful Breathing: A momentary anchor to center themselves.
Quick Movement: A fun dance, jump on the trampoline, or walking the dogs.
Puzzles: An engaging shift in cognitive focus.
How do you support your unique learners? Do you employ certain task management techniques, brain breaks, or reward systems? Share your insights and strategies on our community Facebook page. Let’s learn from each other’s experiences.
In planning our events and field trips, we prioritize inclusivity, ensuring every child feels recognized and cherished. Please mark the week of September 5th on your calendars. This week signifies our annual Week of Awareness. We’ll immerse ourselves in enlightening lessons, gain insights from experienced guest speakers, enjoy a specially organized field trip, and participate in empathy-building activities. This week will bolster our collective understanding of invisible disabilities, reinforcing our commitment to empathy, awareness, and support. Look forward to sign-ups and detailed information soon.
For those homeschooling a child with invisible disabilities, remember you’re surrounded by understanding peers. Many of us journey alongside you, understanding the distinct challenges and celebrating the remarkable potential of our gifted children. At Cottonwood, we’re not just a group of homeschoolers; we’re a tight-knit community built on mutual support and encouragement. Here’s to a week brimming with shared learning, mutual understanding, and joy in every little triumph our children achieve.
Kara Parkins, Parent Support Advisor