Homeschooling your child during coronavirus may be challenging if your child has Special Educational Needs (SEN). But there's online support and a range of educational and fun activities to help you through this difficult time.
Your child's school should support you
Schools should provide guidance and support in home learning tasks for your child. They should tell you what your child needs to learn to continue their education.
If your child gets SEN support or has an EHCP, the school and local authority still have a duty to support your child even if they are staying home. Talk to your child’s school about what they can continue to provide at home, such as support sessions with a specialist teacher over video.
If you’re not getting support from the school, complain to your local authority. They should help make sure your child gets the provision in their EHCP or a reasonable alternative while they are at home.
There are plenty of online resources, from teaching packs and activities to apps and online games. We've tried to collect together a range of activities to suit children with different abilities and needs. There are many more online and you'll know best the type of activities that suit your child.
Homeschool resources for children with SEND
There are some resources that could be particularly helpful for children with SEND:
Looking after your own mental health is important. If you can, avoid setting yourself unrealistic expectations. Think about things you can do with your children that you may also find relaxing and therapeutic. This could be:
Speak to your employer about flexible working and other options to help you homeschool and work. You can also use some techniques to manage interruptions, such as creating a timetable with things like:
deciding who is on 'parent duty' if you live with your partner
screen time, using both educational and recreational games or TV shows
It can also help to create a homeschooling schedule or routine. Within your schedule, you may find it useful to give your child a choice of 2 educational activities. This helps them to feel they have a choice.
"What would you like to do? We could draw a picture of a rainbow for the window or we could do a science quiz."
Speak to other parents for help
Talking to other parents about resources, support or techniques that they're using or found worked well can be helpful. You could:
look for local online groups or pages for parents of children with special educational needs
Many local authorities have parent carer forums that work with the council to make sure that local services meet the needs of disabled children and their families. Ask your local authority if there is a parent carer forum in your area.