Home School Heartbeat Radio Program
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If parents choose to educate their special needs child at home, what requirements will the state place on them? Michael Farris discusses the legal side of homeschooling your special needs child on this edition of Home School Heartbeat.
Though each state has particular requirements for homeschooling, the fundamental right to direct the education of your children remains with you the parent, whether your child has particular disabilities or not.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA directs local school districts to locate, identify, and evaluate all children in their jurisdiction suspected of having disabilities. The school district's obligation, however, is merely to make evaluations available. If you don't want your child evaluated, there is no legal obligation to submit your child to the school district's testing.
We recommend every homeschooling parent of a special needs child follow these two guidelines to maintain a legally viable homeschool:
First, be sure to regularly assess and keep accurate records of your child's progress.
Second, maintain regular contact with an educational consultant. We recommend that you have your child's progress assessed at least four times during the school year.
The key is to show that you are taking your child's disability seriously, and that you have a definite plan to meet their own particular educational challenges. Your child's progress will be a testimony to your own dedicated and loving care. I'm Mike Farris.
Homeschooling may be the best way to meet most special learning needs, and the Home School Legal Defense Association has a very helpful pamphlet with answers to your questions about this important decision. You can order your copy from our website at homeschoolheartbeat.com, or call us toll-free at (866) 338-8614.