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Home's cool, but what if your child has an LD?

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By Valle Dwight

Enriquez’s daughter was offered speech therapy twice a week, and she brought her daughter to the school for the sessions for about four months, until she felt it was no longer effective. But the school never addressed her daughter’s reading issue. Ultimately, Enriquez turned to a private organization for help teaching her daughter to read.

For homeschooling parents who suspect their child has a learning disability, Jones suggests finding an expert within the school system who can tell you your rights and explain the process.

But realistically, he says, “it doesn’t always work that easily.” If that’s the case, he suggests checking with the state education department and finding its parent advocate or ombudsman to help guide you.

And don’t give up even if you’re in a state that does not mandate services for homeschoolers, Jones advises — it’s always worth asking.

“But if the first answer is no, that may well be the final answer,” he adds.

Jones has a few tips for parents of public school kids on IEPs who are thinking of homeschooling:

  • Talk to your school district before you withdraw your child. If you want to continue with the services your child is getting, make sure the school will allow it and set it up before you leave.
  • If you want to withdraw from the special education system completely, let the school know that too, otherwise you’ll continue to get notices for re-evaluations and team meetings.
  • Find out how your state law treats homeschooling and special education by searching online for your state’s homeschooling association or checking out your state department of education.
  • Visit the Home School Legal Defense Association’s page listing the special education provisions in each state.  

Valle Dwight is a reporter, writer, and mother of two school-aged boys. She has written for many magazines, including FamilyFun, Wondertime, and Working Mother.