How to Homeschool Adopted Kids
When John and I planned on adopting children, I knew that I wanted to homeschool them. I homeschooled our oldest three from preschool through high school and it was a wonderful experience. Yet homeschooling my adopted kids didn’t happen as easily (or as quickly) as I thought.
Homeschooling Alyssa from preschool age was no problem. We adopted her as a newborn from a private placement. Yet adopting from the foster care system, and homeschooling Casey and Bella, has been a different story.
- Our state had a say. The State of Arkansas told me that homeschooling foster children is not allowed. Even though we had an adoption plan for Casey and Bella, they were considered foster children until the adoption was final. For us, this took just over six months. This meant I couldn’t homeschool for six months.
- We used private school to start. Since I couldn’t homeschool Bella, I found a wonderful private school, Aspire Christian Academy, for special needs kids. Because of all she faced in her past, Bella was considered special needs. The teachers were godly, wonderful people who poured into her life. They knew how to handle her unique needs and they cared for her greatly. We saw Bella grow and heal during her time there. It was a great schooling choice for us.
- We tried not to change too much, too soon. When we got Casey he’d been in an all-day daycare. I was used to having my children at home, and it seemed unnatural to me to take him to daycare for most of the day. Instead of daycare—with the help of our social worker—I found an all-day center where Casey could get all of his therapy (speech, occupational, and physical). It took a lot of self-talk to remind myself this was okay. Casey needed the therapy. It also helped him to keep things “familiar” for a while. To him, going to preschool all day was normal, even though it didn’t feel that way for me. Gradually, I kept him home more and more until home became the familiar and safe place. After nine months Casey didn’t need as much therapy, and he was home full-time!
- I had to axe the guilt. Of course, making these schooling choices for my kids meant I had to axe the guilt. It was okay that my daughter was being educated outside of the home. I wasn’t compromising by enrolling her in school. Instead of feeling guilty, I looked at this school choice as something we were doing for a season. Casey was receiving the therapy help he needed and Bella was too … in a Christian classroom. When this season came to a close, Bella came home, and we were both ready for it.
- We took things slow. It was 2 years after we brought Casey and Bella home before I started homeschooling all three of my little kids, all day, at home. I’m so glad now that I took things slow. I realized the most important thing was that we all had time to adjust. Bringing new children into a home takes a lot of adjustment. Homeschooling them does, too.
Just because you believe homeschooling is the best choice doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your adopted kids, today. Seek God and ask Him to help you with your children’s unique path. Just like the homeschool curriculum, your adopted child’s journey to homeschooling can be tailor-fit to their needs.
The best way to homeschool adopted kids is in a way that meets their unique needs and allows them to adjust to your family and your homeschooling lifestyle over time.
Want more information on homeschooling and adoption? Visit my how-to pages:
Are you a homeschooling parent of adopted kids? What tips have you learned along the way? Share in the comment section below!
Hope and Refreshment for Homeschooling Parents
Need more ideas and advice on homeschooling? Pick up a copy of Homeschool Basics. Receive tried-and-true homeschool advice from veteran homeschooling moms Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover. We dish out practical help on getting started and staying the course. Homeschool Basics will remind you that the best homeschooling starts with the heart. Packed with ideas to help you push aside your fears and raise kids who will grow to be life-long learners.
Kristi and I believe that homeschooling can transform your life, your home, and your family. Mostly, we believe homeschooling can truly prepare your children for the life God’s called them to live.
Don’t let doubts hold you back any longer.