Your Child Has Special Needs, Too

Your Child Has Special Needs Too

“My kids don’t go to school?”

[silence, mild contemplation]

“Do you homeschool them or something?”

“Well, we don’t use that term….but yeah.”


“My kids have special needs.”

“Oh.” [apologetically]

[end of conversation]

Now, in general I don’t short-circuit the homeschooling conversation like that. I actually very much prefer to go on the offensive until the inquiring party gets defensive and tries to break free!

But I certainly always have that retort in reserve and you are welcome to use my special needs silencer to ward off interrogations yourself.

It’s all aboveboard because as far as I’m concerned, and with all due respect, ALL CHILDREN have special needs.

Yes, many can claim medical and/or psychological distinction (ADHD, dyslexia, Apsergers, autism, etc.) but I submit that all other kids also may especially NEED:

  • To sleep more
  • To be outside more, if not all day
  • To spend copious time in solitude
  • To accelerate their education
  • To be constantly moving (i.e. can’t sit all day long!)
  • To read a ton
  • To be around their family a lot
  • To have vast creative space for art/music/dance
  • Etc.

I’m always talking to parents who are upset and frustrated that their kids can’t sit still in school, can’t focus on the assigned tasks, and are being strongly advised to medicate…

The first thing I do is try to flip their moods around.

I say that the fact that their child has energy and is self-directed is a HUGE POSITIVE for their long-term development. I point out that some of the most successful people ever to walk the earth have shared those same gifts.

And I assert that if their child was doing well in school. If they could competently sit for hours on end, blindly take orders and jump through hoops….if they were unstirred by any internal passions then they would have a MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM on their hands.

The fact is, all children, including yours, have prodigious latent talent, gifts, and energy bottled up inside them.

And if they (and you) aren’t aware of them…

Well they aren’t in an environment or on a plan to unlock their full-potential.

If you don’t take steps, SOON, to drastically change the situation….there will be unpleasant long-term consequences, painful side effects all-around, i.e. for them AND you.

Jim Rohn has famously said, “Potential underutilized leads to pain.”

I know I can attest to that personally and I bet you can, too.


Dan (22 Posts)

Husband to Inez. Father of John and Christine. Homeschool Coach, Accelerated Math Teacher. Former derivatives trader and future scratch golfer! Follow our learning adventures at

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Learn with Math Games


How do you study math in your homeschool? Do your kids enjoy worksheets or flash cards? Do you take a living books approach a la the Charlotte Mason method? What works for your kids? Regardless of whether math sends them into tears or cheers, most kids will enjoy playing math games. Take some of the dread out of math time with these ideas!

A round-up of free & frugal math games to make learning fun!

Learn with Math Games

Here’s a list of math games, including board games, printable games, and DIY games.

Multiplication Practice Paperfolding by Kids Activities Blog – By simply folding some paper into cootie catchers, you can actually create an informative math game for students focusing on anything from addition to fractions.

Math Wall Stickers (Reusable!) – Play with math on the walls! This set of reusable wall decals are a great way to turn math into an interactive experience. Play Simon Says with math on the wall! “Simon says show one half.” Love it!!

3D Lego Multiplication Graph via Frugal Fun for Boys – We love Lego, but did you know because of their shape they are great tools for multiplication? This graph will help kids visualize multiplication in three dimensions.



Numbers & Counting Quiet Cubes Game – This game designed for ages 4-7 uses dice rolls to help teach ABCs, counting and basic addition. The best part is the foam dice are designed to be super duper quiet for a truly peaceful learning experience!

Math Explosion Volcano Game – With this fascinating game, players are able to customize math facts with a math fact creator so that players of all ages can play for many years to come. Be the first player to explode the volcano by getting your math facts correct!

volcano math game

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Connect Four Bingo GameEveryone loves Bingo, and when you can take a game that’s already fun and turn it into something educational everyone wins. Children will be paying close attention so they can be the first to exclaim BINGO!

Aliens on Vacation multiplication game by Deceptively Educational – This printable board game requires a little setup, but it provides children with a chance to put their math skills to the test to get their alien home from vacation.

Factors and Multiples Games – Play Monster Mash! A game that helps students understand greatest common factors and lowest common multiples.

factors and multiples game

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Crazy Daisy Multiplication via Deceptively Educational- Looking for something a little more cute? The Crazy Daisy Multiplication printable math game will help kids visualize solutions as they color in a crazy daisy.

Whack It! Place Value Math GameIt’s no secret that kids love any game where they can get a little bit physical and give things a good whack, so why not teach math at the same time? This game helps with place values, but can be adjusted for other lessons.


What math games do you use in your homeschool?



Check out more homeschool math ideas from the iHomeschool Network:

guide to homeschooling math


Linking up with my homeschool blogging friends:

Printable Spring Play Dough Mats – Living Life and Learning

Free Printable Spelling Games – Simple At Home

Multiplication Dice Game Schooling a Monkey

Creative Ways to Play Scrabble -Classes By Beth Plus

Great Board Games for Homeschool | Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading

Free File Folder Games  – Amy’s Wandering

More of Our Favorite Games for Learning – Chestnut Grove Academy

Making Learning Fun-7 Great Games– A Sip of Southern Sunshine


Games for your Homeschool


Sara (151 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.

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Learning Styles – Help or Hindrance?

learning stylesIn this post, let’s talk about “learning styles,” which is big in education today.

Google “learning styles” and you receive over 23 million results. (For the more visually inclined, check out Pinterest.) What does it mean? Let’s start by defining learning styles.

Simply: your preferred manner of learning is your learning style. This theory is based off of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory. If you aren’t familiar with the MI theory, you can see some information here or at wikipedia. There is plenty of information to be had on this subject. Back to learning styles: There are seven styles, which are as follows.

  1. Visual- pictures, images
  2. Auditory- sounds, music
  3. Verbal- words, in speech and writing
  4. Physical- movement, hands-on
  5. Logical- reasoning, systematic
  6. Social- group learning or at least with one other person
  7. Solitary- alone

Here are some links to understand more about what learning styles are and how educators think they are important to learning.

I encourage you to dig deeper into what these are and why they are considered important to today’s educators. After all, with over 23 million search results, there is a lot of information on learning styles.

But on the other hand, if you Google “what’s wrong with learning styles” you get over 15 million results.

Now I will state that I believe focusing too much on “learning styles” in educating our students is faulty. I find this to be true when there is a panacea for education introduced. There are too many instances when people have taken a portion of a solution and applied it as the cure-all. I really appreciated Sara’s post on Learning Styles which discusses different ways to apply what you learn about your students’ learning styles.

According to a learning styles quiz, my learning style is verbal and solitary (see image below). I prefer the use of words and to be alone to learn. You can see the quiz at this site. There are many different arrangements for learning styles but generally people fall into one or two dominant styles. (What would someone be like who was a mix- a true balanced mix- of all the styles? Amazing to think about.)

learning style

According to the quiz, I also have a bit of social learning style mixed in with my solitary preference. This is rather interesting because I am an introvert who prefers to be home, away from groups and others. However, because I am aware that interaction with others is important to who I am as an individual, and for my growth, I make myself step out of my solitary learning environment.

What is your ‘learning style’?

If a teacher had tailored their teaching style to my personal learning style, how much stronger it would lean to the left of that scale. Admittedly, the education I have chosen to pursue has been primarily online. This suits my learning style perfectly. However, it has not helped me learn any better. It just allows me to continue as I have been.

As a matter of fact, it makes it more difficult for me now to learn in different situations.

By not tailoring teaching styles exclusively to particular learning styles for each student, rather including a mix of styles, the student is better able to develop into a more intelligent person. (I’m not talking ‘intelligence’ like the IQ tests; I mean as an individual able to learn in any situation.) Learners are different from each other, these differences affect their performance, and teachers should take these differences into account.” (source)

Finally, I’ll leave this post with a few links that disagree with “learning styles” as they have been pushed in today’s education world. That includes the homeschooling world.

(And just a random link to an infograph that I thought interesting. It ties into the series of posts I did last on educational philosophies.)

What do you think about learning styles and education? I would love to have you share your thoughts.

North Laurel (36 Posts)

Blossom- "North Laurel" to the online world- lives in Ohio with her husband and two teens, homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way with Ambleside Online. She is graciously allowed to be a moderator for the Ambleside Online Forum. North Laurel loves to read, be on the computer, and learn. You can read her blogging about homeschooling, book reviews and life in general at North Laurel's Musings.

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