Homeschool

Why Homeschool our Special Needs Twins

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Why homeschool our special needs twins? This sounds like a scary and huge undertaking, I know. But it is something we are going to do. And I’m very excited to share this journey with you! So how did we get to the decision to homeschool?

About the Jones Family

You can read more about us here. It’s a tale we all know. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Soon they decide to start a family. But this is where the fun really begins. We discover very early on that we’re having twins. Romantic on paper but quite scary in reality! Anyway, we get on with it despite some serious downturns in our lives. And just before their third birthday, the boys go to school.

Our First School Experience

We relocated to a small beautiful coastal town called Knysna from Cape Town. My husband got a job overseas but in the end we decided to stay in Knysna. And we quickly enrolled our kids in a small Montessori-type school nearby. Our kids have always been busy and ‘difficult’. This became much more more evident when they went to school. They weren’t potty trained, they couldn’t sit still, they couldn’t communicate properly and they threw the most earth-shattering tantrums. After a few months their teacher blatantly told us that she thought they were autistic. And that began a downward spiral of fear, depression and anxiety.

Naming It

We took them out of that school and to another more accommodating one. At least they were a bit gentler with us and suggested we take the kids to an Occupational Therapist. She evaluated the kids and then we had a name for ‘it’. They have mild autistic spectrum disorder. Obviously there have been times where we feel very sorry for ourselves. We are the parents of autistic twins. But at the same time, naming it has made it much easier to deal with it.

Big School

Therapy was good for two things. Firstly the kids got potty trained. Secondly it allowed them to go to ‘big school’. This is after all what we had all been working towards. So off they went. The first few weeks were hell! We did think about homeschooling here. But why homeschool our twins if they can go to school? Luckily the kids eventually seemed to settle down. The teacher told us numerous times how happy she was with their progress. They were listening and even engaging on some level, with their peers. And she also told us how smart they are. My husband and I breathed a collective sigh of relief.

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The Facilitator

After a few months we went in for another meeting. We went with some trepidation as this is how we mostly feel now when it has anything to do with the kids. No surprises. The teacher said she wasn’t coping and that we need a facilitator. I have to say it, but the first thought I had was “the money!” Having autistic spectrum twins is not cheap. And unfortunately we are not rich. But we took out loans and released savings and hired a facilitator. The first one didn’t work out so the school juggled some staff around and arranged for someone in-house. Phew, we thought. Everything is going to be OK. Why homeschool our boys if we can have a facilitator?

More Issues

Just before the boys turned six, the teacher called us in for another meeting. We thought this was just to touch base. We had been lulled into a false sense of security. The teacher and school principal told us that they were concerned that the kids wouldn’t cope in Grade 1. They said we should have them assessed by a Paediatric Neurologist.  And that we should consider putting them on Ritalin or sending them to a special school. This would mean paying a huge amount of money for an assessment, having to buy constant medication or potentially moving to a bigger town. None of these avenues seemed appealing in any way. So after quite a lot of arguing and discussing, we have decided to try home school.

Why Homeschool our Special Needs Twins?

I truly believe that our kids need a chance to catch up. There is no doubt that they’re smart. And there is also no doubt that they have issues. But I am constantly amazed at what they can do. I think if they have some time in a quieter environment, they will catch up. And I’m sure we can help them to reach their full potential. Homeschooling might not be permanent. But who knows what the future holds?

I am excited to start home school. And I hope you will join me on my journey. I’m looking forward to lots of support and advice and I hope that I will also be able to give some in return!

Charlotte Jones

Charlotte Jones is a multi-tasking WAHM. She's mom to rambunctious special needs twins, wife to a talented music man and pillow to two super affectionate doxies. She spends her days marketing, blogging, homeschooling and teaching English online. And spends her weekend splashing through rivers, strolling on beaches and trekking through forests.

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20 Comments

  1. […] to start homeschooling our special needs twins is next on the list of ‘to dos’. In my previous post I spoke about the ‘why’ of homeschooling but nothing is going to happen without the […]

  2. Lida Colman says:

    Hello there, I love your blog. And my heart goes out to you and your struggle. I have a 9 year old son that has a undiagnosed genetic syndrome and sensory and mild autistic difficulties. And I know wat a struggle it is let alone two. We have found hope and I would love sharing it with you. Pls send me a mail. I would live to share with you.

    1. Charlotte Jones says:

      Hi Lida! Thanks for reaching out! All help and advice welcomed. I’ve sent you an email.

  3. […] I am by nature a fiercely competitive person. I used to eagerly tick off milestone and be thrilled if the boys were ahead in some way. Obviously those milestones do not apply at all any more. And it’s quite a relief not to have to adhere to these predefined ideas of what a child should be able to do. The rules have gone out of the window and any developments are exciting. You become thankful for small things and awed by what they can do. They have the chance to take their time and to not grow up too fast. They will eventually get there, but in their own unique way. And that is why we are thinking about homeschooling them. […]

  4. […] this post is because I’m trying to process the dreaded school report! As I mentioned in my post about why we want to homeschool our special need twins, we believe that our kids just need the chance to show what they can do. But I’m sure most […]

  5. […] Before we ‘named it’, my husband and I used to pull our hair out with anger, frustration and guilt. We would get so upset with the kids for being ‘naughty’. You almost take it personally and at the same time blame yourself for being a terrible parent.  Not to mention the fear you have of them crossing roads, touching hot stoves and eating something poisonous. I have to be honest that there were some smacks too. And of course the guilt that follows. But nothing seemed to work with them. […]

  6. It’s great to read about other parents who homeschool their special needs children as we have chosen to homeschool our special needs daughter as well. It’s quite the undertaking but it is worth it!

    1. Charlotte Jones says:

      Thanks for your comment, Cari Jean! Yes, it seems like the most logical avenue to take. I know it’s going to be hard work but I’m looking forward to hanging out with my kids a lot more!

  7. […] game. We only decided a few months ago to homeschool our special needs twin boys. You can read the blog post here that explains why we made this decision. During this loop I was able to connect with so many […]

  8. […] get overwhelmed. And I think this is a crying shame. And it’s another reason why we want to homeschool them from next year. We want to expose them to music in a safe and calm […]

  9. […] it’s OK. We have taken positive steps towards equipping our kids for life. This is why we are going to homeschool next year. Now we know how to handle meltdowns and the looks and comments that go hand in hand with them. We […]

  10. […] I think that the best thing we can do is to prepare them for the future. And this is part of why we want to homeschool them from next year. I am planning to teach them a lot of practical skills. We will be concentrating as much on […]

  11. […] kids can be prohibitive in South Africa. And this is one of the reasons why we’ve decided to go the homeschooling route. Governmental help is minimal. So we have to look at other ways to educate the boys. But education […]

  12. […] homeschool goals for 2018 are ambitious! But it’s my intention to smash them! Deciding to homeschool our special needs twin boys was not easy. And I know that it’s going to be challenging. But […]

  13. […] this is one of the reasons we homeschool. We gave formal school a good try but for various reasons, we decided to homeschool our special needs twin boys. My boys are now in first grade and my main aim is to ensure that they reach their full potential. […]

  14. […] positive. And I have also decided to play an active part in the schooling of my boys. We decided to homeschool as a family and this blog is a place for me to share what we do, to write about having special needs children […]

  15. […] everyday life. I really enjoyed reading her post about changing lanes. It resonates so much with my journey to homeschooling and opting out of the education system for the good of our […]

  16. […] there. The benefits of a gluten free diet are well-documented. I think it will be much easier when we’re homeschooling next year because we will be able to give them better meals at home. Bread is obviously super convenient for […]

  17. […] decided to homeschool our kids for a number of reasons. We kept the kids in school for a whole year. But it was traumatic. And […]

  18. […] could be anything from religious reasons, to having gifted or special needs children, or more. We chose this path for financial reasons and to avoid having to medicate our kids. It isn’t always easy but when all […]

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