Don’t you just love how that title rolls off your tongue?? Okay, even though I am Catholic, raising my children in this faith and using a highly-infused and integrated Catholic home study curriculum, I still can get just as excited about doing a classical curriculum as a non-Catholic…So I share what I have come across through the years as I’ve asked myself the question….What if I were Protestant and wanted to give my children a similar education but within the beliefs of my particular Christian faith? What would I use? How would I do it?
It certainly can be done; it is being done all over the country. In fact, it was likely done before Catholics caught on to home schooling their faith and academics in a home environment. Protestants paved the way and all should be very grateful for the foundation they laid and laws that were fought in this country by good Christian people, and in fact secular people as well – freedom fighters, so to speak – to make home schooling legal and doable in this country. The FREEDOM to CHOOSE YOUR OWN CURRICULUM is one of the primary freedoms home schoolers fought for.
So, the first place I would look to for an awesome classical curriculum would be The Well Trained Mind (Wise-Bauer). The book does outline grade by grade recommendations and all you need to know to successfully manage a GREAT home study regimen for your family. There are various curriculum choices per grade, so I recommend getting the book and reading it thoroughly. Then, once you have organized what you’d like to do at home with your child (say your autistic one in this case, as this is mostly my focus), you can nicely incorporate other therapeutic helps as I’ve outlined in my last post. (Part II post). Now granted, not all WTM recommendations are as therapeutic as I see Modg recommendations being, just by their very nature…but I think you can adjust as needed.
Following a home school course of study for your autistic child such as that outlined in The Well Trained Mind, will be of your own design as there is not an accompanying school to help you oversee it and keep a transcript for you, like that of the Catholic counterpart, Mother of Divine Grace. (The book, Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum is the book from which Mother of Divine Grace formed). The book DYOCC^ is similar to The Well Trained Mind, only one is more directed toward Catholic education, and the other, for various Christian denominations Keep in mind you can keep your own transcripts, if you can not find a protestant alternative to enroll with to do so; transcript keeping by home schools is now being widely accepted and expected.
If you find you don’t like to piece together your own curriculum from recommendations given, you could also utilize a provider, straight across the board, like Abeka Books. You can find all the items needed to have a boxed curriculum delivered to your door, and again, maintain your own transcript, and add in a nice regimen of therapy throughout the week, using those kinds of suggestions I utilize, as described in Part II.
GETTING EXCITED ABOUT HELPING YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD AT HOME
You can get excited about helping your special needs child learn at home in a specialized environment. One on one tutorship is one of the most effective forms of education – what child doesn’t benefit from the one on one assistance of a tutor? With mom or dad as that special tutor, and with special insight into their own child, the sky’s the limit. And now there are SO many home resources to help with both academics and special needs challenges.
Keep in mind if you are bringing your child home from a school situation for the first time, the first year will be an adjustment period for your whole home. Be patient about it, pray about it. Pray with your family and with your special child. God’s graces will give you strength and wisdom. Trust yourself. It’s a beautiful and purposeful endeavor to work with your spectrum child or any special needs child in a warm and nurturing home environment. Take time to really tune-in and know your child and your instincts will tell you what is best to do with and for him/her.
May God bless you with all you need! +