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 easy (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 in to her life. They knew how to handle her unique needs and they cared for her greatly. We saw Bella grow and heal in 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!