Dear fellow parents,
Welcome to the SEAN section of the website. I hope you find the following information useful.
A little-known fact, a survey completed by parents showed over 40% of the children in the Home Educating Community have some additional learning needs. This number has now increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic as more parents saw how their children thrived being educated (my son included) in the home environment.
There are many benefits to home educating children with additional needs. Some of these include:
In Ireland under Article 42 of the constitution it is a parent’s right to provide an education outside the regular school environment. The State’s duty is to ensure that children receive a certain minimum education, but parents are free to decide how this education is provided.
The government set out broad guidelines as to what counts as a minimum education. These include:
Teaching your child at home is an article from the Citizen’s Information website.
The following are some ways children in Ireland with additional needs can be educated.
Some educators choose to follow the mainstream Irish curriculum (I chose this option for my son) whilst others choose an alternative curriculum from which there are many options available worldwide. There are pros and cons – some of which are:
In the Home-schooling community, a very well-known word is De-schooling. It can be defined as
A transition period for the process of adjusting to the non-school environment of everyday life after leaving the education system
Túsla are accepting of this, especially for children with Special Educational Needs who may need time to adjust to their new normal.
At the polar end of the scale is unschooling. In this education style, workbooks can be uncommon. Unschooling is more free flowing and gives the child the opportunity to learn what they want and when. The vast majority of Home Educators choose to educate this way. Again, there are pros and cons to this style of educating. Some of which are outlined as follows:
This is like a buffet of home schooling. This particular style of learning falls in the middle of structured learning and unschooling. It can be defined as a highly individualised education method resulting from mixing and matching a variety of home-schooling resources. It is an exceptionally personalised approach for every child based on their strengths, learning styles, and interests.
Eclectic Home school: Curriculum That Works is an article from Time4Learning website.
Again, the pros and cons include:
The registration process for a Special Educational Needs child simply requires an additional section to be filled out on the Túsla Home Education application form. In the section provided you are required to include all relevant diagnoses in detail. This makes it easier when it comes to having your preliminary assessment. The assessors appreciate having all information at hand.
For more information on the Túsla registration process, please visit our Legalities page.
The decision to Home Educate can be a very daunting one, especially if your child has additional learning needs, but as a parent with over two years’ experience in home educating my son I can say with great confidence that it was the right decision for us.
It is extremely helpful to have in place support networks like H.E.N and also Special needs home education (Ireland) | Facebook which is a private home-schooling group for parents with over 1000 members.
I hope you find this information useful. If you need any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me on my H.E.N email : firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also a huge thank you to Lynda who had an input into this article.
Special Educational Additional Needs Representative