I think we all know I love the Charlotte Mason method. But now that I'm truly understanding that we are a special needs family, I realize how it helps us in so many other ways.
I believe this method is beneficial to all children, but I've thought of a few ways that it really helps those with special needs.
Living Books Stimulate and InspireChildren with bipolar disorder and dyslexia have very vivid imaginations. These children can be distracted, but are very creative.
Giving them books that stimulate their imaginations almost ensures their focus. Many times, it inspires them to do something else such as draw, write their own story, or explore something in nature.
Family Studies Give Support When NeededAlexis is 14 and usually a child is reading and doing their work on their own long before this age. In fact, by age 10, they can do nearly all of their assignments independently.
However, Alexis has several processing disorders - dyslexia (a language processing disorder), dyscalculia (a math disability) and dysgraphia (a writing disability).
Children with dyslexia have no concept of time, have short-term memory problems, and a host of other symptoms.
Giving Alexis assignments and expecting them to be remembered, much less done in a timely manner, would be asking the world of her.
Fortunately, with the CM method, I am able to teach multiple ages which helps keep her in a group setting.
She gains the knowledge in a way in which she's not left to flounder. I do give her independent assignments, but perhaps not as much as others her age.
In time, as she has more help from specialists, we'll be able to transition her to more and more independent work.
Learn how to use the
Charlotte Mason method!
NarrationNarration is one of the foundations of a Charlotte Mason education.
It certainly helps children with A.D.H.D., bipolar disorder, and dyslexia, as these children tend to have co-existing challenges with reading, writing and math.
Narration is a huge help for any child with reading or writing challenges.
It is recommended that children begin writing their narrations at a certain age, but this can always be adapted for children with writing challenges.
Narration, copywork, and dictation are the tools used to teach proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. To eliminate any of them would be a disservice to my children.
When requiring writing from Alexis, I give her more time to complete it.
As well, children with dysgraphia do better with keyboarding than writing. Many times, she can simply type her work.
Giving fewer handwritten assignments and more time to complete them help her to maintain her handwriting skills without overwhelming her.
Short Lessons Benefits Special Needs KidsI guess this is a no-brainer. Shorter lessons are helpful to children with attention issues or short-term memory problems.
Children with bipolar disorder or dyslexia are easily distracted and the shorter lessons really are accommodating to this challenge.
These are just a few things that come to mind when considering how this method helps my children in their homeschooling. There will be more in Part II.