The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Teaching a Child with Special Needs at Home and at School Review by Missica Pullen

Judi Munday, M.A., M. Ed.
Special Needs Educational Consultant

As the mother of a son with autism who has homeschooled from the beginning, I find the need for a special needs mentor or teaching advice helpful and appreciated. There are times I have been left frustrated, and even in tears, because I simply could not get through to my son. Then I discovered, Teaching a Child with Special Needs at Home and at School. This book is a 296 page, 8.2”x0.7”x11” resource guide that offers helpful tips, strategies, and advice for anyone who is teaching a special needs learner. This book is different because it is not targeted to just brick and mortar school teachers, nor is it targeted just for parents. This book is intended for parents or teachers.

Judi Munday brings her 30 years of experience to you in Teaching a Child with Special Needs at Home and at School. The book is arranged in sections, so that you are not overwhelmed with information overload. For example, Chapter 3 is dedicated to choosing a curriculum. Within this chapter, you will learn how to effectively choose a curriculum that will be conducive to special needs learning, such as making sure the curriculum you have chosen links new learning with previously learned material. This helps to reinforce previous learning while helping your child to understand and prepare for the new material. Inside the chapters you will find a variety of reproducible resources such as rubrics or page layouts to help you in your teaching endeavors, whether you are homeschooling your own special needs learner or if you are educating others.  The tips and strategies offered within the pages of this book are easily implemented. They are practical, logical solutions that truly help.

I have found this book to be particularly useful in our homeschool. We are going in to our 7th year of homeschooling, and I sometimes feel as if nothing new can be thrown my way, but this is not the case with Teaching a Child with Special Needs at Home and at School. I found this book to be like a support group in paperback form. I find this guide to be easy to follow and easy to read as it is presented in a conversational tone. I like how easily I can go to the Table of Contents, location the section I need, and turn to those pages without having to necessarily read everything prior to understand.

I really like how the material is presented in such a way that a classroom teacher can use it, or a homeschool parent. In our case, we only have one child. Often, resources do not offer a “one child option”, but Teaching a Child with Special Needs at Home and at School covers this type of scenario. For example, chapter one instructs you to ask questions and seek answers often. If the child gets the answer wrong, restate the question and supply the answer, then ask another child in the class the same question, then go back to the first child who got it wrong and ask again. This gives the child a chance to get it right, setting that child up for success, and not failure. In the event you are teaching only one child, you are to supply the correct answer yourself, then have your child say the correct answer with you, then ask the question again to see if they can answer it correctly. This is only one example of the many, many helpful techniques found in this book.

There are so many positives that it is hard to find a negative, but nothing is ever perfect. This book, as in depth as it is, does not address children with behavior or emotional problems, nor does it address those with more severe conditions such as severe autism. This book is beneficial for those with more mild conditions such as dyslexia and high functioning autism, which is the demographic the author has the most experience teaching. While this is great, behavior problems such as Oppositional Defiance Disorder are a common occurrence in high functioning autism, and special needs in general. I wish there was a chapter dedicated to managing these behaviors in an educational setting, whether that setting is at home or in a traditional school. Sometimes a child with autism or ADHD has trouble academically due to their defiance. Tips to handle situations like these would be great.

Overall, this is an exceptional resource to have on hand if you teach a special needs learner. I would high recommend this to my special needs mom friends and teachers. It is well written in an easy to read format with an easy to navigate design that works well for our busy lifestyle. The strategies are easily implemented, and just make sense. You aren’t left asking “why” you should do what is being suggested because the author explains why everything works. This is a great resource to have on hand!

-Product review by Missica Pullen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016