If you have more than one child then you will certainly understand that children don't come one size fits all. This understanding is fundamental to success at homeschooling but in particular home educating adopted and traumatized kids. It seems the differences in children who are attachment challenged are magnified because of their trauma and so this insight becomes vital.
There are ways you can discover the "keys to the kingdom" as it pertains to your children in order to capitalize on your astute observations about each of them. Each child may need a slightly different approach in their education. I will list three ways to effectively gauge your children's needs below.
1. Discover whether or not your child suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, sensory integration disorder, attention deficit disorder, or autism before you evaluate anything else. Obviously, if one or more of these conditions exist, your journey will be colored by those issues.
2. Find out what your child's love language is. This would be the way your child feels most comfortable giving and receiving love. For example, we have a daughter whose primary love language is touch (meaning she's a cuddle bug) but our oldest son's primary love language is quality time. Neither of them can learn effectively until they have experienced love in their primary love language that day.
3. Search out your child's learning style. There are fabulous resources out there that help you give a simple test to your children to find out how they learn best. For instance, does your son seem to absorb information better when he hears it or when he sees it? Each child will benefit from being taught in his own learning style several times a day or week.
Studying your children before you engage them academically will save you hundreds of dollars in curriculum and hours of frustration. Many people are so eager to begin teaching their kids, they forget about the importance of understanding your student prior to handing out assignments and presenting the material. The big advantage in homeschooling is having the time and ability to know your students well enough to teach them effectively.
Children who have experienced trauma (any adopted child has, just by virtue of being separated from their birth mother) can be especially sensitive to their environment. Investing time in learning about your children before teaching them is vital to success. Many times, something as simple as allowing a kinesthetic learner to sit on an exercise ball while you read aloud, can be the difference between tears or triumph for a parent.
Adoptive parents are particularly in need of stepping back to evaluate before starting because often, their children are suffering from attachment issues in addition to "typical" special needs. Bonding and attachment can be greatly enhanced if a parent is aware of her child's unique approach to learning. Imagine the bonding and attachment that can take place in the midst of educating your child if you have taken the time to know his needs first. Don't let this unique opportunity pass you by!
Sandra Nardoni is a homeschooling adoptive mom of three children, ages 13,11, and 10 and mentors families who need homeschool help with adopted kids with severe behaviors. To watch a free, 10 minute video on homeschooling adopted kids, go to http://www.adoptioncounts.com