Tips, Advice, and Networks to Support Your Family when Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Disclaimer: Throughout this series, we will be using the diagnostic language and terms that most people who are searching the Internet will use to find information. We fully understand that using any term to categorize children may result in generalizations that may not apply to every child, stigmas associated with that term, and the possibility of overlooking the many beautiful positive traits that exist when we look at the whole child. We celebrate the differences that make us unique individuals and learners, and we write everything in this series with the hopes of benefiting all children and their families. Resources are provided as options for you, may not represent the views and opinions of A2Z Homeschooling, and in no way are meant to replace medical or other professional advice.
If you are planning to homeschool, or are currently homeschooling, a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, you know that your homeschool is going to be different in a lot of ways than other homeschools. Your modes of instruction and communication may be different, and you may need to find or purchase specialized materials. That being said, your homeschool is a lot like other homeschools, too. You still sit down with an amazing child who has strengths and abilities just waiting to be discovered and developed, and you are motivated to do the very best for the education of your child.
Whether your child is deaf or hard of hearing, you may find that you need resources, and you may not know where to look. A2Z Homeschooling has collected some resources to get you started:
|Support Groups for Families Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing|
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Tips and Considerations for Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
As a first step, here are some places to find information, suggestions, and thought-provoking considerations about homeschooling your child who is deaf or hard of hearing:
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Homeschoolers: Sociocultural Motivation and Approach
Elizabeth S. Parks presents her research results showing “that while homeschooler demographics and approaches vary, there are similarities among their motivations and approaches to providing their children with socialization and interaction with deaf and hard of hearing adults. It also points out that, because of the diversity of approaches used, homeschooling can be both beneficial and detrimental to deaf and hard of hearing children.”
Guidelines for Parents on Homeschooling Deaf Children
This Master’s Thesis by RIT student, Kalpana Varia, shares trends, benefits, parents’ reasons, characteristics of parents, and perspectives of pediatricians, as well as recommendations for homeschooling children who are deaf.
Home Schooling | Raising Deaf Kids
Discover some benefits and tips regarding homeschooling and “a world of information about children with hearing loss” at this site.
Homeschooling for Children with Hearing Loss | Auditory Verbal Therapy
Find out about the pros and cons of various schooling options and get answers to questions about socialization, accommodations, curriculum, and more!
Homeschooling the Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child: A Closer Look May Surprise You | Hands & Voices
Joanne Appelgate, mother of a son who is deaf, discusses reasons to consider homeschooling your deaf or hard of hearing child and other reasons to just consider homeschooling. Also included is a home education Q&A.
How Deaf Children Learn: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know $
By Marc Marschark (Author), Peter C. Hauser (Author)
“How can parents and teachers most effectively support the language development and academic success of deaf and hard-of-hearing children? Will using sign language interfere with learning spoken language?… Are traditional methods of teaching subjects such as reading and math to hearing children appropriate for deaf learners?”
Advice and Stories from Families Who Are Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Maybe you would like to find out how other families are homeschooling their children who are deaf or hard of hearing? These are a few families sharing their experiences:
Anyone Homeschooling? | alldeaf
Read this forum thread for a conversation related to why families with children who are deaf choose or do not choose to homeschool.
Deaf-Fining Life (Faith-Based)
“One of the main reasons for this blog is to connect with other Deaf Homeschoolers. There are Deaf parents out there homeschooling Hearing kids, there are Hearing parents homeschooling Deaf kids, and there are Deaf parents homeschooling their Deaf kids. Each is a unique dynamic. I feel like we’ve been through 2 of these groups (Deaf with Hearing child and now Deaf with Deaf kids as well).”
Educating the Deaf Child – “Homeschooling”
Read about this family’s experiences homeschooling their adopted son who was considered “profoundly deaf” but wore hearing aids. Learn about why they chose to homeschool and how they interacted with the school and community to set up the best education for their son.
Support Groups for families Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
You may even want to connect more directly with other families who are homeschooling a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. You can join general homeschool support groups or special needs homeschool support groups, or you can participate in groups that more specifically target the homeschool you have. Here are just a couple support groups that may be able to help you and your family:
Deaf Moms Homeschool (Faith-Based)
This is a Facebook group for “Deaf Parents, Signing Parents of Deaf Children, Signers with Deaf Spouses, Signers of Deaf family members. Please feel welcome to be part of this group. This is intended to focus on the homeschooling issues all the while supplying support for each other through homeschooling issues. It doesn’t matter which/what kind of homeschooling curriculum that you use as long as it benefits your child/ren.”
Homeschooling Parents of Deaf/HoH Kids
“This [Facebook] group has been created as a way to connect with other parents that are homeschooling their deaf or hard of hearing kids. Please remember that mode of communication and education choices are deeply personal and polarizing issues. The intent of this group is to share resources, ideas, and support, not as a platform for espousing one ideology over another.”
Sometimes you just need resources for learning about and supporting your child who is deaf or hard of hearing, even if the focus isn’t on homeschooling. These are some resources you may find useful:
Described and Captioned Media Program
“Described and captioned educational media is available to students who are deaf, blind, hard of hearing, visually impaired, or deaf-blind. Thousands of accessible videos are available to students, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Users who qualify can search by keyword, browse by topic and subtopic, and browse by Common Core and state standards. There are no user-registration or service fees.”
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University
Find a wealth of information and resources here for both educators and families.
National Association of the Deaf
“The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value.” Explore the site to find information and events for youth and families.
National Cued Speech Association
“The NCSA supports a community of cuers who have come together to promote language accessibility through Cued Speech. Some of us are native cuers. Some are parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) or need visual access to language. Some are professionals who work with those who are D/HH or need visual access to language.”
Resource Notebook for Families of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing | Washington Department of Health
Learn about hearing, early intervention, hearing tests, communication, staying organized, and more. Discover resources and family stories.
Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students | Accredited Schools Online
Find tools, technology and key resources to cultivate academic success and understand the differences between deaf, deafness, and hard of hearing. Explore tech tools for deaf or hard of hearing students, how to create more audible environments, tips for academic success, how to find a college that fits, and schools and scholarships for deaf or hard of hearing students.
We hope that the resources above can make your homeschooling experience even just a little bit easier. Enjoy the journey!
Also be sure to check out our American Sign Language for Kids post and our Special Needs section for more information and resources to help you teach and support your homeschooler who is deaf or hard of hearing!