Spread the word!

When I tell most people that we’re still planning on homeschooling A-Man even after learning about his special needs, they think we’re crazy. Why on earth would we ever homeschool a child with special needs? I’m not even a qualified teacher! I’m definitely not trained in teaching a child with autism or dyspraxia. How can you teach him?

I’ll be the first to admit that homeschooling a child with special needs is no easy task. It’s worlds away from what I pictured when we first thought about homeschooling. But I taught A-Man to crawl, and walk, and talk, and say please and thank you. Why can’t I also teach him the ABC’s? Homeschooling A-Man looks very different from Mr. C’s lessons, though. We “unschool” A-Man and we do a lot of therapy and play based learning. Today I’m sharing what kind of goals we’re setting for his year.

Homeschooling Goals for a Special Needs Preschooler

Homeschooling a preschooler with special needs is a lot of work. We're skipping curriculum this year and just working towards a few specific goals. This post outlines the goals we have for our 4 year old who has autism and dyspraxia


One of our biggest goals for A-Man’s “preschool” year this year is to gradually grow the amount of time he will stay actively involved in an activity at the table (that isn’t eating). Right now he will stay engaged for about 10 minutes, and by the end of the year we’re hoping to achieve 30 minutes. This will help us all a lot when it comes time to do more formal schooling as he gets older. The activity can be anything from coloring to play dough to a sensory bin. We are also continuing with various therapy goals regarding his improving speech development and tolerating varying textures. He will have a break from therapy in the Fall, but we’ll continue therapy activities regularly at home.


Our goal for A-Man in “math” is to be able to identify shapes (circle, triangle, square, diamond) and colors (red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange) and categorize items by shape or color. We are also working on counting with one to one correspondence (rather than just repeating his numbers) up to 20 objects. If things go well in this area, we may venture into working on simple patters using shapes or colors.


For reading, our main goal is for A-Man to listen to a short, simple story and be able to recall what happened in that story. We will likely read short stories and ask him to re-tell the story using the pictures as cues. To start that, we need A-Man to be able to sit and listen to a full story, so that’s our first goal! We also would love for A-Man to recognize all letters and start matching words to letter sounds (a-apple, for example). We know that this may be a stretch this early on, so we’ll see how the year goes.


For writing, or really pre-writing, our goal is for A-Man to color pictures regularly. Right now when he colors we can usually get about 5 minutes of scribbles before he’s done and onto the next activity. The more he colors, the more stamina and strength he will build up in his hands. We won’t start formal handwriting for quite some time.


Those are some of the goals that we have set out for A-Man. We aren’t using any curriculum at this point, so we are just using time to intentionally work on these goals throughout our weeks. When Mr. C is doing schoolwork A-Man gets a tad bored, so we’ll pull out some play dough or a coloring page to work together. We’ll point out shapes as we see them in every day life, and we’ll just continue to help him learn like we’ve been doing the last four years. What kind of goals do you have for your preschooler with special needs?