3 Simple Ways to Support Special Education Students at Home

Janis Efner

All students need extra support and resources as they navigate learning from home, but this is especially true for students in need of special education services who required additional supports prior to schools shutting down. How do we support them?

As many educators know, this population of students began struggling in kindergarten when skill gaps were first identified. Consequently, they have been aware of being “behind” for most of their lives and tend to suffer from low self-esteem, disciplinary problems, and anxiety. Now, more than ever, we need to address the whole child if we are able to keep them from falling through the cracks.

It is likely that your special education students are working on their own for the first time. Most of these students have received one-on-one instruction from their teacher or other support staff for most of their academic lives.

In their at-home classrooms, they will continue to need support. As you make plans for remote learning use these three best practices to engage your struggling readers:

Provide Motivation

Motivation happens when a student sees how a task will help them beyond school. We must make a connection between the work we assign and their personal lives. Let students know what their dream job requires academically and put tasks in front of them that will help them reach this goal. This real-life focus brings relevance to work and helps with discipline problems.

Now more than ever, students need a positive vision.

The Career Center in Achieve3000 Literacy is a great place to allows students to explore careers by looking at descriptions and education requirements. Once a student selects a career, they are able to monitor their personal growth as it relates to their future job, this connection brings relevance to the tasks they are working on.

Career and Technical Education

Expect Success

Students will meet the expectations you set for them. Have clear expectations and a focus for tasks, and make sure their workload is fair and attainable. This will help lessen anxiety and promote success.

Assignments are meant to grow students' minds and self-esteem, not devastate them. In their remote classroom students need to feel successful when they complete work assigned to them.

Achieve3000 Literacy also has as a student Lexile Tracker that allows students to see how many activities they have completed with a passing grade, monitor their Lexile growth, and keep track of how many points they have earned. The tracker is a great way for students to make sure their work meets the expectations given by teachers.

Celebrate Independence

Trust your students to work independently. It may surprise you both how much they can do on their own. Online teaching provides direct instruction, and is needed, but emphasize the positives of working independently. Students are away from the stresses of a school schedule or class bells, and there is no time pressure coming from their classmates. Students are in the comfort of their homes and should make the most of it. It is time for students to realize their full potential as individuals.

Achieve3000 Literacy’s Bookmark Toolbar provides many of the supports normally provided by teachers but can now be accessed independently at home! Students can choose to have articles read to them or find out the meaning of a word they are not familiar with. They can use the screen-mask feature to underline sentences as they are reading or use the cross-through option to eliminate answers on their activities.

Struggling Readers

As students engage with Achieve 3000 Literacy, they can bring focus to their work, rise to teacher expectations, and foster independent learning. Time is a precious commodity when it comes to the life of the students we serve. Whether you are intervening at a young age, or an older one, students are depending on you to come up with an effective plan that will redirect their future and help get them closer to living out their dreams.