If you are a special needs homeschooling family, you may be planning next year’s goals and objectives for your child fight about now!
If you have made the exciting decision to begin homeschooling your special needs child, congratulations!
Even though submitting IEPs to school districts is not required in most states, I still think it’s a great idea to create a few goals and objectives for your special learner.
I firmly believe that creating IEP goals and objectives that specifically address your child’s unique needs is extremely beneficial.
Not only is doing so very helpful in keeping track of your child’s progress, it’s also a great way to show school officials that you understand your child’s special educational and developmental needs and that you are capable of providing your child with a quality education.
When I create a homeschool IEP for my special needs daughter, Bethany, usually do the following:
- I Research what developmental milestones and/or academic levels she should be achieving and performing at for her age and grade level. (You can access academic learning standards at your state’s Department of Education. You can also find a developmental milestones checklist at CDC Developmental Milestones.)
- I Determine her current functional skills. I do this by observing her during her normal daily routine and/or I perform my own informal evaluations then compare my findings with the developmental milestones checklist.
- I Determine Bethany’s present level of academic performance by giving her fun and informal academic tests or I might administer a professional achievement or placement tests to get an idea of what educational level she is performing at.
- Lastly, I Write goals and objectives, based on my findings, that match the academic and functional areas that need to be addressed and remediated. (If you need ideas, a great place to find appropriate goals and objectives is at this awesome IEP goal bank.)
Determining the difference between goals and objectives can sometimes be tricky.
In a nutshell:
Educational goal are statements of skills a student is expected to have achieved upon completion of his or her educational program, such as:
- Student will be able to count to ten by June 2016.
Educational objectives break down the goals into smaller steps and describe the strategies and activities used to reach decided upon goals, such as:
- Using manipulatives such as foam cubes, Student will count to three using one to one correspondence by November 2015.
- Student will count to five using one to one correspondence while drawing five circles by April 2016.
- Using flash cards picturing the number ten and ten corresponding objects, Student will count to ten using one to one correspondence by June 2016.
For more detailed information about setting up IEPs, writing goals and objectives for your homeschool program, or in working with your school district if you have chosen to send your special needs child to public or private school, I recommend you check out the following resources:
- Wrightslaw.com-The trusted place where Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys go for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
- 800+ Measurable Goals and Objectives for K-12 and in Home School Settings
- 180 Smart Measurable Goals and Objectives for Children With Autism
- 200+ Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives
- All About IEPs
- Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives
- Creating a Win-Win IEP for Students With Autism
An awesome devolopmental and academic skills checklist coming from a Christian perspective that I love and use is Luke’s Life List
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You might also might want to consider purchasing a membership with Homeschool Legal Defense Association before beginning your homeschooling journey!