This is a guest post from Arlene Chandler writes about life cover from Suncorp and ways to help people navigate through the depths of parenting.

Being the mother of a special needs child is a situation with added complexity, particularly for those women that are in the role of a single parent.  If you’re a mother in this situation, one of the many positive aspects is that being the parent of a young person with special needs can be the most rewarding experience in life. Not only do you get to craft the best existence possible for your child, but you get to see your true colors shine through as a caretaker.

Choosing An Education For Your Child – Home School Vs Private

Most parents simply send their children to a state school and never really think about the alternatives; after all, that’s the done thing. But more and more families are starting to consider other options and are taking ownership of their children’s education.


Image Credit: A Home School Class Room

There are many options when it comes to education and what is right for one family isn’t necessarily right for another, so let’s have a look at 2 options which are gaining popularity:

What Is Home Schooling?

Home schooling is certainly not a new thing. In fact, several noteworthy people throughout American history have been home schooled (including Abe Lincoln for instance). But it is becoming much more common…

The Advantages

One big advantage to home schooling is that you as the parent have much more control over what your children are taught and although you do have to follow a curriculum you have more flexibility. Exactly how much flexibility you have depends a lot on where you live.

Home schooling is a popular option for children with special educational needs because it allows you as a parent to give them the one on one attention that a regular school might not be able to provide. Not every school is equipped to teach children with special needs.

The Disadvantages

A big disadvantage of home schooling is that you have to dedicate yourself to being a teacher and will probably be unable to earn an income at the same time. For this reason, most home schooling families have one working parent and one stay at home parent.

Additionally, not everyone has the ability to teach and unless you happen to be a qualified teacher already you will have to spend a lot of time learning how to teach, how to plan lessons and what is involved in covering the required curriculum.

What About Private School?

Many families don’t even consider private school because it is expensive. But in reality there are many options that are more affordable. Some of the most famous private schools have fees that only the rich can afford, but there are plenty of schools with more realistic fees.

The Advantages

So why not just send them to a regular school? Well for one thing not all state schools are made equally. Some schools are excellent, but if you don’t happen to live near to a good one, a private school might be a good option.

At a private school classes are generally much smaller, which means that teachers can give each child much more of their attention. Private schools also vet their staff more strictly and only hire very experienced and skilled teachers.

The Disadvantages

Of course the obvious downside is the cost. Compared to state schools which are free, private schooling comes with a non-trivial cost. But compared to home schooling it might be quite affordable when you consider that you can continue working.

It really depends on what the costs are and what you can afford, but it is certainly worth looking into, particularly if you are unimpressed the quality of your local state schools.

 

 

About The Author
This guest post was written by James from UKTutors.com. James is a personal tutor and education expert. Thanks for reading and please check out his website here.

Summer is almost over for a lot of children, and “Back To School” commercials, campaigns and advertising is everywhere.

Going back to school can be challenging and overwhelming for both parents and children, but for families that have special needs children it can be down right daunting.

I have seen many mom bloggers writing blog posts about tips and survival lists to get your children ready to go back to school, talking about getting your children back in to a routine, that we all know we let slide over the summer months.  All of these lists are great, but I would like to add to them from a special needs mom perspective.

Here are some tips that can help you and your child survive the next few weeks or month of what is called the “back to school” season!

  1. Know what medical forms or scripts are needed prior to school so that your child will be able to start receiving the necessary therapies right when school starts.  You don’t want to have them wait to start receiving occupational or physical therapy that may require the need of a script or form from their doctor.
  2. If your child will be needing the care of the school nurse for medication distribution, feedings, etc.  I would ask to schedule an appointment with the nurse, prior to school starting so you can comfortably go over the necessary information.
  3. If your child will be having new teachers or aides, ask to have a meeting prior to school starting to have you and your child meet these new faces that will be caring for your child during the school day.  You can take pictures of them and create a social story for your child to help get them ready for their new environment.
  4. Take pictures of the playground, the cafeteria, library, nurses office, bus personnel, principal.  All of this information will help your child be comfortable with those individuals that will there to support and care for them in the school.
  5. Start reading stories to your child about “making friends”.  I can make this suggestion because I read this book to my son “The Bravest Boy I Ever Knew” by Lisa Eichlin.  What a fabulous book my son really enjoyed it.  Maybe you can find stories about sitting at your table, listening to the teacher, lining up etc.  All of this information will help to create expectations of what you as well as your child’s teachers, aides and other school personnel expect your child to do.
  6. If possible let your child shop for their own school supplies.  This will help them get familiar with the different pens, notebooks and again start getting them in the right frame of mind that school will be starting soon.  Obviously make sure to label all of your child’s supplies as best you can.
  7. Next suggestion would be to create a “Student Snapshot”.  

This student snapshot is just that a quick way to relay important information about your child to school personnel.  You can read more and find the form here.

8. Another great idea would be to create a Back To School calendar that your child can be actively involved in crossing off the days until school starts.

9. Above all make going back to school fun!

Do you have any great back to school resources you would like to share?  Please use the comment section below.

 SpecialMoms is now accepting submissions for our 2013 Special Needs Holiday Guide

 

SpecialMoms is excited to announce we are now accepting submissions for the guide which will be available November 15, 2013 through January 1, 2014 online.

 

This Year Our Gift Guide Will Feature Items From The Following Categories:

  • Gifts for Women (ex: techy gadgets, accessories, beauty, fashion, green living)
  • Gifts for Men (ex: cooking/bbq supplies, clothing, office games
  • Gifts for Teens (ex: techy gadgets, books, fashion, entertainment, subscription boxes)
  • Gifts for Toddlers (ex: games, books, movies, educational items, fashion, subscription boxes)
  • Gifts for Babies (ex: fashion, educational, bathing items, subscription boxes)
  • Gifts for Caregivers (ex: candles, accessories, beauty)
  • Gifts for the Whole Family (ex: games, entertainment)
  • Gifts for the Home (ex: home decor, games, kitchen gear)
  • Gifts for Pets (ex: bedding, snacks, pet apparel)

Increase Your Product’s Visibility through Social Media

As part of The SpecialMoms 2013 Special Needs Holiday Gift Guide, your brand will receive:

  • A feature blog post on our SpecialMoms blog
  • A post on our Facebook page
  • A minimum of two tweets promoting the product/brand
  • Inclusion in our special Holiday Gift Guide newsletter
  • Inclusion in our 2013 SpecialMoms Special Needs Holiday Gift Guide
  • Inclusion on our SpecialMoms Pinterest Board

Our Holiday Gift Guide will have a dedicated page listing all of our gift recommendations. Each product listed will have a link to their review and/or giveaway, a brief description, and a link to purchase the product. This page will be promoted across all our social media networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube), in our holiday newsletter, and on our home page.

How To Be Considered For The Guide

Review Only:

  • Free with minimum product value of $30 (I will consider products under $30, please email me at specialmompreneurs@gmail.com directly
  • Each review will contain pictures of the product and description (sponsor to provide)
  • Each review will contain a “Buy Link” of where the product can be purchased (sponsor to provide)

Giveaway Only:

  • $30 fee made payable through Paypal
  • Rafflecopter will be used for the giveaway
  • Sponsor must provide product description and (preferably a125x125 button image)

Review & Giveaway:

  • Free with minimum product value of $30
  • Rafflecopter will be used for the giveaway
  • Each review will contain pictures of the product and description (sponsor to provide)

Product Feature (no product review/no giveaway):

  • $50 made payable through Paypal
  • Sponsor must supply all the product detail and images for the post (preferably a 125×125 button image)

Only full- sized items, no trial size items will be accepted.

You the sponsor, will be responsible for any shipping costs.  The prices quoted above do not and will not include the cost of shipping.    

Sponsor is also responsible for shipping any products listed for giveaways to the winners, and is also responsible for the cost of shipping.

No items included in the holiday gift guide will be returned after the review is complete.  Any items received will be considered as payment for the time taken to review and promote your brand.

Each submitted product will be given careful consideration to ensure it fits with our respective audience, before being accepted into the guide.

All requests must be in by November 3rd! All products must be received by November 10th! Any items after this date will not be included in the gift guide, except for featured posts.

If you are company, small business owner, entrepreneur or etsy shop that has a product you feel would be of interest to our readers?  Then fill out the form below.

[contact-form-7 id=”4327″ title=”2013 SpecialMoms Holiday Gift Guide Submission Form”]

So “What’s Happening Wednesday”
"Hello SpecialMoms! It's time for What's Happening Wednesdays!"

“Hello SpecialMoms! It’s time for What’s Happening Wednesdays!”

What’s Happening Wednesdays brought to you by SpecialMoms!

So how is your Wednesday going?  Mine has been busy. Had a great meeting this morning with a client developing a plan to publicize her book. Then brought my car to get an oil change as we are heading to Mackinaw Island this weekend for my birthday.  I won’t say my age, but I am feeling it. My husband and I played “spy” this afternoon to see how my son was doing at day camp through our local park.  They were in the local pool and I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the counselors was spending one on one time with him.  You never know how people will take care of your child when you leave them in their care.  So it was nice to see that they are caring for them the way you would like them to.  I encourage every parent to check on your child from time to time when they are in school, camp or even if you let them go to the park on their own.  You don’t want to be mistrusting you just want to be caring!  I know it’s a double edge sword, but I am a mother and I have the right to know. Have a great rest of your day.  Stay cool!

How to Integrate Pinterest into Your Marketing Strategy

pinterest for business If you are a business owner, chances are you have a marketing strategy. You have established goals for each of your individual marketing tactics, including content marketing. And you have created a step by step plan to achieve those goals.

Your marketing strategy likely also has a plan for testing and tracking the success of your goals. Finally, if you’ve been in business for some time then your marketing tactics overlap and you plan how to maximize each new tactic by integrating it with the others.

For example, you may integrate your content marketing efforts with your Facebook strategy by posting teasers and links on Facebook to newly published content on your website. As Pinterest continues to grow in popularity you may be looking at how you can capitalize on this social trend. Before you join

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