Think of the size, shape and skin colour of an average person’s head. Now imagine that head is a shopping cart. Next, imagine pushing that cart through a very large toy store, with long aisles of interesting toys, most of which you’ve never even heard of. Have you done that? Good, here’s the last detail; you’re given a credit card and told you can shop as long as you want, and buy anything you desire.
This toy store is :
- Open 24 hours a day,
- Stocked with anything you could ever want (if you know where to look for it)
- Equipped with rocket-strapped shopping carts, so you can race your neighbour.
Learning in a digitally enabled world has all the benefits of our fictional toy store. Remember the learning regime of previous years, that had us doing this over and over until we understood it? The good news is, schooling no longer has to function in such dull repetition. Homeschooling children with autism should have repetitive lessons, but not boring ones. Lets see how it can be done.
From an early age, drive the following point home; learning is not about reading huge heavy textbooks for 12-17 years of your young life. Learning is a daily occurrence, and it’s about more than learning how to keep a job in adult years. Learning should take place as often as possible, preferably without the label. It’s easier to ask –
“John, how many apples are on the table and in the fridge?’ THAN
“John, what’s 2+5+6?”
Activities after tutoring sessions should reinforce learning. Consider letting your child go crazy with a pot of paint after learning about colours and shapes. See what comes out. Remember to encourage (don’t force) what’s important. But remember, don’t label it as school time. Fake playing with ‘fun learning’.
Learning through play has been has been effective for us since time immemorial, thousands of years old. Sitting at a table holding a thick textbook is a recent human invention. The most effective way for learning through play (not to mention convenient), is through the numerous award winning apps available. Just be careful; you might want to play them yourself.
Homeschooling techniques for children with autism does not have to be staid, boring and stale. It can be as lively, colourful and fun as you can make it. You like visiting the toy store, don’t you?