Special Needs Solutions for Homeschool Families

Special Needs-FB Event

This event has passed. CHEA members may still register using the button below and receive access to all 16 hours of recorded content. Not a CHEA member? Join when registering for this event!

Register Now

Thursday, August 13, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Many people think of “special needs” as the same as learning disabilities, and many of these learning differences require special teaching methods. But “special needs” encompasses much more than learning difficulties. It is a broad range of needs, and a parent’s calling is to help children learn and fulfill their God-given mission.

Thousands of families are successfully teaching their own children who have special needs. These special challenges are better handled in the loving environment of home.

Join us for this one-day mini-conference that will offer solutions for homeschooling families who teach students across a spectrum of special needs.


The Main Track workshops are free to all, with registration. The Members Only Track will offer additional live workshops and recordings exclusively as a benefit to those who are CHEA Members (you can become a member during event registration). While free, registration is required to access both the Main Track and Members Only Track.

This event has passed. CHEA members may still register using the button below and receive access to all 16 hours of recorded content. Not a CHEA member? Join when registering for this event!

Register Now

Thank You to Our Sponsor


Workshop Recordings (Available to CHEA Members)

Auditory, What? (Dr. Jan Bedell)
Have you ever talked to your child and he looks right at you but goes off and does something totally different? You might ask yourself: Is this a discipline issue? Do I need to get his hearing checked? What has happened to his character? In this workshop, discover reasons why this is happening and what can be done to remedy the situation.

Autistic, Asperger’s, and other Sensory Kids: Overcome the challenges and unlock learning potential in your homeschool! (Marilee Coots)
Children on the autism spectrum have difficulty receiving and processing information through their senses. This can lead to misunderstanding what you tell them, social difficulties, sensory overload, meltdowns, fears, and rigidity. They also may have difficulty using their hands, expressing themselves through speech and language, and with movement or coordination. At home, with simple activities, you can supply information to your child’s brain and nervous system to improve how they can learn and function. This workshop with give you some of these neurodevelopmental ideas methods to effectively help your child.

The Benefits of Writing An IEP for Your Child (Dawn Spence)
Setting goals that can provide a roadmap to your child’s education

Breaking the Myths and Walking in the Shoes of Students with Dyslexia, Learning, and Attention Challenges (Jill Stowell)
Because they look like everyone else, students with learning and attention challenges are easily misunderstood. This session will give you a fun, engaging look into the truth behind 7 common myths about learning challenges, what it feels like to have a learning or attention challenge, and what can be done to permanently change these challenges.

Can ordinary parents successfully homeschool children with special needs without special services? Yes you can! Here’s how! (Marilee Coots)
You don’t need a special education credential or a therapy degree to help your child at home. You are the expert on your child who can provide specific input to that child. In this workshop you will learn neurodevelopmental ideas and hands-on methods that can advance your child’s learning.

Cheap Online Resources for Special Education Homeschooling (Peggy Ployhar)
With over 100 links to share, families who are looking for resources on a budget will find practical information and resources for teaching a variety of students.

Customizing Your Curriculum (Peggy Ployhar)
With a focus on individualizing education, parents will receive practical tips for how to do that for unique children based on their strengths while still remediating areas of learning difficulties.

The Essentials of Special Education Homeschool (Peggy Ployhar)
Geared toward new homeschoolers, learn how to get started on the right track and avoid common pitfalls of homeschooling a child with special needs. The basics of homeschooling high school will also be covered.

Foundation of Learning Styles (More than Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic) (Dr. Jan Bedell)
A child’s learning abilities increase when their brain is properly stimulated. Dr. Jan shares how to optimize the brain for better performance in academics and in life. Discover the most efficient way to teach math operations, math facts, reading, spelling, and penmanship. Learn practical techniques ensuring higher performance whether gifted, typical, or challenged.

Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD — There is Hope for Change (Dr. Jan Bedell)
Do you suspect Dyslexia/ADD/ADHD or other learning labels? Labels typically come from a list of symptoms, not a “disease” or “brain abnormality.” Dr. Jan will guide you through the root causes of symptomatic labels and give practical skills for training your child’s brain to eliminate the symptoms. Open a brilliant future for your child through understanding how the brain works…or why it doesn’t currently seem to be working so well. The goal of this workshop is to help you unlock your child’s full potential.

Skill & Transition Planning for Homeschool Special Eduation (Peggy Ployhar)
Any parent knows a student’s learning goes beyond basics academics. But, parents of special needs students are even more aware of this truth. Successful post-homeschool transitioning of a special needs student requires planning. In this workshop, parents of special needs homeschooling students will be lead through a plan that helps them be intentional in setting up a transition plan that will ready their student for life beyond homeschool.

SUCCESSFULLY Homeschooling Your Child with Learning Differences (Jill Stowell)
You know homeschooling is the right option for your child with learning differences, but you wonder if you are up to the task. This session will help you understand your struggling learner and give you practical strategies for making learning more fun and successful.

Understanding and Using Test Results in Your Homeschool (Sharon Hensley)
So – you have had your child tested – now what? How can you understand and use the results to create a homeschool program that meets your child’s needs? Can you access public school services for your child? Sharon Hensley will guide you through the basics of testing so that the results you have will be a help – not just a bunch of numbers!! Even if you don’t have testing results for your child – understanding the basics of testing may help you make a decision whether “to test or not to test?”

What Can I Do To Help My Child Be Successful At Co-op? (Dawn Spence)
Practical strategies to help your child to have a positive co-op experience

Pre-Recorded Sessions Available to Members

Accommodations: What Every Homeschooling Parent Needs to Know (Faith Berens)
This workshop addresses a crucial, but frequently misunderstood topic related to special needs homeschooling. In this power-packed workshop, Faith explains the difference between accommodations and modifications, describes 504 Accommodation Law, and answers homeschooling parents’ most frequently asked questions, including:

  • Can I give accommodations to my child on end-of-the-year standardized tests? What type of documentation is needed to do so?
  • How do homeschoolers apply for special testing accommodations for college entrance exams? What documentation is required by the College Board and ACT in order for my high schooler to be considered for and granted special testing accommodations?
  • Should high school students with disabilities discuss and disclose their diagnosis during the college application process?
  • Can my college student receive accommodations? What accommodations are colleges required to provide to students with disabilities?

Equipping Minds for Success in Reading, Writing and Math (Faith Berens)
What do underlying cognitive functioning skills such as working memory, processing speed, visualization, visual and auditory memory, and naming speed have to do with reading success? Everything! Come discover how Equipping Minds, a Cognitive Development Curriculum, when integrated into part of your educational program can transform the minds of your students and set them up for reading and other academic success.


TLP Education
Foreign language classes, tutoring, and college prep. Online or in-home, including special needs.

Help With Learning
What if learning could be easier? Our programs teach you how.

Home School Legal Defense Association
As trusted homeschool advocates, we provide legal and educational support.

RightStart Mathematics
RightStart Math uses a visual, auditory, and kinesthetic approach, perfect for learning challenges.

Meet the Speakers

Jan Bedell, Ph.D. M ND
0_39_328_328_Jans-convention-picIn 1992, a journey started that transitioned Jan from desperate homeschool mom of a struggling learner into a master neurodevelopmentalist. With her new knowledge of brain optimization, coupled with experience as a public, private and home school teacher, she developed curriculum and training programs for parent and professionals. The NeuroDevelopmental Approach gave her hope for her daughter and now Dr. Jan aka Brain Coach™ dedicates her time to helping children, teens and adults reach their fullest God-given potential whether they are gifted, typical, or challenged.

Faith Beren
11_0_154.21875_240_2014-01-24-Faith-Berens-014-680x1024Faith’s own learning struggles and diagnosis of dyscalculia compelled her compassion for other bright but struggling students. A fifteen-year teaching career before she became a homeschool mom included both public and private schools, tutoring, and working as a reading specialist. Her specific area of expertise is the identification and remediation of reading difficulties. As an extroverted-introvert who is a lifelong learner and an avid reader, her 2008 transition to homeschooling her own two children was a natural one. Faith currently applies her passionate advocacy for special needs students as she speaks at homeschooling conferences across the nation and internationally. She also serves as a Special Needs Consultant for Home School Legal Defense Association in addition to having her own in-home, private practice as an educational diagnostician.

Marilee Nicoll Coots, B.A., M.C.Nd.
Coots-211smlwebBefore Marilee received professional training and certification in neurodevelopment and founding Help With Learning in 1995, she was a homeschool mom, beginning her homeschool journey in 1988. She has since taken additional training in Neurodevelopment, Sound therapy, Feeding therapy, Oral Placement therapy, Rhythmic Movement Training, Neural Touch, Reflex Integration and Structure of Intellect. She is certified at Master level by the International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists (ICAN). She now helps parents of children with learning disabilities, hyperactivity, attention deficits, and special needs, developing homeschool programs that can help children reach more of their full God-given potential.

Sharon Hensley
IMG-0987Sharon Hensley is the author of Home Schooling Children with Special Needs. She holds a Master’s Degree in special education and has worked with a variety of special needs children including her oldest daughter who is autistic and mentally retarded. Sharon began teaching in 1983, and moved into the field of special education in 1985. She has done classroom teaching, private therapy and consulting. She began homeschooling in 1992 and homeschooled her children for 23 years and also directed Almaden Valley Christian School, a PSP for families with special needs children. Sharon is now semi-retired and primarily works as a life coach with adults who struggle with organizational and executive function difficulties.

Peggy Ployhar 
8215_Ployhar2nd-101Peggy Ployhar, SPED Homeschool Founder & CEO, is a leader in the special education homeschooling community and a frequent writer and speaker on special education homeschooling issues. This physicist turned home educator left a lucrative career in the medical device industry to teach the struggling learners in her own home which eventually turned into a lifetime calling. Peggy founded SPED Homeschool in 2017 and now leads an organization that helps thousands of families across the globe to confidently teach special education in their own homes. Peggy is also the host of the very popular live broadcast and podcast, SPED Homeschool Conversations, a weekly talk show where her guests address relevant issues related to special education homeschooling.

Dawn Spence
unnamedDawn Spence, SPED Homeschool Teaching manager, is an Early Elementary coordinator at her local co-op, providing support to families with special needs children. She also writes how-to articles to support parents who are homeschooling special needs children with her experience of being a special education teacher and having children with special needs.


Jill Stowell
StowellJillJill graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Masters degree in learning handicaps. After several years as a public school special education teacher, she opened Stowell Learning Center because she knew there was more that could be done for smart but struggling students than the schools were providing. Over the last 35 years she and her staff have helped thousands of children and adults solve their learning and attention challenges.

This event has passed, but you can still register using the button below and receive access to the recording and other great content.

“What are Special Needs and Does My Child Have Them?” Webinar
Thursday, August 6, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

Are you frustrated with your child’s progress – but aren’t sure if it is really a learning problem? Learning Specialist and veteran homeschooler, Sharon Hensley, will guide you through the process of thinking about “special needs” in a homeschool setting. What exactly are special needs? How do you know if your child has a special learning need or is just lazy? Is it important to have a diagnosis? How do you get services and testing? What if you don’t want a label – can you still make accommodations for your child’s learning differences? Are attention problems a “special need”?

Before our Mini-Conference on August 13, which is chock-full of tips, advice, and solutions for those homeschooling children with special needs, join us for this special webinar.

Register Now