NCHE Summit on Teaching Exceptional Children


From Cheryl Swope | September 24, 2019 | Faith, For Special Needs

This weekend I will gather with homeschooling parents of children with special needs in North Carolina for the NCHE Summit on Teaching Exceptional Children. This will be a small conference. As much as I love the energy and sheer numbers of a large convention, I enjoy the intimacy of small conferences. With a few moments of quiet time to look into a mother’s eyes, feel her heart, and know her struggles, my joy in the small conference comes in connecting to a mother one-on-one, individualizing help for her child, and knowing she is leaving that conference equipped to carry on.

This gathering is designed to encourage parents, but I know in advance that the homeschoolers will encourage me. From my speaking platform I often look into faces of concerned, wearily devoted parents who strive to understand, accept, and strengthen a child with autism or adhd, dyslexia or dysgraphia, intellectual disability or medical conditions. Often, but not always, these children are adopted. Often, but not always, the parents show me pictures of their struggling children. Tears often accompany these conferences, but we share hope.

Just by joining us in a gathering of homeschoolers, they have hope.An increasing number of parents choose homeschooling specifically to address their children’s learning differences or learning challenges in ways unmatched by many traditional special education programs. The one-on-one approach instantly elevates the ability of the homeschooling parent.

We will bring catalogs to share the good news that a curriculum exists for schools and for homeschools, designed just for children with special needs! We retain the wonder, beauty, and imagination of art, music, science, and a good story while addressing the needs of children who struggle to learn. Join us on Instagram @_simplyclassical_ for photos of children who benefit from the Simply Classical Curriculum and from the dedicated parents who teach them.

I love one-day conferences, as they afford me the ability to meet with families, share multiple sessions, and return home with only two nights away from my own adult children with special needs, Michael and Michelle. This is in contrast to the multi-day conferences where I am away four nights at a time. My hard-working husband, who keeps our children and manages all meals and medications so I can travel, appreciates one-day conferences too!

Often before these conferences I prepare my talks, rest my body, swim a few laps to relax, and pray. I pray for the families I will meet. I pray for wisdom to help them. I pray for the children reached by these families. If you are so inclined, join me in praying for them too.

Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24





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