Can you homeschool occupational therapy? First I am not a trained Occupational Therapist, but I am a homeschooling mom who has brainstormed and tried ways to address delays in my boys. When my health insurance would not cover OT, I had to figure out ways to help my sons. One book that really has helped The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, Revised Edition
My third son was 5 when we had him tested. It was half through the school year when I realized things weren’t going the way they had with my older 2 kids. Now that he is 12 we have benefited from some great activities that helped him address his OT delays.
5 Activities to Help Homeschool Occupational Therapy
- Piano Lessons: I was blessed to have a friend who teaches piano lessons. I approached her and ask if she would give my son basic lessons. I really wanted him to learn to play scales since that would help him cross midline. When we started lessons I didn’t know if he would ever actually learn to play but I knew the introduction lessons would help. In the beginning, I did color code the notes to help remember and his teacher did some extra rhythm games to help him learn. Much to my surprise, he is still taking lessons today. Not only he is taking piano lessons, but ukulele lessons. Since he isn’t big enough to play guitar he has learned many skills on the ukulele that someday he can transpose to the guitar.
- Soccer Skills: My son has poor motor planning, not to mention balance issues. I knew a completive soccer team would not be a good fit but clinics that focused on just learning soccer skills was a great alternative. I was able to find a 7-week league that focused on learning skills. I have even seen great strides with swimming lessons and motor planning with my boys.
- Tandem Bike: When your 9-year old still does not ride a bike, it can be a challenge to teach him without him feeling like a baby. Really, I had no idea how to figure this one out. Thankfully a friend emailed me one morning that she had found WeeRide Co-Pilot Bike Trailer at a yard sale. She was convinced that I could teach my boy to ride with it. *Warning* One must have strong leg muscles to help balance for two. He thought it was great for us to work together and go on bike rides. Eventually his balance got better and by the end of the summer he was riding a bike all on his own. Even if he never achieved riding alone I know he would still be happy riding a tandem bike.
- Art co-ops: I am always amazed at how art can bridge gaps with learning styles and abilities. My brother Todd has downs syndrome and a few years ago was exposed to art lessons. After a few months later he was holding art shows and selling his work. My youngest two have been blessed with art lessons with another friend. Together they work on projects with a teacher who understands their strengths and limitations.
- Mime: We have a local program called Louder Than Words. Not only do they teach mime but also disciple young people to have a closer relationship with Christ. Since mimes don’t talk, my kids have had the opportunity to present in public without speaking. Mainly they choreograph skits to songs, which can be a great way to practice the timing of movements with a group.
If you have a list of areas that need to be addressed with either OT or PT, take a look at how you can adapt programs in your area. It might be as simple as getting together with another mother to do art classes, discovering a program like Louder Than Words, or meeting with a piano teacher to brainstorms ways to teach your child.
You don’t always need an OT professional to meet once a week with your child to help them develop. Sometimes you just need the ideas and know the areas that need to be strengthened.
Have you been able to address OT at home? I would love to hear how you did it.