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Does your child need a Student Education Plan (SEP) for home school?

posted Feb 17, 2017, 5:11 PM by Judi Munday   [ updated Feb 18, 2017, 8:46 AM ]
The Student Education Plan is a homeschool equivalent of the public school's IEP. It lays out the child's strengths and weaknesses in areas that are delaying progress in learning.  In many cases, this would be a very lengthy list when the student has multiple diagnoses, so it becomes important to set some priorities.  Choosing which deficits or weaknesses (academic, behavioral, or life-skills) is a critical process that prevents burnout for both parent and student!  There are so many reasons that an SEP is a valuable tool for home schooling.  It puts a "spotlight" on the most critical needs as they are stated as annual goals. The SEP also states several "short-term" goals that are a sequenced set of skills that the student must master in order to reach the annual goal. Not only does the SEP help with instructional planning, it also provides a means of monitoring progress since each SEP goal page has four columns (dated to correspond to the quarters of a school year) in which the parent/teacher records when the skill was introduced and documents progress or lack of progress. Once the child has mastered a skill, the teacher also documents that. 
For many students with special needs, it is critical to make some accommodations to instruction, setting, testing options, and curriculum materials.  The SEP includes the specific adaptations (accommodations) that the student required to make progress. These become part of the student's school record that can be useful first for providing evidence to a local school system at the end of each academic year. The cumulative school record may be required for the student to advance to post-secondary employment or education.  Documentation of the student's need for accommodations will ensure access to similar support in adult life.  The SEP is therefore an important tool both during the student's school years as well as in the student's adult life.  It helps the parent/teacher and the learner.