NACD Homeschool & Home Education FAQ

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NACD Program for Home Education FAQ

NACD Homeschool & Home EducationFor those exploring options and asking questions about NACD Home Education or interest in homeschool for your child, we have collected a list of questions and answers that may help you with your decision making process.

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about our NACD Home Education (Homeschooling) program:

What is NACD Home Education? 

NACD Home Education is a proven, time flexible, efficient, effective, home-based educational program for those choosing to homeschool. 

NACD Home Education is an individualized, dynamic, targeted, and comprehensive developmental/educational program designed to accelerate every child’s rate of development and education. Using the science of neuroplasticity, it is possible to accelerate important aspects of development, cognition, and education in significantly less time per day than traditional school or homeschool. NACD Home Education programs are applicable for children across the developmental spectrum, including those with special needs or learning issues, as well as typical and gifted children. For over 40 years NACD has been a leader in cognitive development and working with the whole child within the context of their family. NACD works proactively with the family, working in unison to help our children develop into successful adults. We have a long history of working with homeschoolers. 

Helpful links

T.H.E. Targeted Home Education: http://www.nacd.org/t-h-e-targeted-home-education/

Targeted Home Education – T.H.E. Way Forward: http://www.nacd.org/targeted-home-education-the-way-forward/

NACD Targeted Home-Based Education: The Vision and the Plan: http://www.nacd.org/nacd-targeted-home-based-education-the-vision-and-the-plan/ 

What is the focus of NACD Home Education?

Helping your child establish the foundation that will help them become successful adults.

Although curriculum has become almost synonymous with education, it is not. Education is a process by which we teach and develop the whole child. The foundational pieces that are addressed by NACD Home Education include:

  • Improving your child’s cognition, including short-term memory, working memory, executive function, and maturity—making them smarter
  • Improving your child’s reading
  • Teaching them to love reading and turning them into lifelong readers
  • Accelerating your child’s math abilities
  • Teaching them that math can be easy and to love it
  • Helping them learn how to love learning and become independent thinkers and motivated learners
  • Providing a functional, comprehensive academic education
  • Teaching your child how to be highly capable, be responsible for chores, and to contribute
  • Building their self-esteem, confidence, and independence
  • Physical and emotional health and wellbeing
  • Helping you establish a strong, positive, healthy relationship with your child
  • Helping your child discover and pursue their strengths, interests, and passions
  • Educating the child in the family’s social, spiritual, and philosophical ideals.

Is NACD a homeschool program?

Yes, NACD is home-based, but not a typical curriculum heavy homeschool program. 

NACD provides a home-based education, administered and implemented by parents, family, and caregivers, that addresses the needs of the whole child within the context of the family and the family’s vision for their child. NACD home-based education does not have a specific curriculum and is not curriculum heavy, but rather curriculum specific, individualized, and targeted. With NACD home-based education your child is not plugged into a specific packaged curriculum, but rather the educational approach and content is built around your child, which among other things permits you to accomplish more in much less time per day.

Helpful links

Who We Help – NACD Homeschool & Home Education: http://www.nacd.org/who-we-help/homeschooling/

Is Home Education the same as homeschool? 

No, NACD Home Education is not the same as homeschool.

Many homeschool programs are simply curriculums. Homeschool programs are often built around specific curriculums much like schools. Your child is plugged into a curriculum whether or not it fits them, just as it is done with typical brick and mortar schools. It is not targeted, not specific, and not time, energy, or outcome specific. NACD Home Education Programs assist the parent in every aspect of the child’s development and education, reaching far beyond curriculum.

Helpful links

How to School Your Child: http://www.nacd.org/how-to-school-your-child/

How long per day does it take to do an NACD Home Education Program?

The time commitments per day are flexible and based on the goals and the family’s available time for implementation.

NACD has been designing home-based programs for forty years and has learned how to accommodate a broad range of needs, circumstance, time, and manpower availability. Because each program is individually designed to fit each child within the context of their family, there is great flexibility. Programs have been designed that take minutes per day, hours per day, or that structure the entire day. Programs can be accomplished by stay-at-home parents or parents who work from home or leave the home part time, or even have full time employment. Home education programs have even been implemented by families not just within their homes, but also within their businesses, offices, or as multi-family teams. NACD works with the families to identify the child’s needs and then explores a range of program options and manpower needs, including getting help from grandparents, siblings, college students, and others. We enjoy being creative.

What are NACD’s goals for the children being home educated with them?

Our goal is to help the family create a vision for their child and help them achieve it.

Success is not just not just being able to read or do math or recall a lot of curriculum, but to develop the whole individual. Sadly, whether a child is attending a brick and mortar school or doing a typical homeschool curriculum, the focus is on the curriculum, most of which is quickly forgotten. Our goal is to work with the family to help and develop the whole individual, including development of super cognitive function, a strong academic foundation, and to turn the child into a lifelong reader and independent lifelong confident learner, to teach responsibility, help them become highly capable and to learn service, and to provide the child with the opportunity to discover and build their talents and passions. 

What this entails is close coordination between the family and NACD—a highly individualized, targeted program. So whether the student and family’s goal is to overcome learning or developmental problems for medical or law school, nuclear physics, liberal arts college, trade school, or maybe building a business of their own, NACD will provide the support and guidance to develop that plan. Success is not defined the same way for everyone, but being able to maintain and sustain an independent and successful adult life is important for everyone. However that is defined, NACD is there to assist the student and the family in achieving that dream.

What curriculum does NACD use? 

NACD does not use a packaged curriculum, but creates an educational program designed to fit each specific child.

For decades education has focused on curriculum—what is being taught, not what is being learned. NACD acknowledges and values our children’s uniqueness and works with the family to provide a comprehensive, targeted education that fits the child and focuses on outcomes. NACD does not use a packaged curriculum and develops each child’s educational plan and approaches so as to teach them as effectively and efficiently as possible. Through targeted education more can be taught in significantly less time per day than is typically done in schools or through typical homeschools.

Helpful links

The Sweet Spot: Optimizing Education & Developmental Intervention: http://www.nacd.org/sweet-spot-optimizing-education-developmental-intervention/ 

NACD Articles About Curriculum: http://www.nacd.org/?s=curriculum

If NACD does not follow a specific curriculum, what education materials do you use?

NACD uses a broad range of educational content.

Providing a targeted, individualized education requires an understanding of the learning strengths and weaknesses of the student, targeting and developing their weak areas while taking advantage of their strengths. This necessitates the use of many different materials and different techniques to teach each subject. In addition we need to target the materials for each subject so as to fit the individual’s specific level and to teach to their academic “sweetspot.” Fortunately, between materials created by NACD and the range of books, programs, and online materials and courses available today, we are able to tailor the curriculum to the child. NACD works to target each child’s program to fit their unique needs. 

Do parents need to purchase additional materials?

Yes, at times parents will need to purchase specific books and materials that are recommended. 

Most educational materials needed are very low cost, but effective materials. With high school level students, specific coursework may be recommended depending upon the needs and function of that particular student, as well as requirements by specific states. It is important to keep in mind that the educational plans are truly individualized so we cannot make broad statements as to what specifically will be needed at each level of education or how the materials are to be used.

Is NACD a school?

NACD is not a school in the traditional sense

NACD assists parents in providing a home-based education, addressing the needs of their whole child. This includes cognitive development, nutrition, physical and emotional development, teaching the child how to be highly capable; all while accelerating education and turning them into lifelong readers and learners. Through tri-annual evaluations that are carried out in one of our national or international chapters or via Skype or Zoom and access to daily coaching, NACD can assist any child anywhere on the planet.

Does NACD have a facility where I take my child? 

No.

NACD provides only home-based programs that are designed by NACD and implemented by family and caregivers, in the home environment, under the direction of NACD and with the training and support of NACD staff. 

Does NACD replace going to school? Can my child go to school and NACD?

NACD Home Programs can replace school or work in conjunction with schools.

Every child is unique, every family is unique, and for every family in every area the school opportunities are unique as well. Most of our families do entirely home-based programs. Some children attend school full time and do an NACD program either before or after school or on weekends. And some families do a hybrid program, part time home and part time school. As an example, some of our special needs and typical children as well attend part-time school primarily for the social experience. In some enlightened states, such as Utah, home educated students can participate in any school classes or sports that they wish, so they can go play on the highschool football team or take a physics class. Because every NACD program is individually designed, there are many options.

Does NACD follow the academic guidelines of my state?

Yes.

States and countries all have their specific requirements. NACD works with the family to create a program that meets each state or country’s requirements.

Who actually implements the program with my child? 

NACD staff teach the parents and caregivers how to work with their child and coach them through the process.

NACD home education programs are designed to be implemented primarily by parents and caregivers. For 40 years NACD has successfully trained parents and other non-professionals to implement our programs. Parents primarily work with their child at home each day and receive unlimited support from their NACD coach and NACD Developmentalist. In some cases, the parents are not able to work with their child. College students, nannies, grandparents and other relatives, and older siblings have implemented NACD programs. It does not have to be the parents; however, we do strongly encourage that parents play an active role in managing their child’s programs, ensuring that the activities are being implemented correctly by the person responsible for carrying out the child’s program. 

What does “teaching the parents” mean?

In NACD Home Education Programs NACD works with the parents and the family. The family and caregivers under NACD’s guidance and coaching implement the NACD designed program. 

In an NACD home-based program, parents and caregivers are trained to implement the programs that are designed specifically for their child by NACD following an assessment. Parents are given access to their child-specific online portal that contains their child’s assessments, their programs with implementation videos and instructions for parents, and a chronology of videos that are used to communicate with the child’s evaluator, demonstrate program implementation for parental training, and to document specific educational and developmental problems and progress. Parents and caregivers are given daily access to a coach who provides support and who coordinates and provides ongoing communication with other NACD staff.

Helpful links

Parenting 101 – A Child’s Education Begins with Educating the Parents: http://www.nacd.org/parenting-101-a-childs-education-begins-with-educating-the-parents/

Does NACD give any assistance to parents when the child isn’t cooperating with learning?

Absolutely.

We do. Raising children and improving their function is not always an easy task. NACD evaluators and coaches are there to help with issues as they arise, providing support and guidance when and as needed to help resolve and prevent behavioral problems that may impede progress. We will walk you through those tough times and help develop the cognitive and behavioral foundation that helps avoid most behavioral or compliance issues.

Helpful links

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say: http://www.nacd.org/say-what-you-mean-and-mean-what-you-say-part-2-educationbehavior/

Does NACD help when the work is too hard for my child?

Yes, NACD addresses and resolves these issues.

If “schoolwork” is too hard, the material and approach is not targeted to the child. To varying degrees if a child is being plugged into a curriculum, it is not going to be targeted to fit them. We help by working with you to improve your child’s processing and working memory so that they are simply smarter, and we provide assistance to target where they are academically and to accelerate their pace to get them to a point where the work is not difficult. We create education plans that are designed to target your child’s current processing level so that the work is not too hard; plus we write plans that address the issue of motivation as well. This process is most easily accomplished if the child is doing a home-based NACD program, but can also be accomplished, although a slower process, by working around and with an existing school program.

Helpful links

Does School Remediation Result in Success?: http://www.nacd.org/does-school-remediation-result-in-success-2/

Can I use NACD Home Education if my state or intended college requires sports, music, art, or things like hands-on science labs?

Yes.

With a home-based NACD program, you can access many resources and your program can be customized to help you meet virtually any specific requirements.

Does NACD work with preschool kids?

Yes, NACD works with infants and preschool children.

Because an NACD program is developmental and because the foundation established in the first five years of life can both shape a child’s future and avoid most learning and attention issues, the sooner we can start working with a child and a family, the better. 

Helpful links

NACD Preschool: http://www.nacd.org/who-we-help/preschool/ 

When should I send my child to preschool? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Y63vqyme4

Does NACD work with elementary school children? 

Yes, NACD works with elementary school age children.

NACD believes that targeted developmental and educational support and help is optimal virtually from birth, and therefore provides programs for all children regardless of age. NACD has demonstrated for decades that the early years are incredibly important and that the stronger the foundation, the easier the entire educational experience and the better the educational and life outcomes. Being proactive in the early years (birth through elementary grades) means that the vast majority of learning, attention, and cognitive issues can be avoided. The focus can be on creating excellent learners, lifelong readers, children who love and excel in learning, and who become successful middle, high school and college students, and become successful adults. NACD’s forty plus years of experience has permitted us to follow individuals literally from birth to adult and parenthood. We are proud to be working with many children whose successful parents were on NACD home-based and homeschool programs themselves.

Helpful links

NACD Parent Testimonial: http://www.nacd.org/testimonial-from-the-parent-of-three-nacd-graduates/

Does NACD work with middle school/junior high children?

Yes, NACD works with middle school and jr. high children.

NACD works with children and adults of all ages. Many children come to us in the middle school and jr. high years because of learning, attention, attitude, and behavior issues that are not being addressed by school or homeschool, or simply because parents are aware that their child is not being given the needed opportunities to achieve their potential. These can be challenging years for many children and parents alike, and parents’ daily access to coaches and staff can be the difference between success and failure or mediocrity and excellence. 

What can NACD do for my high school child?

NACD can make a world of difference in the lives of high school children.

Families often start on NACD home-based programs for their high school students because they have discovered that issues identified in elementary school were never actually addressed and remediated and accommodations were doing more harm than good. Many parents at this time realize that their vision for their child has become clouded, and there are questions about where their child is going, their future. Other parents realize that they have high school students who lack a love of reading and learning and have not had an opportunity to explore and develop their own interests and a direction. And other parents realize that their visions for high achievement and success are not being realized through their child’s schooling. High school is not too late. Processing and cognition can still be developed, children can still be taught to be responsible, children can still be turned into active participants, and areas needing remediation can still be taken care of, and there is still time to excel. NACD has worked with countless children who lacked a foundation and a vision for their futures who have learned who they are and put together the pieces to become successful in college and in professions, successful entrepreneurs or whatever their chosen career path, successful whole adults.

Does NACD work with college students?

Yes, NACD works with college students.

Once in college students may discover that they lack the cognitive foundation to compete or excel. Some work way too hard for the results they are achieving, or they are even working hard and failing. NACD’s cognitive programs, including the online Simply Smarter program, can often produce rapid change in cognition and help make a poor student a good student and a good student an excellent student, providing them with the edge they need to excel. In addition many bright children get through K-12 without obvious identified issues, but when they reach college and face much greater challenges both in and out of the classroom, things begin to fall apart. It is not too late.

Helpful links

NACD Articles about College: http://www.nacd.org/?s=college

Will NACD work with my child with dyslexia?

Yes, NACD has worked with thousands of children over the years that were identified as dyslexic.

What we find is that each one of them is unique and needs a very specific program designed to address and eliminate their underlying issues, along with an individualized reading program to accelerate their development in reading. We do not take a “one size fits all” approach with any child and do not see “dyslexia” as a permanent issue. 

Helpful links

Read about NACD’s views on dyslexia here: http://www.nacd.org/dyslexia-what-is-it-and-what-can-you-do-about-it/

NACD Program for Dyslexia: http://www.nacd.org/who-we-help/dyslexia/

My child is in special education. Can they join NACD?

Yes, NACD can work with children who are currently in special education.

Many families, once they discover NACD, often realize that they can do more with NACD’s help at home and pull their children out of school. Others do not have the option of home-based education or homeschool, and NACD works with the family and the school to provide as many opportunities as possible.

NACD has been designing and supervising home-based developmental, therapeutic, and education programs for special needs children for over forty years. Our founder and director, Bob Doman, began his career as a special education teacher in 1969 and by the age of 25 was the Education Director of a large special needs school and the United Cerebral Palsy Organization. In this capacity he was designing and supervising the special education programs and overseeing the speech, physical, and occupational therapy programs. While still in his twenties, Bob was designing home-based programs for special needs children from throughout the United States and in Spain and Israel. Since 1979 when NACD was founded, NACD has been innovative in the development of cognitive, academic, and developmental programs for special needs children. NACD is and has always been home-based, designing targeted programs that often replace not only schools but the need for other therapies as well, teaching and supervising parents and caregivers in the implementation of targeted programs for their special needs children. Part of the foundation of NACD’s success has been an understanding and application of the proven principles of neuroplasticity, acknowledging the importance of very targeted input (NACD utilizes over 3000 specific methods and techniques), frequency (specific input provided often numerous times per day, not once or twice a week), intensity (programs implemented by parents, the people who know the child the best and who are the most vested in seeing them progress), and the importance of being dynamic (constantly changing to remain targeted; NACD provides daily access to coaches and staff). NACD provides home-based, targeted programs designed around the parents’ time and resources for the full range of special needs children, including those on the autism spectrum, Down syndrome, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and many others.

Helpful links

NACD program for homeschooling children with special needs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URcjTLPcKd8

NACD Articles about Special Education: http://www.nacd.org/?s=special+education

Does NACD work with adults with special needs?

Yes, NACD has vast experience helping adults with special needs.

NACD has a long history of helping adults with special needs and literally changing their lives. As children, most of those with special needs were provided with an “appropriate” education. Unfortunately, this means that the program was lowered and the expectations limited and opportunities provided based on the perceived potential. The outcomes were self fulfilling prophecies. Expect less, provide less, and get less. Rarely if ever are efforts made to even develop cognition, the foundation of all learning and function. Fortunately, NACD has been developing cognitive function in both children and adults, based on the science of neuroplasticity, for decades and has produced often amazing outcomes. It’s never too late, and unfortunately, as many parents of special needs adults are realizing, they are either doing things to improve their function and abilities or their adult children are regressing. One of our main goals with an adult with special needs is to increase their independence and maturity. The need for help for those with special needs may never be greater than it is for the adult with special needs. 

Does NACD work with babies?

Yes, NACD works with typical babies as well as those with developmental issues.

If NACD could design programs for all babies and have parents and grandparents implement them, we could change the world. Without a doubt what can and should be done before a child ever enters school will impact the rest of their lives more than most anything that can happen in subsequent years. Virtually every hour of targeted input a parent provides a baby forever changes their brains and lives. It is vital that children with special needs are addressed and helped as whole individuals, not as pieces, and that they receive daily intervention, not a session or two a week. Learning and attention problems are referred to as developmental problems because they are mostly the reflections of steps and opportunities having been missed in the first few years of life. LIkewise, smart children are not created in schools and colleges as much as they are created before they ever go to school.

How much does NACD Home Education cost? 

There is a one time initial evaluation fee, followed by a monthly membership fee. 

To view our current fee schedule, please register for our get started process here. NACD.org/get-started

Are there any scholarships available for NACD? 

Yes.

NACD has scholarships available to help with the initial fee to join. To learn more about any potential scholarships available, please complete our get started process here: NACD.org/get-started

How do I join the NACD Home Education program?

To begin the process of joining the NACD Home Education program, the parent first goes through the free Get Started (http://www.nacd.org/get-started/) section on our website that helps them understand the philosophy and mechanics of our program. The family then completes and submits a comprehensive application/history of the child. The application is reviewed by NACD staff and is followed up by an interview between a staff member and the parent or parents. The interview is to determine if the family and NACD are a good fit. Following the interview the family will be given a list of any additional information that may be needed. This list varies from child to child and varies depending on whether there will be an in-person evaluation or Skype. Included in the list of requests are specific tests to be completed, as well as records and videos to be uploaded to our Family Portal. 

After everything has been submitted, the child is evaluated by an NACD professional evaluator, and with the aid of the parent, a developmental profile is completed and an overall direction and game plan is agreed upon. The NACD professional evaluator then designs the home education program, which along with the evaluation and profile, is posted on the NACD Family Portal, with written and video training materials for the parent. 

Every family is provided with a coach who is available to assist and guide them. The coach is available to the family Monday-Friday. The coach also acts as the family’s communication link to their evaluator. Within two weeks of starting the program, the parent is requested to video implementation of the various aspects of the child’s program and post them on the Portal for the evaluator’s review, comments, and modifications.

The child’s program is dynamic, and through ongoing communication with the coach and the evaluator and videos, the programs are modified on an ongoing basis as needed.

Every four months the child is re-evaluated and program modifications made.

Is there a question about Home Education or Homeschool that we missed?

Let us know by contacting us at: info@nacd.org or by leaving a question for us using the support chat feature in the lower right corner of your browser window. We are happy to answer any questions you might have!

Reprinted by permission NACD Newsletter, August 2020 ©NACD

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