What About Homeschool Curriculum For Children With Special Needs?
I am asked this question all the time. What about homeschool curriculum for children with special needs?
It’s what I hear about most from moms considering homeschooling their children with special needs.
What about curriculum?
There’s just so much. I don’t even know where to start!
Should it be different because of my child’s learning differences?
Maybe I should just do online public school first.
I’m overwhelmed and ready to give up before we have even started homeschooling!
I totally, 100% understand.
When we first began this eight year and counting homeschooling journey, the curriculum question was almost too much to even consider. I ended up doing what my friend did in an effort to keep it simple.
I learned all too quickly that what works for one family is not always what works for another. There was nothing simple about curriculum for us in those early years.
Even now, I find myself constantly tweaking our existing choices, and trying new ones, in an effort to meet my boys’ ever changing differences and needs.
Because this is the time of year when most homeschool moms start considering options for next year’s curriculum, I thought I would share our all-time favorite options for children with learning differences and special needs.
I realize not every family will experience the same benefits from our favorites, so I am also including information about many programs we have tried and that I thought worked well for homeschooling with special needs.
My All-Time Favorite Curriculum Choices
These programs just keep coming back, year after year. They work almost flawlessly for my sons’ combined needs and are all user-friendly for me.
All About Reading and Spelling
My youngest son is still struggling to make progress in his reading. At twelve, his dyslexia creates reading struggles every single day. The program that continues to be the most successful in helping him learn, at his pace, and in a way that works best for his dyslexic mind is hands-down All About Reading and now, All About Spelling.
I adore this approach to history. Beautiful Feet weaves stories to bring history to life. It’s never boring and it’s always a favorite with my boys.
Science and History with You ARE An Artist, I Drew It and Then I Knew It
You Are An Artist has an entire collection of courses specifically for science and history. These “I drew it then I knew it” courses give a quick, few minute introduction to the topic in a very conversational and engaging way. Then, Nana encourages the learner to draw what they have learned so much about.
Throughout the art lesson, she weaves in little details about the historic place, person or event and asks the learner to consider their own knowledge as they create. This has been absolutely perfect for my son.
Nature Studies and Hands-On Science with No Sweat Nature Study
Every month, we also complete an online study with No Sweat Nature Study.
- All classes are geared toward 1st-8th grades, but younger and older students are welcome to join.
- Each class lasts 30-45 minutes and includes opportunities for your students to learn about the science topic at hand, complete a nature notebooking page, gain rich scientific vocabulary, interact with the teacher via a chat function, and generally have fun!
- All classes are recorded and placed in a library for you, so there are no worries about scheduling conflicts
My son loves the feeling of learning with “other kids” and the hands-on component Cindy employs are part of her sessions are perfect for children with learning differences and special needs.
Other Curriculum Choices Ideal For Children With Special Needs
In addition to the ones listed above, there are several other programs that I highly recommend and that we have used in the past.
This post represents my experience with various programs and their applications for children with learning differences.
You should know though, far beyond any one option, there is one bit of advice that I I have found to be invaluable when considering curriculum.
Read The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard About Selecting Homeschool Curriculum at Simple Homeschool this week.
For more ideas, resources and support:
Shawna Wingert is a special education teacher turned educational consultant, and mom of two brilliant boys who have learning differences and special needs.
Shawna has also written four books: Everyday Autism, Special Education at Home, Parenting Chaos, and Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs. A passionate advocate for individualized education, Shawna is frequently featured on Today.com, Simple Homeschool, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and The Mighty. She can also be found supporting parents online at her own site, DifferentByDesignLearning.com.