Finding the right curriculum can be a challenge for any homeschooler. Add in homeschooling a child with ADHD and the task can seem almost impossible. This is everything you need to get started as a parent making homeschool curriculum choices for your child with ADHD.
When we first started homeschooling, more than a decade ago, I knew my son had some learning differences, but it wasn’t until two years later that we received his formal ADHD diagnosis. It took another two years or so for me to feel confident in the decisions I was making for his homeschool curriculum. Why did it take so long?
The Challenge Of Finding An Appropriate Homeschool Curriculum When Your Child Has ADHD
The reality is that most homeschool curriculums are modeled after the traditional curriculums used in traditional classrooms (think textbooks, worksheets, and quizzes). For many children with ADHD, this is simply not the best approach to helping them learn. In fact, it may be the worst way to help your child comprehend and retain new learning. In fact, there’s been a push towards unschooling ADHD students because of this reality.
Research shows that children with ADHD almost always require a multi-sensory and much more fluid approach to learning. This is just as a true in the classroom as it is in your home. The good news is, it’s a lot easier to provide in the individualized setting homeschooling provides.
How To Choose The Best Homeschool Curriculum For Your Child With ADHD
Look For Multisensory Options First
Multisensory learning is incredibly successful for all children, not just those with ADHD. One mom and classroom teacher was surprised by how much her entire classroom benefitted from many of the same multisensory interventions our kids require.
Some of the best possible curriculum choices will often include things like:
- Music and Song For Memorization
- Hands-On Crafts and other Activities
Consider Online Curriculum Options Carefully
Unfortunately, not all online curriculums are created equally. In fact, many are simply textbooks set into PowerPoint presentations with quizzes at the end.
An ADHD friendly online curriculum will employ games, video, music and other engaging multisensory activities to keep your child’s engagement.
Short Lessons Are Best
It is better to work with your child’s brain than against it! Consider curriculums that offer short, to the point lessons. One of my favorite examples of this is CTCMath. Each daily lesson is no more than 5 minutes with a 5 question quiz at the end. This has ended all the resistance to math we were experiencing, and has increased my son’s mathematical ability tenfold. Less sometimes really is more!
Incorporate Interests As Often As Possible
Children with ADHD typically have the ability to focus intensely on subjects that are captivating to them. It’s one of the hallmarks of ADHD. A child who is distracted throughout the day can suddenly maintain focus for more than an hour on a building project or special interest. You can use this to your advantage when selecting a curriculum.
For example, if you know your child is obsessed with Harry Potter, you might try a Harry Potter unit study. If your child loves nerf guns, you may incorporate them into the learning, allowing him to shoot at the correct answers posted on the wall outside.
The Best Advice I Can Give You For Selecting An ADHD Friendly Homeschool Curriculum
No matter what curriculum you choose, the very best tip that I have for you is this – Stop the comparison.
I know it’s hard, especially when confronted with pictures and stories of other homeschooling families blissfully learning together side by side at the table (while yours is hanging upside down on the couch).
The beauty of homeschooling is that you can create a learning environment based on your child’s needs, and not what everyone else is doing. I know it’s a challenge, but try not to compare your homeschool to anyone else’s.
Our All Time Favorite Homeschool Curriculum Choices For Children With ADHD
Over the course of the past ten years, these programs have been tried and true resources for helping my child with ADHD learn.
Outschool Classes (interest-led)
This list does not include the many manipulatives we also employed to help with learning. Here are some of the best supplemental resources we have used.
Yes! You Can Homeschool Your Child With ADHD
It may seem daunting at first, but it is my firm belief that homeschooling is the best choice for many children with ADHD. The ability to move at your own pace, individualize your child’s learning, and create an environment focused on your child’s strengths instead of whether or not they can sit still at a desk, all contribute to an amazing education for your child with ADHD.