Inside: For some families, homeschooling their child with ADHD or Autism is the best option for them. Here are some curriculum options for kids who learn differently.
When I first started as an advocate, my own child was still quite small. He was only in preschool, so until I had worked with a few clients, my experience level was only preschool IEPs. And certainly nothing about homeschooling a child with autism or ADHD.
And, I was so gung-ho about advocating for your child, I wanted everyone to “fight every battle” and “force the school to provide what your child is entitled to” and all that kinda stuff.
But then, after a few clients, reality set in. I had one client who was a single mom working two jobs. Several moms were fighting IEP battles while caring for an aging parent. One was a caregiver to her husband and had 2 boys with IEPs.
It became clear that not every family can “fight every battle every time.” Sometimes you look for other options. Parents look for a different route, because they just don’t have it in them to fight with the school anymore.
I get that.
And, homeschooling is one of those options.
For the purposes of this article, when I’m talking about homeschooling, I am talking about true homeschooling. You have withdrawn your child from your local school district (LEA) and have not enrolled them in any other educational venue.
I say this because cyber learning and cyber charters are a “thing.” And, in most states, charter schools are considered public schools and receive tax money.
They are required to provide IEPs and 504s, just like your brick and mortar schools are.
So, if that is you, you are enrolling in a cyber charter, then you don’t choose your curriculum. You are going to go through the IEP process just like you always have.
But, your child will remain at home with you, and so I also get why some people call it “homeschooling.”
I still get inquiries all the time from homeschooling families. Over the years, these have been the most frequently mentioned curricula for ADHD and Autistic Students.
Homeschooling a child with ADHD or autism can be a challenging task. Finding the right curriculum that caters to their unique learning needs is crucial. Traditional curriculums that rely on textbooks, worksheets, and quizzes may not be the most effective approach for children with ADHD or autism.
Parents need to consider their child’s individual needs and learning style when choosing a homeschool curriculum. Hands-on learning and shorter lessons may work better for children with ADHD or autism. It is also important to provide a learning environment that is free from distractions and allows for movement and fidgeting.
Understanding ADHD and Autism
Fortunately, there are numerous homeschool curriculums available that cater specifically to children with ADHD or autism. With the right curriculum, parents can provide their child with a quality education that meets their unique needs and helps them reach their full potential.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder (again, disorder is the medical community’s word, not mine!) that affects an estimated 6.1 million children in the United States. Children with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention, controlling their impulses, and staying still. Symptoms of ADHD may include forgetfulness, disorganization, fidgeting, interrupting others, and difficulty completing tasks.
There are three types of ADHD: inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined type. Inattentive type is characterized by difficulty paying attention, while hyperactive-impulsive type is characterized by hyperactivity and impulsivity. Combined type is a combination of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types.
What is Autism?
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder (this is the medical community’s word, not mine) that affects social interaction, communication, and behavior. Children with autism may have difficulty with social cues, making eye contact, and understanding nonverbal communication. They may also engage in repetitive behaviors, have intense interests, and struggle with changes in routine.
It’s important to note that ADHD and autism are two separate conditions, although they can sometimes co-occur. Children with ADHD may have some symptoms that overlap with autism, such as difficulty with social interactions, but they do not have the same underlying causes or diagnostic criteria.
I am aware that the spirit of neurodivergence frowns upon negative, ableist terms like “disorder.” However, I am including it because it is what the medical community still uses. And, I never know who all is going to read my stuff, and it’s an opportunity to share new terms and new information.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum
When homeschooling a child with ADHD or autism, choosing the right curriculum can be a challenging task. Parents need to consider several factors to ensure that the curriculum meets their child’s specific needs.
Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a homeschool curriculum:
Children with ADHD or autism often have unique learning styles that require a curriculum that caters to their individual needs. Parents should look for a curriculum that offers multisensory activities and lessons that cater to different learning styles.
For example, some children may learn better through hands-on activities, while others may prefer visual aids or auditory instruction. Parents should also consider their child’s strengths and interests when choosing a curriculum.
Children with ADHD or autism may have sensory processing issues that require a curriculum that accommodates their sensory needs. Parents should look for a curriculum that allows for movement and incorporates fidgeting tools.
They should also consider the noise level and lighting in the learning environment. For example, some children may need a quiet space to focus, while others may need background noise to concentrate.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a legal document that outlines the special education services and accommodations that a child with a disability requires. Parents should consider their child’s IEP when selecting a homeschool curriculum. They should look for a curriculum that aligns with their child’s IEP goals and provides the necessary accommodations and modifications.
When choosing a homeschool curriculum for a child with ADHD or autism, parents should consider their child’s learning style, sensory needs, and individualized education plan. By selecting a curriculum that caters to their child’s unique needs, parents can create a successful learning environment for their child.
If your child has never been in a public school, you will not have an IEP.
But, if your child has an IEP, surely some parts of it are correct. Even if you are so frustrated that you are pulling out your child to homeschool. If nothing else, your IEP may be an outline of what didn’t work for your child. You should keep those points in mind when choosing a curriculum.
Top Homeschool Curriculums for ADHD and Autism
When it comes to homeschooling children with ADHD or Autism, finding the right curriculum can be a challenge. Here are some top homeschool curriculums that have been proven to work well for children with ADHD and Autism.
And, I also want to add–my own headline for this article is making me twitch. But, I looked it up and it is correct.
Time4Learning is an online homeschool curriculum that offers interactive lessons for children from PreK to 12th grade. The lessons are designed to be engaging and interactive, which can help children with ADHD and Autism stay focused and interested.
The curriculum includes a variety of subjects, including math, language arts, science, and social studies. Time4Learning also offers a parent dashboard where parents can track their child’s progress and customize the curriculum to meet their child’s needs.
2. Teaching Textbooks
Teaching Textbooks is a math curriculum that is specifically designed for children with ADHD and Autism. The curriculum uses interactive lessons and step-by-step explanations to help children understand math concepts.
It also includes automatic grading and feedback, which can help children stay motivated and engaged. Teaching Textbooks offers courses for children from 3rd grade to 12th grade.
3. All About Reading and All About Spelling
All About Reading and All About Spelling are language arts curriculums that are designed to be multisensory and interactive. The curriculums use a variety of techniques, such as games and manipulatives, to help children with ADHD and Autism learn to read and spell.
The curriculums are also designed to be flexible, so parents can customize the lessons to meet their child’s needs.
4. Autism Homeschooling Resources
For parents of children with Autism, there are a variety of homeschooling resources available. The Autism Homeschooling Resources website offers a variety of resources, including lesson plans, curriculum recommendations, and support groups.
The website also includes information on how to create a homeschooling environment that is tailored to the needs of children with Autism.
Finding the right homeschool curriculum for children with ADHD and Autism can be a challenge, but with the right resources and support, it is possible to create a successful homeschooling experience.
Frequently Asked Questions about Homeschooling and ADHD or Autism
Which homeschool curriculum is best for different learners?
When it comes to homeschooling special needs children, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each child is unique, and their learning needs and styles should be taken into consideration when choosing a curriculum. It is recommended that parents consult with professionals and other homeschooling parents to determine the best curriculum for their child.
What are the top homeschool curriculums for ADHD and autism?
Some of the top homeschool curriculums for children with ADHD and autism include Time4Learning, Sonlight, and Teaching Textbooks. However, as previously mentioned, it is important to consider the individual needs of the child before selecting a curriculum.
What is the best math curriculum for homeschooling a child with ADHD?
Teaching Textbooks is a popular math curriculum for homeschooling children with ADHD. It is designed to be self-paced and interactive, which can help keep children engaged and focused on the material.
Are there any free homeschool programs for special needs children?
Yes, there are several free homeschool programs available for special needs children. Some of these programs include Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool, Khan Academy, and The Good and the Beautiful.
Do ADHD children tend to do better with homeschooling?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as each child is different. However, many parents of children with ADHD have reported that homeschooling has been beneficial for their child. Homeschooling allows for a more individualized approach to learning, which can be helpful for children with ADHD.
Is homeschooling a good option for children with autism?
Homeschooling can be a good option for children with autism, as it allows for a more individualized approach to learning. However, it is important to note that homeschooling may not be the best option for every child with autism. Parents should consider their child’s needs and abilities before making a decision about homeschooling.