Picking out homeschool curriculum is one of my favorite parts of being a homeschool mom. I love looking through curriculum catalogs, reading reviews from my favorite bloggers, and finding the perfect curriculum to meet my kids’ own needs. The process gets a bit more complicated, however, when you’re choosing for a child with special needs. There’s more to consider, and it seems like the stakes are so much higher! Thankfully I have these 3 tips for picking homeschool curriculum for a special needs child that will make finding the perfect curriculum a whole lot easier! I am happy to share that I have experience with and understand your struggle. From one mama (parent) to another I want to help. These are my favorite tips on How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum for a Special Needs Child. Don’t forget that you’re not alone!
3 Tips for Picking Homeschool Curriculum for a Special Needs Child
These three tips are going to be mostly focused on finding the right curriculum for your child, but I’m going to just quickly add that you should also take some time addressing your own needs in a curriculum. You could find the perfect curriculum for your child, but if it’s out of your budget or it takes way more time than you have available to make it work, it’s still not perfect for your family. So once you know your limits and needs, we can dive into picking homeschool curriculum for a special needs child.
Consider Your Child’s Strengths
Whenever I’m picking homeschool curriculum, I try to start with my child’s strengths. It’s super tempting to think, “my child struggles with writing, so I need xyz writing curriculum”. The fact is that when you have a child with special needs, there are enough people focusing on “deficits” and struggles. Take some time to think about where your child really excels.
If your child is really techy, for example, use that to your advantage when picking curriculum! There are tons of choices out there that can be done on a computer or tablet, and your child is more likely to feel confident and excited about school when they know their lesson is something they can do.
Consider Your Child’s Struggles
Once you’ve considered your child’s strengths, take a look at where they’re struggling most. Do they struggle to focus on a task for a long period of time? Look for a curriculum that includes movement and brain breaks regularly. Do they struggle with long-term memory? Look for a curriculum with a “spiral review” approach so they’re continually reviewing the content they’ve learned.
The idea isn’t to make sure your child never struggles but to acknowledge those struggles that they have and find ways to work on them or accommodate them. It’s much easier to choose a curriculum when you know what specific struggles you’re choosing to work on this year!
Consider Your Child’s Preferences
Finally, you want to take into account your child’s preferences. Does your child despise reading? Maybe find a history program that uses a lot of documentaries rather than a traditional textbook. Does your child love art? Grab a fun art curriculum to help them break up their more traditional subjects throughout the day.
While you can’t focus solely on your child’s preferences (or we’d probably all have kids “learning” Minecraft all day, right?) it is important to take them into account. Your homeschool day will go much smoother if your child enjoys what they’re doing, and considering your child’s preferences in homeschool curriculum will really help with that!
With these three tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect homeschool curriculum for a special needs child. Taking the time to choose the right curriculum is going to save you from a massive headache and some serious meltdowns through the school year! What is your favorite special needs homeschool curriculum?
About the Author
Kaylene is an autistic, homeschooling, work at home mom of 5 kiddos. She learned that she was autistic after her second son, who was diagnosed around his third birthday. She blogs at Autistic Mama, you can find her on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.