Resources and Information about Curriculum to Help You Teach and Support Your Homeschooler who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Disclaimer: Throughout this series, we will be using the diagnostic language and terms that most people who are searching the Internet will use to find information. We fully understand that using any term to categorize children may result in generalizations that may not apply to every child, stigmas associated with that term, and the possibility of overlooking the many beautiful positive traits that exist when we look at the whole child. We celebrate the differences that make us unique individuals and learners, and we write everything in this series with the hopes of benefiting all children and their families. Resources are provided as options for you, may not represent the views and opinions of A2Z Homeschooling, and in no way are meant to replace medical or other professional advice.
If you are homeschooling a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, you may wonder what resources are necessary to give your child the best possible education. What is the best curriculum to use with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing? What educational resources are out there? Are there programs to support you if you need help? You can rely on the advice of families you know or support groups that focus on homeschooling children who are deaf or hard of hearing to help you answer these questions. Sometimes, however, just searching the web for resources can give you ideas. In an effort to help you as much as we can, A2Z Homeschooling has done some research for you. You just need to decide whether these resources work for your family:
*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Although most of the resources listed here are free, those marked with a $ have a cost or require a fee/subscription in order to access the full range of materials.
Curriculum for Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
One of the most important choices in any homeschool involves curriculum, and choosing a homeschool curriculum can be overwhelming. You want a curriculum that is both affordable and flexible. While finding a curriculum designed specifically for homeschooling a child who is deaf or hard of hearing may be hard to find, there are curriculums out there that are either easily modified; are taught using American Sign Language (ASL); or include captioning, transcripts, or other supports that may be helpful. Be sure to check with other families who are homeschooling children who are deaf or hard of hearing in your network. To get you started, here are a few full or partial curriculums you may want to consider:
Give your teen access to these self-paced courses taught using ASL: “Earn Your Future,” “Beginning Your Business,” “Interested in Investing?” and “Dealing with Debt.”
“SnapWords® sight word cards are radically different in their approach. They attract children to learning, with words embedded in images, motions that are stored in body memory, and stories that help with comprehension and recall. By design, SnapWords® reach all types of learners!” SnapWords® claim to be an effective learn-to-read strategy for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Time4Learning is a complete online homeschool curriculum (ELA, math, science, social studies, and electives) for grades pre-K to 12, so homeschooling special needs even in high school is possible. With transcripts for instructional videos, Time4Learning may be adapted to fit the needs of your child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Here are other ways the Time4Learning curriculum specifically addresses special learning needs: Time4Learning “proceeds at the students’ own pace; builds on existing reading, writing and math skills; allows placement and progress for each child at independent levels for math and language arts; encourages kids to become active learners through exploration and discovery; introduces new learning opportunities in a safe, supportive environment; and balances learning with fun!”
“Deaf and hearing-impaired students across America and many other countries are using Zane Education’s online visual learning solution, and subtitled educational video library, because it provides a unique and affordable online visual learning teaching resource that teaches a comprehensive range of curriculum subjects – and because the subtitles (or captions) on each video enables them to read each presentation rather than hearing it. Zane’s online learning service is similar to providing an online school for the hearing impaired. It provides access to the teaching (and testing) of the same curriculum subjects studied in schools using online video and visual learning – a highly effective and proven method of learning that removes the reliance on textbooks. Yet with the subtitles on each video, it provides the perfect solution for the hearing impaired.”
Supplemental Resources for Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Even if you put together the best curriculum for homeschooling your child who is deaf or hard of hearing, you may want to supplement with additional materials to deepen or vary learning or to strengthen your child’s understanding of self and community. The following are some supplemental resources that you may want to consider:
Find ASL videos for everything from kids yoga to the reading of a traditional folk tale to the singing of patriotic songs. Newsletters, articles, and other information for teachers of children who are deaf or hard of hearing can also be found here.
By Lissa D. Ramirez-Stapleton (Author), Shawn Richardson (Illustrator)
“This educational activity book includes the following positive self-image activities: examples of Black Deaf role models and historical events, coloring pages, a social justice word search, an introduction to Black American Sign Language, American Sign Language flashcards and so much more. This book was designed to be a fun educational tool for people 9-years-old and up…. 40% of the proceeds go back into the Black Deaf community.”
By Jack Hughes (Author)
“Dachy wears a hearing aid. But sometimes, when his friends get too noisy, he likes to turn it off to get some peace and quiet. One day, when his hearing aid is off, Dachy falls asleep and ends up floating down the river towards a waterfall and a hungry crocodile. Can his friends rescue him in time? Read and approved by The National Deaf Children’s Society, this gentle story shows children that everyone is different and might have difficult situations to deal with, but with love and support they can get through anything.”
By Roz Rosen (Author), Yiqiao Wang (Illustrator)
“Readers are transported into the enchanting world of fairy tales in this book — with one slight twist: all the stories have characters who are Deaf or sign. Designed for the reader who uses American Sign Language or wants to learn about sign language and Deaf culture, each story takes unexpected and fun turns, always with a lesson in mind. Classics in this book include “Snow White,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Three Little Pigs,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and many others.”
By Christian Fusco (Author), Ellen Todras (Editor), Kostis Pavlou (Illustrator)
“Rian is starting her sixth-grade year in a new home and at a new school in Northeast Philadelphia. On her first day, she is greeted by Shack, the class bully, who wastes no time breaking one of her cochlear implants…. deaf not Deaf is a story about an unlikely friendship between Rian and Luis, two twelve year old sixth graders who break down communication barriers and learn to understand deafness in very different ways.”
By Kelly Brakenhoff (Author), Theresa
“Duke the Deaf Dog learns that some noises are loud and some are quiet. Whether it’s a tapping crayon, a beeping fire drill, or a crinkly candy wrapper, both parents and children alike will understand the need to know the difference between noises. A fun, engaging way to teach children that some noises are not polite. Bonus American Sign Language material included with every purchase: Learn 12 ASL signs within the story. Learn Rules of Etiquette in Deaf Communities. Watch the Deaf Culture lesson, vocabulary words, and the complete story signed on video using the link provided in the book.”
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law $
By Haben Girma (Author)
“Haben defines disability as an opportunity for innovation. She learned non-visual techniques for everything from dancing salsa to handling an electric saw. She developed a text-to-braille communication system that created an exciting new way to connect with people. Haben pioneered her way through obstacles, graduated from Harvard Law, and now uses her talents to advocate for people with disabilities…. Warm, funny, thoughtful, and uplifting, this captivating memoir is a testament to one woman’s determination to find the keys to connection.”
By Myles Hunt (Author), Monica Rickert-Bolter (Illustrator)
“J.W., a deaf musician, teaches friends how he communicates and lives in a hearing world. Readers will learn about ASL (American Sign Language) and lip-reading. They will also receive a glimpse into J.W.’s struggles, hidden talents and how the value of true friendship helps keep the music playing!”
By Kelly Brakenhoff (Author), Theresa Murray (Illustrator)
“Duke the deaf dog does not like being told “never mind.” Whether it happens at preschool or the park, both parents and children will relate to feeling left out when you aren’t part of the action. A great way to teach children that everyone deserves to be included in conversations. Bonus American Sign Language material inside: Learn 10 ASL signs within the story. Learn 5 ASL concepts for the English words never mind. Watch the ASL lesson, vocabulary words, and the complete story signed on video using the link provided in the book.”
You can order this entire series directly from Boys Town Press to access videos of ASL translations of popular literature for young children.
By Ann Clare LeZotte (Author)
“Deaf author Ann Clare LeZotte weaves a riveting Own Voices story inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha’s Vineyard in the early 19th century. This piercing exploration of ableism, racism, and colonialism answers the call to dig deep, examine core beliefs, and question what is considered normal. Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha’s Vineyard… But recent events have delivered winds of change…. Her struggle to save herself is at the core of this penetrating and poignant novel that probes our perceptions of ability and disability.
Programs for Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Beyond the resources that are available online and through your networks, sometimes you—as the homeschool parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing—may need to reach out for additional support. First, accept that getting assistance is okay, and then do some research as to which type of support would be most useful for your family. Do you need just a simple phone call or consulting, or do you need help with a particular subject? Maybe you want to provide support for your child through a more comprehensive program. Here are some programs that may be helpful:
“Your child’s brain processes things differently. We do things differently, too. We teach holistically, focusing on many aspects of your child. While teaching a particular subject, we also teach them how to cope with frustrations and positive behavior. We teach them how to succeed.” 3D Learner focuses on techniques that benefit visual learners.
Read this story about Luke, a child described as having “profound hearing loss,” and how NACD was able to help. “Based on a neuro-educational assessment of your child, the NACD staff is able to customize a program of teaching strategies that will best allow the child to make rapid advancement. Not only does the program address your child’s educational needs, but it also provides activities to improve your child’s cognitive functioning. Parents wanting to use the instructional materials that they already have are given very specific instructional strategies to maximize the benefits of those materials…. Parents are provided with continuing support through phone conferences, video reviews, and a support staff standing by to answer any and all questions.”
Wyzant offers “private, 1–on–1 lessons with the expert instructor of your choice. Meet online or in-person. Decide how much you pay and who you want to work with. The choice is yours.” You can search for experts in deaf education or sign language and can choose online or in-person instruction.
Free Homeschool Resources for Parents of a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Finally, here are some additional resources that are free. And who doesn’t love free? Check these out:
Discover learning activities and therapy activities for your child, including signed stories, ASL storytelling, signed videos, and more.
When kids struggle with anything, sometimes they forget about the many strengths they have. Try these activities that focus on helping your child “realize and appreciate their abilities as they try to accomplish their goals and reach their dreams.”
Discover videos, webpages, lesson plans, interactive activities, media galleries, and more, complete with grade level notations.
Read the article and then explore the free teaching resource links provided.
Discover free resources for teaching children who are deaf, including a set of tips for teachers and a book discussion guide for Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. Although there is not a lot for this category, you may find additional academic materials, which are arranged by grade level, to be useful in your homeschool.
Find articles with specific information on masks and face shields, videoconferencing, live captioning and automated captioning, captioning apps for mobile phone calls, assistive technology and connections, adding captions to media, and more.
Check out our Homeschooling a Child Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing page for tips, advice, support groups, and other resources, as well as our American Sign Language for Kids post and Special Needs section for even more ideas!
Have you found a great homeschool curriculum or other educational resources for your child who is deaf or hard of hearing? Please share your ideas in the comments below….