Special Needs Homeschool Programs, Curriculums, and Supplemental Resources for Your Special Education Homeschool
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Disclaimer: Throughout this series, we will be using the term “Special Needs” because that is the term 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.
For any homeschool family, choosing curriculum can be an intimidating—perhaps even an overwhelming—experience. You want to make sure that you are providing your child with the best possible educational materials that cover what you want to cover and adhere to any state regulations while also engaging your child in meaningful tasks and activities. As a homeschooler of a child with special needs, the curriculum decision may be even more important. You know your child has difficulty learning in certain ways and that changing teaching techniques and materials can help. How do you choose the best homeschool curriculum for special needs?
You may find that many, or even most, homeschool curriculums will work for your child with special needs, providing you make certain adjustments in the scheduling, pacing, presentation, etc., of the content. However, there are homeschool curriculums, supplemental resources, and support programs that are specifically designed to benefit students with special needs or target learning in alternative ways from traditional schooling. Whether you choose to homeschool special needs starting in preschool or high school, there are options for you. Here are some you can explore to see if they fit what your family needs:
|Special Needs Homeschool Supplemental Resources|
Special Needs Homeschool Curriculums
As you begin the search for a homeschool curriculum (or combination of curriculums), you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you want a faith-based or secular curriculum?
- Are you interested in print curriculum or do you want to put your special needs homeschool online? (Do you have space for materials? Will you be traveling?)
- Would you like a comprehensive boxed curriculum (print form) or online curriculum that provides all materials you need for an entire grade level, or would you like to piece together subject-specific curriculums and other resources?
Once you have made those decisions, then you can more accurately determine whether a particular special needs homeschool curriculum is right for you. Let us know what you think! After you have researched or tried a special needs homeschool curriculum, be sure to share your evaluation in the comments below.
Here are some curriculum options that can specifically benefit a special ed homeschool.
|S – Secular
Does not contain any
|F – Faith-Based
A religious base included
|U – Unclear
The designation is unclear.
Please contact the curriculum providers directly if you have questions. Have fun shopping!
A+ Interactive Math U
“We offer a comprehensive Math Curriculum Online for your Homeschooling needs as well as for students in traditional schools who need extra help with math. We offer affordable options to meet your individual needs. Our Family Math Package provides an affordable option for homeschooling math for the entire family. Our Adaptive Math Curriculum w/ Placement Test program identifies learning gaps and creates a “customized plan” to close learning gaps in math. Our After School Math Help service includes 24/7 access to our online learning portal. PLUS weekly live online sessions with the Math Coach to ensure success. A+ Interactive Math eliminates the guesswork and helps students build a strong foundation in Math in their early school years. We help students get back on a desired grade level.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
All About® Reading U
This is a “complete program that teaches phonics, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.” It has “4 levels, plus a pre-reading program, multisensory instruction, and scripted lessons in an easy-to-follow format so you never miss a step. Fun and engaging!” An All About® Spelling 7-level program is also available.
BookShark Curriculum U
BookShark offers a “literature-based, 4-day, faith-neutral structured curriculum for flexible families…. Families have great flexibility in how they use BookShark materials; therefore, they can feel confident that, yes, BookShark curriculum can definitely be used successfully with children with special needs.” BookShark provides curriculum in both history and science. Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
Hadley School for the Blind U FREE
The Hadley School for the Blind is an accredited program that offers over 90 distance education courses to eligible students completely free of charge. Topics include daily living, adjusting to vision loss, recreation, technology, braille, and working. Materials are available online, in braille or large print, or as audio.
Logic of English U
Logic of English offers handwriting and sight word resources as well as two levels of complete reading and writing programs:
- Foundations – “A complete phonics, reading, handwriting, and spelling program for ages 4-7…. Provide students in K-2 with a fun, multi-sensory experience learning to read and write that engages their senses, works naturally with their desire to wiggle and play, and lays a strong foundation for reading and writing success.”
- Essentials – “A multi-level reading, spelling, vocabulary, & grammar program for ages 8 to adult…. A unique multi-level reading and spelling program that helps teachers differentiate instruction for struggling to advanced students. Through engaging discovery-based activities, students will discover the logic underlying English spelling and develop the critical thinking skills needed for a lifetime of reading and spelling success.”
Making Math Meaningful F
“Making Math Meaningful is the ideal program to elevate a child’s conceptual reasoning! Every concept is introduced with a simple conversation (which is provided for you) using math manipulatives. This lays the strong foundation for understanding math. It teaches the child to understand not only how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, but more importantly why and when. The student will be equipped to solve every kind of math problem or word problem, will have the understanding to apply their knowledge to everyday life, and will be prepared for algebra and other higher maths. Making Math Meaningful trains children in advanced reasoning, math concepts, and mathematical thinking.”
Master Books F
The Master Books curriculum is offered through a Christian books publisher. The curriculum is designed to be “trusted, faith-building, effective, engaging, practical, and flexible.” Its emphasis on hands-on activities, real-world application, and adaptability make it a viable option for special education homeschools.
“Math-U See from Demme Learning is a complete, skill-based, multi-sensory homeschool math curriculum for grades K-12 that’s designed to teach students skills in a logical sequence…. For more than 20 years, we’ve been using our distinguishing elements to help students learn math concepts and succeed at their own pace…. Because we are mastery-based and student-paced, our levels don’t correspond to traditional grade levels.” The curriculum uses “proven strategies and manipulatives with an accelerated approach to master single digit addition and subtraction facts.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
PRIDE Reading Program U
“The PRIDE Reading Program is the effective, affordable and easy to use reading and writing homeschooling curriculum using the Orton-Gillingham approach.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
Reading Horizons U
“Reading Horizons provides software and direct instruction materials to help homeschool parents and tutors teach beginning and struggling readers how to discover reading success…. Reading Horizons At-Home has three flexible ways to learn simple rules and start reading today: online software, instructor-guided materials, and a blended approach…. For families that homeschool, this is an ideal solution for your homeschool reading curriculum.”
Read Naturally U
“Most Read Naturally materials were designed to serve groups of students in a traditional school setting. However, our programs are also appropriate for a homeschool setting.
- The Read Naturally Strategy programs (Read Naturally Live or Read Naturally Encore) are appropriate for any situation: a tutor (or parent) with a single student; a single teacher with a few students; or a large district with dozens of schools, hundreds of teachers, and thousands of students. Read Naturally GATE is ideal for beginning readers who are not yet ready to work mostly independently.
- The One Minute Reader program was designed specifically for home use. One Minute Reader applies the Read Naturally Strategy to a simplified format that is easy for parents to implement and manage. One Minute Reader offers all the advantages of the Read Naturally Strategy without the complexity and cost of Read Naturally Live. It is available as the One Minute Reader App for iPad or the One Minute Reader Books/audio CDs format.
- Funēmics (phoneme awareness), Word Warm-ups (phonics), Signs for Sounds (phonics/spelling), Take Aim! at Vocabulary, and Splat-O-Nym (vocabulary) are also good options for homeschool educators. These affordable programs were designed for use in schools, but they are easily implemented in a homeschool setting.”
Simply Classical Curriculum for Special Needs F
“Simply Classical Curriculum, written by Mrs. [Cheryl] Swope, is essentially a set of lesson plans coupled with a choice reading list that moves gradually into some of the Memoria Press curriculum products (i.e. First Start Reading and Classical Phonics) as well as other early level curriculum products (i.e. Rod & Staff preschool workbooks). A quick look at these lesson plans might cause you to conclude that it is simply a typical classical program slooooowed way down. You’re not exactly wrong, but you’re not exactly right either. It’s rather that the possibility of slowing way down is built into the lessons. The daily collection of lessons – rich in quality literature – progress slowly and surely through the process of laying a very solid foundation in classical learning.”
Stages Learning Materials U
“Based on the principles of ABA therapy, and adapted for the classroom, Language Builder: Academic Readiness Intervention System … or ARIS for short… combines the trusted Language Builder Picture Card sets with 3D manipulatives, detailed lesson plans, black-line masters for various activity sheets, a system for record-keeping, and custom home communication forms, for the most complete Early Autism Education curriculum available today.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
RightStart™ for Homeschool U
“This unique, award-winning, hands-on program de-emphasizes counting, uses visualization of quantities, and provides strategies and visual pictures for learning the facts. Understanding and problem solving are emphasized throughout the curriculum. The primary learning tool is the AL Abacus, a specially designed two-sided abacus that is both kinesthetic and visual…. Practice is provided with math card games, minimizing review worksheets and eliminating stressful flash cards…. Twenty five additional materials are used in the RightStart™ program. This allows the child to approach topics in a variety of ways, creating understanding and building critical connections. The RightStart™ Mathematics homeschool program is set up with levels, rather than grades, so that your child can begin at the proper level and advance at their own pace.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
The Struggling Reader U
“The Struggling Reader provides real help for all children learning to read, but especially those who may be struggling. Guided by the landmark National Reading Panel report and current research, these materials were developed by reading specialists who homeschool their own children.”
Thinkster Math U
“Discover the only math program on the planet that offers a dedicated elite tutor to coach/monitor/provide feedback to your child daily. You also get private 1:1 tutoring sessions, plus a world-class curriculum with critical thinking, logical reasoning, and word problems.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
Time4Learning Online Curriculum S
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. “Time4Learning is a great homeschool and after-school partner because it offers each child their own learning path, with animated lessons, interactive activities, unit assessments, and integrated printable worksheets for reinforcement. Here are other ways the Time4Learning curriculum specifically addresses special learning needs:
- Activities are clearly organized and formatted consistently within each level.
- Concepts are repeated, reviewed, and summarized for clarity.
- Language arts texts can be read online or printed in PDF format for offline use.
- Students can work at their own pace in the assessment tests and in the learning activities.
- Activities teach concepts through songs, graphics, videos.
- Visual enhancements include font, font size, spacing and color for contrast.
- Bullets and numbering are used when teaching concepts.
- Graphic organizers are used to create rubrics.
- Graphics and pictures are added to practice sheets and tests.
- Activities use the different intelligences.
- Activities use interactive games, puzzles and programs that have built in feedback and repetition capabilities.
- Activities have tasks that are broken up into manageable units which help improve student self-esteem.
- Multimedia in activities is used to trigger the sympathetic imagination and improve emotional intelligence.”
Triad Math Homeschool Math Crusade U
“Creating a positive psychology toward math, our lessons are self-paced, interactive online videos, with notes, exercises, and quizzes. There’s record keeping for parents along with unparalleled customer support! Students get only the math needed based on their life’s goals. No premature theories or proofs, no obsolete or bloated material, developed by a Ph.D. in math and teacher for 50+ years using a six-tier method. We are real people here to help you and your student. Direct math support is available by email, a student forum, and if needed, a live tutorial with our Ph.D. math expert. Dr. Del, our program creator!” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
Unlock Math U
“Voted #1 math curriculum in 2017, 2018, 2019, & 2020. Experience math without anxiety, frustration or tears. We do ALL the teaching, testing, and grading. You can relax and leave math to us!” Unlock Math provides “engaging videos, interactive & adaptive testing, automated grading, and chat support.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
Wild Math U
Rachel Tidd is the author of the Wild Math Curriculum and a leading proponent of integrating the outdoors and the natural materials in math education. She became interested in teaching and learning outside after watching her two children thrive in an outdoor forest preschool. Wild Math has been used by schools and homeschool parents throughout the U.S. and the world. Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
“WriteShop is an award-winning writing curriculum that has been equipping homeschooling families since 2001. We have resources for all ages, from kindergarten through high school…. We’ve been there. We understand the challenges of teaching writing. That’s why we’ve created materials that teach your child how to write—and show you how to teach. Whether your children are very young or well into their teens, WriteShop’s step-by-step lessons will help you introduce and review the building blocks of the writing process.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
Special Needs Homeschool Supplemental Resources
Once you have chosen your special needs homeschool curriculum, you may want to add tasks and activities to deepen or expand learning or simply to provide additional practice. Supplemental resources are instructional materials that are not part of a curriculum and are not necessarily required. Luckily, there are lots of supplemental resources available online to help your child with special needs be more successful. Try some of these websites:
“What if you could combine a great teacher and an engaging video game into educational software that raises math scores? That’s our job. We make educational adventure games that kids actually want to play. And our games make math scores go up! Kids who played 7 Generation Games saw math scores improve 30% in just 10 weeks with a control group. Ready to learn math from a video game? Let’s get started.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool.
Academic Therapy Publications
Here is where you can find high interest/low level readers developed for students who are reading below their age level but who prefer more age-appropriate subject matter.
Books for Me Too
“Rachel Smith is a homeschool mom who lives with her family in Alaska. As a child, she traveled extensively with her missionary parents. When not receiving treatments for a debilitating illness, Rachel can be found cooking wholesome meals, writing and exploring the Alaskan wilderness with her children. Inspired by her husband and children with dyslexia, Rachel has written these easy-to-read books especially for those who struggle with the learning difference.”
Bry-back Manor FREE
“A place for folks who care for young children or children with special needs.” Find a large collection of free activity pages, games, holiday crafts and activities, and picture recipes.
Child 1st Publications
“Children don’t all learn in the same way, so a multisensory approach is the best option. For children to excel, it is essential to match learning resources to the way they learn most naturally. When this match occurs, learning is easy, and yields success and confidence. Our resources are multisensory – perfect for all learners. They are especially helpful for beginners, for visual-spatial or kinesthetic learners, and for children identified with learning differences. What all these learners share is that they learn most easily when images and body movements are fully integrated into their lessons. Ultimately, our resources work for all children.” Free resources are also available.
Golden Educational Center
“All of our products are great for students who have learning disabilities.” Find products to help your child in the areas of social studies, visual-motor, handwriting, geography, Montessori, history, and math. Materials to study California are also available, as well as grid paper, and materials for crafts and other activities.
Hands on Tasks® Inc.
“Hands On Tasks Inc. was established in 2004 with the intent of providing quality and age-appropriate activities and learning tasks for students with learning differences. Our goal is to provide educators with an alternative curriculum supplement that meets the needs of students Pre-K through 12 and provide training for skills needed after graduation. The scaffolding work system that we have designed allows the teacher to present material, in an alternative way, making adjustments for different ability levels, and gives students with learning differences the ability to master the requirements of their individual education plan, state, and national expectations. Our products are designed to follow the structured teaching model where the task is first modeled or demonstrated by the teacher. The teacher next observes the student working the task, offering prompts and/or cues as needed. When the student is able to work independently, he works the task and sets it aside in a finished area to be checked by the teacher.”
“Math Fruit 15 is a unique set of manipulatives intended to help children with learning skip counting, multiplication, and division tables up to 15, as well as squares and cubes up to 15.” Partnered with SPED Homeschool. Get more information on their Facebook page.
Neon Tiki Tribe
by Joe Lorenzano (Author), April Sopczak (Author), Jennifer Burrows (Author), Jason Lester Greg Clark, Eric Strong (Illustrators)
“Neon Tiki Tribe is a revolutionary superhero series that combines action and excitement with valuable real-life lessons. Good vs evil, laser-powered sunglasses, action-packed adventures, and topics parents and teachers hope children will remember. This exciting series also includes a patented font, “Dyslexie,” proven to help dyslexic children read faster and make fewer mistakes, while non-dyslexic readers won’t notice the differences. Each Neon Tiki Tribe book is designed to make a real-life difference in the lives of children around the world. Topics covered in this series include Following Good Advice, Battling Boredom, Ocean Clean Up, Honesty, Bullying, Perseverance, Stranger Danger, Sportsmanship, Fire Safety, Internet Safety, Body Image, Literacy, and Hope (For children battling illness).”
“At Remedia, we know that “one size does not fit all.” Our mission is to provide materials to teachers, speech pathologists, curriculum specialists, and even parents who educate students with special needs and learning differences, as well as students struggling in regular education and intervention settings.”
Super Duper® Publications
Find products here to help your child with auditory processing, gross/fine motor skills, language, sensory integration, emotions and behavior, social skills, and more.
Special Needs Homeschool Programs
Perhaps you are looking for someone to work directly with your child with special needs to improve academic strategies and skills. There are providers out there that offer direct teaching and assistance that is individually tailored to your child. Please note that you will need to do research on these providers (we do not specifically review these providers). We are simply providing you with some places to start. If you do have recommendations (or warnings) about any special needs homeschool programs, please share your advice with other families in the comments section below.
“Dyslexia. ADHD. Learning deficit? Now what? 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. Contact us for a free consultation.”
Barton Reading & Spelling System
Barton Reading & Spelling System is “a great tutoring system for children, teenagers, or adults who struggle with spelling, reading, and writing due to dyslexia or a learning disability.”
“Being a parent of a child with learning struggles can be challenging in itself, and taking on the role of teacher can be a little frightening. We have heard your concerns and have partnered with the leading homeschool academy – Bridgeway Academy is a fully accredited homeschool academy meeting the needs of homeschoolers for over 25 years. With this partnership, your child will receive fully customized academics focused on how your child’s learning style as well as an individualized learning therapy program tailored to help your child overcome learning struggles. We call it our HOPE Package because that’s just what it gives: hope. Through Sensory Integration technology, the therapy program enables your child’s brain to learn more effectively, helping them to overcome learning struggles in the comfort of your home. Our combined academic and LD therapy program is just what your child needs to make an academic U-turn.”
“Wondering how to adapt homeschool for children who learn differently? If your children have dyslexia or other learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, or other challenges, Kathy can give you practical advice to keep you going and work smarter, whether you’re considering homeschooling or have taught your own kids or teens for years.”
The National Academy for Child Development (NACD) Homeschool Programs
“With a long tradition in the active support of homeschooling, NACD helps parents make their homeschooling efficient, effective and enjoyable. As a national organization NACD is familiar with the laws in each state. Parents are supported in meeting state requirements, but that is not all that they are given…. 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.”
Having trouble deciding which special needs homeschool curriculum is a good fit for your family? Try reaching out to a special needs homeschool support group for advice!
Have you tried a special education homeschool curriculum or program that worked for your family? Feel free to comment on what you’ve tried or offer new suggestions for this list. Just post your comment below.