Homeschooling Your Special Needs Child There are a number of considerations to think through before deciding on home education:
1. Can you afford to do it? Many parents have to give up work in order to home educate their child. This may well mean the loss of a salary for a number of years. Parents will need to supply all of the costs of education out of their own pocket, including internet access, teaching resources, learning materials and the cost of taking exams. There is rarely support from the local authority.
2. The age of your child and whether they will be able to re-enter school prepared to take public exams if this is what they want to do. It can be difficult to persuade a school to accept a pupil who has been home-schooled if they have not been following a traditional curriculum as they may not have covered the subjects or been taught the skills the school would expect, which might impact on the performance of the school.
3. How to create opportunities for social activities and time with friends. Many families are part of home education networks, sports, arts or drama clubs or specialist groups. If there isn’t a group near you, do you have the time to reach out to other special needs parents to start one?
4. What to teach. Parents in Texas do not need any special permission to homeschool their children. You have a legal right to decide what and how to teach your child. You must meet basic educational goals in these subjects: reading, spelling, grammar, math and a study of good citizenship.
5. Online schooling can offer access to traditional teaching subjects at home.
6. Choosing to homeschool a child with autism is often a decision families come to reluctantly. While some families worry about the additional social challenges that come with learning at home, others wonder how they’re supposed to teach material they themselves haven’t completed in years. Fortunately, dozens of comprehensive curricula exist to alleviate the pressures put on both homeschooling parents and homeschooled children. We have compiled a list below of curricula to help you choose the best for your child. There are many more options that you can research as well.
7. There are no additional requirements for homeschooling children with special needs. Because homeschooling can be conducted as a “private school” under Texas law, your homeschooled child may be eligible for services funded by both the federal Individual
Disability Education Act (IDEA) program and the state.
Home education can provide a safe and secure place for autistic children to learn in the way they need, away from the overstimulating sensory environment and bullying of school, but it also brings additional pressures on family relationships and needs to be matched to the needs of the family as a whole.
Just a few of the resources we have found for you to choose from. The curricula listed below are some of the best for children with autism. We are sure there a more out there and when we find them we will list them here. If you homeschool your special needs child and are working with a great curriculum, we’d love to hear about it! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABCmouse® Early Learning Academy is the leading and most comprehensive digital learning resource for children ages 2–8. With more than 10,000 Learning Activities and 850 lessons, the standards-based ABCmouse curriculum is available on computers, tablets, and smartphones and is used by millions of children at home. The program has also helped to educate millions of children in U.S. classrooms and from more than half of all U.S. public libraries.
Large-scale research studies assessing the effectiveness of ABCmouse have concluded that ABCmouse accelerates learning and helps children make significant gains in early literacy and math skills.
Though it is not designed specifically for children with autism, kids on the spectrum are sure to appreciate that ABCmouse is meant to be completed at each child’s own pace. The curriculum provides more than 850 lessons and 8,500 activities for subjects like reading, math, science, and art and colors.
Abeka Curriculum is a Christian curriculum well-suited for children on the autism spectrum. A favorite of many homeschooling families, Abeka primarily consists of a series of workbooks that children are sure to enjoy. In addition to new material, each lesson depends upon spaced repetition and drills to help develop mastery and comfort with any topic. Though the curriculum is mostly written, Abeka does include a series of DVDs that add a fun visual and interactive component to learning.
Abeka’s proven approach to teaching helps teachers teach and students learn. It begins with Abeka’s traditional philosophy of education. This teacher-directed framework empowers teachers to focus students’ attention on the material they need to learn—in a context and sequence that will help them learn it best.
As students begin to grasp what’s being taught, newly acquired concepts and skills are fortified time and again using a method often referred to as spiral learning.
Finally, students’ growing mastery of subject matter is strengthened because of the comprehensive design of our curriculum. Material taught in one subject is reinforced in other subjects. At every step of the way, students learn, apply, and master new concepts and skills.
Since education shouldn’t end with a diploma, Abeka gives students a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. We make it easy so you can make it amazing.
Acellus Acaemy is the official accredited online school of Acellus. The Acellus Education System is widely used by thousands of schools to teach students in grades K-12. Acellus courses are filmed in high definition with some of the very best teachers in the nation. Acellus Academy is a program of the International Academy of Science, a Kansas City based non-profit organization that has been advancing science and education for over thirty years. Acellus Academy high school graduates have been welcomed into top universities around the country. The school’s programs are flexible, yet rigorous, resulting in graduates that are motivated to achieve success and optimistic about their future. Geared more for high-functioning autism. Personalized Instruction will help your child succeed.
Adventure Academy is made by the creators of ABC mouse for children ages 8-13. Join the ranks of young scholars at Adventure Academy is a fully immersive virtual universe for those seeking knowledge and adventure. Gain access to hundreds of hours of educational activities teaching essential skills in math, language arts, science, social studies, and much more! Children can create their own adventures & safely play with their friends. They can creare their own character, decorate and customize their own homes, explore the market place where you can discover and unlock much more! Your first month is free and can be canceled anytime. Ongoing subscription costs only $12.99/month.
All About Learning Press offers two different programs: All About Reading and All About Spelling. The company’s mission is to take the struggle out of reading and spelling for both the student and the parent. Preschool-aged students and Kindergarteners can begin with the Pre-Reading and Pre-Spelling programs. They advance to Levels 1-4. An interactive kit is also available, and consists of things like letter tiles, divider cards, magnets, and more.
Marie Rippel is the founder and curriculum developer behind All About Learning Press. When her son was just 9 years old, he was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. Experts told her he would never be able to read or spell.
It wasn’t that her son didn’t have the ability to read; he simply hadn’t been given the right tools. This realization and her background in language arts education led Marie to create the programs that thousands of parents and children have come to know and love: All About Reading and All About Spelling.
Based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, these multisensory programs teach through a logical sequence that leaves no gaps in the learning process. Best of all, these methods benefit all types of learners—not just those who struggle.
Apologia is a homeschool Christian curriculum rooted. This award-winning curriculum is suitable for any child, K-12. Whether one chooses tangible textbooks or online courses, parents can be sure their child is receiving a solid base knowledge of subjects tackled. Parents speak especially highly of Apologia’s science curriculum. They also offer a FREE Curriculum Planning Guide packed with homeschool information and encouragement from Apologia.
Calvert Education Calvert invented modern homeschooling 110 years ago, and they’ve been perfecting it ever since. They have helped parents educate more than 600,000 students in all 50 states and in more than 90 countries around the world. Though Calvert is not designed specifically for students on the autism spectrum, the curriculum’s completely flexible set-up appeals to many students on the ASD spectrum. Students and their parents can choose to finish an entire program (grade level). Or they can choose from a list of individual courses and subjects, depending upon the student’s interest and ability level.
Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool curriculum is not produced or distributed by a large company. It was designed by a homeschool mother and is completely free. Better yet, Easy Peasy requires only that students have access to the internet and a computer, and nearly all of the materials cost nothing at all. They do give you suggestions in their “store” for workbooks to work offline and printables that can be purchased for use with the online curriculum. All are very reasonable priced. There is a suggested donation for using My EP if you so choose, but it is not required.
Gemm Learning Almost everybody at Gemm Learning has either raised a child with learning difficulties or is a teacher. They know about the endless tutoring treadmill, and the battles over homework and reading. It’s a difficult time for you as a parent, and for children who know they are not meeting expectations. Gemm Learning was founded on the idea of breaking this cycle. Gemm is an online learning software that creates a customized curriculum suitable for each individual child. Gemm Learning also provides its curriculum families with live support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address questions and concerns.
Handwriting Without Tears As part of their intentional mission in Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belonging (DEIB), they have created a committee that is dedicated to ensuring not only that we recruit and retain a diverse workforce, but also that our employees, customers, and all other partners have the opportunity to engage and benefit from our offerings and DEIB initiatives. We know that many children on the autism spectrum often struggle with handwriting, and that makes Handwriting Without Tears a great tool for any homeschooled student and parent. Handwriting Without Tears provides multi-sensory handwriting instruction that is developmentally appropriate for each stage of Kindergarten through 5th grade.
IXL Personalized Learning IXL's family memberships are perfect for homeschooling families. You will get access to every grade level and unlimited practice, breadth of content covering over 8,500 unique topics, personalized learning that adapts to your child's level, meaningful, up-to-date tracking on your child's progress. See if IXL is a fit for your child.
TeachTown is an education software company that provides educators, parents and clinicians curriculum and education programs that measurably improve the academic, behavioral and adaptive functioning of students with moderate to severe learning disabilities. TeachTown is easily one of the most popular curriculum when it comes to homeschooling a child with autism. Two tracks are available — TeachTown Basic and TeachTown Social Skills — and each track extends to approximately age 12.
• TeachTown Basic. For more than 10 years, TeachTown’s solutions have been designed to support continuity and intensity of instruction in any setting – whether that’s in-person, hybrid or remote-based learning. TeachTown Basics offers a blend of computer-delivered and teacher-led instruction proven to increase a student’s vocabulary, listening skills, social-emotional development, independence, academics and cognitive skills.
• TeachTown Social Skills has been designed for students with moderate and severe disabilities who often need extra support when it comes to mastering social skills. This comprehensive curriculum teaches socially-valid skills through animated video-modeling episodes, teacher-delivered lesson plans and student activities. In the elementary domains, students follow the adventures of four fun, relatable, animated characters as they learn to cooperate, listen, respect personal space, express emotions appropriately and more. Each target social skill is introduced and illustrated in a 2- to 3-minute animated episode and is part of a series of six days of lessons that include methods for differentiating instruction, generalization activities and homework assignments. Both programs offer a free 30-day trial.
Texas Connections Academy a Tuition-Free Texas Online Public School. Texas certified, geared towards 3rd-12th grade, Here you will find a more flexible learning schedule to pursue a passion like youth athletics, the arts and more, take academically advanced and college preparatory classes, receive specialized support to help with learning challenges, gain real-world career and technical skills, attend school in a safe and supportive learning environment, as a public school alternative to homeschooling.
Timberdoodle is a unique curriculum. Parents are able to customize the curriculum based upon their child’s strengths and interests. The curriculum then comes in the form of a kit which includes everything from lesson materials to supplementary puzzles and activities. The lists of subjects offered is extensive, including art, STEM, and even the Bible. They have put together fantastic resources for learners from pre-school to high school!
Time 4 Learning is an interactive online curriculum specifically designed for students with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism. The curriculum is completely automated, which allows students to move through lessons at their own pace with or without the immediate help of an adult. Furthermore, each lesson combines social and academic learning, and often emulates real-life scenarios. For example, a math lesson might be presented as a conversation between two animated characters. In addition to a full academic curriculum, Time 4 Learning also offers a Summer Learning curriculum and an After School curriculum. Time4Learning’s PreK-12th grade curriculum includes thousands of engaging learning activities, interactive lessons, printable worksheets, assessments, and more. Time4Learning is intended to be used in the home as a homeschool curriculum, afterschool alternative to tutoring, and for summer study.
Wilo Star 3D is a unique interactive online homeschooling program that is pioneering the use of 3D virtual worlds for 6-12 education. Homeschool online in an interactive 3D campus environment unlike anything else! Meet the homeschool curriculum of the future. This interactive online program actually creates a virtual classroom so that students can “attend” class. Best suited for those with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s, Wilo Star 3D presents each lesson via PowerPoint, whiteboard, or audio/video messaging. It also encouraging a certain amount of independence during study time. Students complete assignments and tasks based on their specific Knowledge Tower.
Homeschool Enrichment Activities are created to explore the fun side of science, expounding on general science principles, including the scientific method. HEA additionally provides cooking classes, art expression, chess classes and open play - all towards the goal of enriching young minds .
Homeschool Enrichment Activities offers Science labs that explore explosions, chocolate, gross science, forensic/detective science, food science, and more for ages 5-18. We also offer cooking classes for kids and teens. Follow/Like them on their Facebook page above and get all the info!