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Special Needs Homeschooling

Back when we shared with you our Days in the Lives of Curriculum Choice authors, one of our dear readers asked for a day in the life of a special needs homeschooler. Today we bring to you experiences from our homeschools as well as wonderful resources we’ve found around the web. Please enjoy, pin and share Special Needs Homeschooling…

As homeschoolers, we are familiar with adapting our approaches to meet our children’s individual needs.  Homeschooling naturally leans itself to that, so it can be ideally suited for our children with special needs. And we are up to the challenge!

One of the beauties of homeschooling is how easily it can be adapted to meet the needs of our children with special needs. Parents can give children who have ADD, for example, short lessons, frequent breaks, and set up a distraction-reduced environment within the home.

When given directions, these children can hold and manipulate a small toy – and does not need an individualized education program (IEP) to do it.  Children who have difficulty listening, can work with written instructions.  Listening skills can be practiced in a gradual way.

Children with sensory needs can work on an exercise ball, take sensory breaks by going outside and doing cartwheels, or swing slowly in a swing – to meet their  needs.  They can learn their multiplication tables through bean ball toss games or while jumping on a small trampoline!  And children on the spectrum don’t have to deal with the stress of a classroom full of stimulation.

Our children’s strengths can be promoted, while working on difficult subjects at a pace that meets our children’s needs.

Please join us for our Special Needs Homeschooling, brought to you by our talented writing crew here are Curriculum Choice. Each author will bring you their experiences and knowledge in working with special needs. We’ve also included more wonderful resources from around the web. ~ Betsy Sproger, homeschool consultant and blogger at BJ’s Homeschool.

  • Kendra at Aussie Pumpkin Patch has a whole series of entries on their journey with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome. “One of the videos showed a sentence jump forward & backwards. Morgan happened to walk by while I was reading the website, pointed to the video & said, “Is that a video? That’s what happens when I read.”
  • Do you have some of these? From Annie Kate: Overwhelmed, Under-challenged, Unmotivated, Disobedient or Just Plain Lazy? ““How do you help your child if he is struggling to learn?”  We’ve dealt with this issue several times, and have discovered five different reasons for learning struggles.” 

  • Helping the Visual Spatial Learner by Barb-Harmony Art Mom: “Child number three shook my world…All the old tricks didn’t seem to work with him no matter how hard I tried.” Barb’s post is rich with resources, links, experiences and advice and includes a list of attributes of a visual spatial learner. “How Do We Adapt Our Homeschool To A VSL? Here are some more tips that I have found work for Mr. A in his schoolwork and learning in general.”

  • Homeschooling Gifted Kids…Really? by Cindy at Our Journey Westward and Shining Dawn Books: “we’ve been able to meet each of their needs perfectly. Not just academically, but emotionally, physically, socially, spiritually…each of my children is growing and thriving.”
  • My Top Ten Reasons for Homeschooling an ADHD Child by Stephanie at Harrington Harmonies. “My ADHD child is 21 years old now, and will graduate with his bachelors degree in Network Security this July. He is my homeschool success story. Perhaps the reasons below will help you to make the decision.”

  • Tricia has a mix of learners, ages at Hodgepodge: auditory, visual, kinesthetic as well as two busy little ones. She tailors learning spaces and family learning times to meet individual needs.”For a kinesthetic learner with many ‘things’ this storage helps keep my child’s supplies handy. Plus helps keep this mama sane. This organization has been a big part of our homeschool planning. To meet needs. To make learning centers natural.” Tricia and her family are also constantly adapting in creative ways because of severe food allergies.


Betsy, from BJ’s Homeschool, shares resources for struggling writers. Tips and help for kids who have trouble grasping their pencil, or who struggle with hand strength or small muscle coordination.

Here’s the first post in her series called Handwriting Helps: Handwriting Helps, part 1 – Small Muscle Activities

This Handwriting Helps series includes four posts, and, in addition, covers teaching your kids to write, finding grasp aids or devices, and strengthening the hand muscles with clay!

Tim’s First Grade – Working with ADHD – This is full of ideas for helping kids to focus, and engage in learning activities, with lots of curriculum suggestions, too.

Additional resources:

  • All of the homeschool blogs nominated at The Homeschool Post under Best Special Needs Blogger 2012
  • A great Pinterest board compiled by a fellow homeschooler: Autism, Special Needs. Also, more from Phyllis on her blog All Things Beautiful.
  • Dyslexia, The Road I’ve Traveled – Don’t miss this from Kim at Little Sanctuary (mother of 8!). A post full of resources plus the encouragement you need in how to talk to your children about their learning challenges. The giftedness they have! “When my Dyslexic children have a hard day, I remind them that God has made them for His glory. Their Dyslexia was not an accident. It is part of His plan, and He will use it for His Glory if they will let Him.”

Homeschooling with Dyslexia at Abundant Life

What resources have you come across? Please share in the comments!


Betsy blogs at BJ’s Homeschool about high schoolcollege, and all the fun of homeschooling the early years too.  As a veteran homeschooler, and former OT, Betsy also offers help to homeschool families.


~ Curriculum Choice review team ~Subscribe to Curriculum Choice

Betsy (46 Posts)

Betsy is a christian blogger and veteran homeschooler, who blogs at BJ's Homeschool about everything homeschooling, from the early years to high school, and Our Steps to College, too. She is mom to her always homeschooled 18yo, who is now a freshman in college. She and her husband flew to China to adopt her, when she was only 1 yo, a precious gift from God. When she is not writing or going on road trips with her family, she enjoys growing veggies, quilting, and photography. Betsy also offers homeschool help to families, including special needs here.

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Jennifer J. November 28, 2012, 10:10 am

    What an amazing list of resources! I’m honored that my link was included. Thank you! (Going to share now!)

  • Cindy November 28, 2012, 10:26 am

    Awesome post, Tricia! Thanks for your hard work!!

  • Rebecca November 28, 2012, 10:39 am

    GREAT list – I have found many of these resources useful for all of my children who range from needing extra help – to gifted…..Thank you for gathering them together in one place!

    • Betsy Sproger August 4, 2013, 11:37 pm

      It was our pleasure!

  • Tricia November 28, 2012, 3:24 pm

    There are so many amazing, specialized and gifted homeschooling families out there. Thank you all for your contributions and how you continue to encourage others!

  • Amy November 29, 2012, 11:15 pm

    I have two children with cognitive delays and one child who does well in most subjects but is terrible at spelling. Just had to share what has helped us. My two with cognitive delays have the hardest time with math. Touch Math has been a huge blessing for them. We had tried several other math programs but they all moved too quickly and covered way too much including my favorite Math U See. Math U See has worked great with my other two kids but my two with big learning challenges needed something else. I had spent three years trying to teach my daughter addition and she finally got it with Touch Math and has now moved on to subtraction which she also understands. You can order a free instruction DVD on the Touch Math website and they have lots of worksheets you can pay for in individual packs. I found Touch Math workbooks for sale at a big discount on ebay.

    The other curriculum I wanted to share is Apples and Pears spelling. This is a British program but it is the only thing that has worked for my son who is terrible at spelling. We had tried Sequential Spelling, Natural Speller, A Reason for Spelling, and All About Spelling. I was so hoping All About Spelling would work but we went through two levels and my son still couldn’t apply the spelling rules in his written work. My son is finally improving in spelling thanks to Apples and Pears. I had just about given up hope that he would ever learn to spell.

    I hope these suggestions can help another family who is struggling to find a curriculum that works for their special learners.

  • Jennifer Smith March 1, 2013, 8:24 pm

    Thanks! I appreciate all the great links in this post. I just wrote a post today about how I homeschool my special needs preschooler. Here’s the link to my post (hopefully it will help someone): http://freeindeed-redkitchen.blogspot.com/2013/03/special-needs-homeschooling-for.html
    Jennifer Smith´s last blog post ..Further Up and Further In, Narnia Homeschooling: Week of Feb. 25 – Mar. 1, 2013

    • Betsy Sproger August 4, 2013, 11:42 pm

      Thanks for sharing and encouraging others!

  • Jane March 2, 2013, 3:32 am

    Thanks to you, Jennifer, for sharing your experiences. I am sure they will help other families, and encourage them!

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