• Sharon Starkey

Homeschooling on the Spectrum (Part 5): Choosing Your Curriculum

How do I know what curriculum to choose? When choosing a curriculum there are several things you want to consider. The three most important are the needs of your child, your needs and your situation. The curriculum you choose should address all these needs. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself.


Child Needs:

  • What is my child’s learning style? Is the child a visual learner, kinesthetic learner (hands-on), auditory learner or right-brain learner?

  • What is my child’s activity level? Can my child sit still for school and if so, how long? Does my child need active learning versus seat learning?

  • Does your child have a strong special interest? If so, you may want to consider interested curriculum versus standard curriculum.

  • Does your child need grade level instruction? Often, they will be behind in some subjects while they excel in others. Do you need a curriculum that can address all those needs to keep your child engaged? Or can you do a standard grade level curriculum?

  • What is your child’s plan for the future? Are they planning for college? Are they planning a trade or to be an entrepreneur?

  • Is my child going to need 1-1 help with all of the lessons or can they work independently?

  • Do they work best using a computer format or using book curriculum?


Parent needs:

  • Do you plan to work outside the home and homeschool your child?

  • Are you interested in checking off all the boxes and using a check sheet for accountability?

  • Are you able to provide assistance to your child?

  • Do you prefer doing hands-on activities?

  • Do you have a specific philosophy or specific content you want to teach? Or do you want to “wing it” and let it develop as you teach?

  • Do you have the ability to teach or help your child learn?

  • Are you willing to be open to change and able to be flexible?

  • Are you interested in learning?

  • What kind of time frame do you have to teach? One hour a day? All day?


Situations:

  • Is there a problem with the brick and mortar school?

  • Does your child have special needs that have not been addressed in school?

  • Do you have a lot of outside appointments and therapy?

  • Is homeschooling intentional? Have you always wanted to homeschool?

  • Is your child behind in academic learning?

  • Do you have time limitations?

  • Do you have limited technology?

  • Is money an issue? Is the budget tight?

  • Do you only need to homeschool for specific subjects?

  • Do you want your child to have a diploma from a school district?

Now that you have answered those questions it is time to look at which curriculum is a good fit for your family. You want to look at the content, the way the content is delivered and the approach to learning.


Remember, homeschooling is not like school! You are not restrained to doing things the way schools do. You can pick a curriculum that is flexible and benefits your child. If that curriculum does not work, you are free to switch to another. Have fun with it!

Autism Vision of CO

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