Math Curriculum to Homeschool Kids With Disabilities

Parents have many options to choose from

mother and child with abacus
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For parents who are homeschooling a child with learning disabilities, selecting a math curriculum is an important decision. Fortunately, there's no shortage of math programs to choose from, but there's also no easy way to decide which one is best. Perhaps more important is how you use the curriculum you choose.

Before delving into some of the resources available, first, explore which teachers and curriculums make the best fits for children with learning disabilities.

Recognize Your Child's Needs

It's important to be aware of your child's needs and respond to them when needed rather than following a prescribed curriculum to the letter. It's also good for the teacher to instill a love of math into children. Be excited about math and find creative and fun ways to practice and explore math concepts.

It may be challenging to do this if you didn't enjoy math in school. However, making math fun for children with learning disabilities is essential to engage them in learning. What's more, it's important to take time to explain math concepts in different ways. Use drawings, manipulatives, or household objects to demonstrate math concepts. Using these strategies will help you make the best of whatever math curriculum you ultimately choose.

You should probably expect that you will need to supplement your curriculum additional explanations, demonstrations and materials to help your child understand math concepts. In short, the more creative and responsive you are to your child's needs, the better your results will be, regardless of the curriculum chosen.

If math is not your best subject as a homeschool teacher, consider:

  • Partnering with other homeschool parents who are stronger in math skills. They can teach your child math, and you can teach their children in subjects in which you are stronger.
  • Hire a tutor to work with your child specifically in math or any other challenging subjects.
  • Choose a good basal curriculum and learn to teach your child as you go. Naturally, if math is not your strong point, this may seem daunting.

If you choose the last route, be prepared in advance to studying up on math yourself. Make sure you fully understand the concepts before attempting to teach them to your child. Don't be afraid to bail if it is not working out and try one of the other approaches.

Homeschool Math Curriculum Programs 

Math curriculum programs tend to be either mastery-based or take the spiral approach. Mastery-based programs are chapter books that focus on a few concepts at a time with review practiced separately. The spiral programs introduce concepts and then extensive review problems. 

  • Saxon Math uses a step-by-step approach in a spiral model.
  • Math-U-See uses manipulatives to teach math concepts for children in grades K-12.
  • Horizons Math is a book-based spiral curriculum with lessons that include exercises for different concepts. The publisher, Alpha Omega Publications, also offers Switched-On Schoolhouse, a computer program. 
  • Abeka Math is part of a comprehensive full curriculum and follows the spiral model.
  • Singapore Math is a mastery-based program that focuses on mental math and problem-solving skills.

Questions to Consider

When choosing curriculum, ask yourself the following questions. They will help you narrow down your choices as you explore each program.

  • How much preparation do lessons require? Do you have time to adequately prepare before presenting each lesson?
  • Will it be necessary for you to familiarize yourself with both the teacher's edition and the student's book to deliver the lessons?
  • What type of support materials are available? Will you need instructional videos to help you implement the curriculum?
  • Does the curriculum use scripting? Some curriculum programs fully script out everything the teacher is to say and do. This takes the guesswork out of instruction and may make math easier to teach if it's not your strongest subject.

A Word From Verywell

Homeschooling comes with challenges and math is naturally a challenging subject for some people. If your student has a learning disability that adds to this difficulty, be sure to research your curriculum choices very well. The right program can get almost any child excited about math and ready to learn more.

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