What curricula should I use?
It’s probably the most commonly asked question of all time by homeschool parents, right?
All of the choices can be so overwhelming!
Today, we’re going to talk about some general guidelines of how to evaluate whether a particular curriculum will be the right fit for your child with ADHD. Then, your homework assignment will walk you through some specific steps to help you make those daunting curriculum decisions.
First, my most important tip about curriculum…don’t be a slave to it!
Curricula is a tool you can use to help guide your child’s academic learning, but it is not the boss. Curriculum writers provide you with information and tools. They don’t know your child. They can’t possibly align every lesson to fit the needs of any child who may take their course.
It’s your job, as your child’s teacher, to identify what will be useful and beneficial to use as its presented, what may need to be modified, and what can simply be ignored.
You’re probably thinking, “Great…but how does that help me know what to choose?”
What Makes a Good Curricula for Kids with ADHD?
Here are a few things to look for when choosing curricula for your child with ADHD:
• Small chunks of information
• Short lessons
• Hands-on/kinesthetic activities
• Visual Components
• Multiple assignment/project options that allow for creativity and ownership of learning
• Audio Components
• Different ways to show progress
• Creative reinforcement of previously-taught material
Modifications and Accommodations
It’s important to understand that you will probably need to make modifications and offer accommodations to your child with ADHD, no matter what curricula you choose.
What are modifications?
Modifications are changes that you make to the learning material to make it better fit a child’s needs. (Ex. Fewer spelling words, a lower-level book to read, completing fewer math problems)
What are accommodations?
Accommodations are changes that you make to how the child learns the material. (Ex. Using audiobooks, having more time to complete an assignment, answering orally instead of writing answers)
Give Yourself Permission to Make Changes
You don’t have to:
• Complete every assignment
• Finish the curriculum
• Keep using something that's not working
In fact, you will wear yourself and your kids out if you try to do this (even if they don’t have ADHD)!
Choose the things that will provide the greatest value to your kids. Don’t bog them down with busy work. Kids with ADHD need a creative outlet, so try to provide that for them in their learning as much as possible.
Day 3 Assignment
Download and complete the Curriculum Evaluation Worksheet.
There are two options-one for those who are brand new to homeschooling and choosing curricula for the first time and another for those who have already been homeschooling and are evaluating the curricula they are already using.
Make sure you choose the one that fits your situation.
The worksheet will help you critically look at each curriculum you are using or considering to see if it includes elements that make it more ADHD-friendly and to evaluate how easily it can be modified to fit your child’s needs.
When you complete the assignment, you’ll have a solid working curriculum plan for your child.
This assignment is going to take some time. It’s okay if you don’t finish it today. You can still move on to Day 4 tomorrow.
If you have any questions, post them in the Facebook group with the topic #curriculumevaluation.
Day 4 is going to be fun, so make sure you don’t miss it! We’ll be talking about my favorite topic for homeschooling kids with ADHD…Structured Flexibility!