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Best Homeschool Curriculum for ADHD Child: Choosing the Right Program to Support Your Child's Learning Needs

June 7, 2023
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    Whether public or private school, traditional school settings aren't the right fit for every child. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, and other conditions are just one example of kids who might benefit from alternative school environments. A homeschool environment can open up a whole new world, and there are nearly endless reasons for that.

    Homeschooling parents have the ability to create a learning plan and schedule that fits their child's learning style and needs as they relate to things like movement, additional support with tough subjects, or extra breaks. All of these things and more may require a 504 plan in traditional school settings or might not be possible, but with homeschooling, you're in charge and can decide what's best for your child.

    What should parents looking for the best homeschool curriculum for ADHD know? This article will go over factors for parents to consider when choosing a curriculum, different types of programs, specific homeschool curriculum options that may be suitable for your child with ADHD, and tips that'll help you succeed at home while teaching your child.

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    Factors to Consider When Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

    While you can make adjustments along the way, starting homeschooling with a solid plan is strongly recommended. You want to consider things like when breaks will take place, how to navigate certain challenges that could arise, and how to structure lessons to support your child best. Consider the following factors to guide yourself in the right direction as you select a homeschool curriculum for your child.

    Learning style

    Knowing your child's specific learning style can help you decide on the best homeschool curriculum for them. This is because different curriculums use specific methods of teaching kids. For example, some include more hands-on activities than others. Here are the four main learning styles:

    • Bodily/kinesthetic: People who are bodily/kinesthetic learners consume information best through movement-based and hands-on activities.
    • Visual: People who are visual learners consume information best through visuals such as pictures, charts, graphs, and videos.
    • Reading and writing: People who are reading and writing-oriented learners consume information best through written instruction, note-taking, etc.
    • Auditory: People who are auditory learners consume information best through verbal instruction, reading aloud, discussions, etc.

    Attention span and focus

    When working with ADHD students especially, it's crucial to develop a defined understanding of the child's attention span. How long can they concentrate on most topics? What helps them focus? This will help you understand how to structure the day in a way that'll help kids learn, reduce frustration, and support symptom management.

    Accommodations and Modifications

    One of the benefits of teaching kids at home is that you can add accommodations or modify assignments more easily in most cases. You're in control since your kids are at home, even if you select an online homeschool curriculum or another pre-established program. Common accommodations and modifications for kids with ADHD include:

    • Extra breaks during the school day.
    • Reduced distractions (e.g., a quiet learning environment).
    • More support during lessons and assignments.
    • Additional time on exams.
    • Chewing gum.
    • Fidget toys.

    Assessments and progress tracking

    Assignments should be tailored to fit your child's brain and way of learning, and it is also essential to give kids assignments that either help them stay at or catch up to their grade level. It's important to set goals for your child and keep a record of their progress to ensure that they're meeting those educational goals.

    Cost and time commitment

    There are so many possible benefits to homeschooling, but it is critical for parents to first consider factors such as cost and time commitment. Some homeschooling curriculums are more expensive or time-consuming than others. If a homeschooling parent works, they may need a flexible schedule.

    Curriculum format and structure

    There are many different types of homeschool curriculums, which is what we'll discuss next. Each one will be structured uniquely and may include different perspectives on learning. Some may be more suitable for your child than others based on how interactive they are, the learning materials required or available, and so on.

    Types of Homeschool Curriculum

    Picking the right curriculum can make a world of difference, so it's something to approach carefully. Considering your child's needs and learning style, review the following kinds of homeschool curriculums and think about which one would be the right fit.

    Traditional text-based programs

    Traditional text-based programs are exactly what they sound like. These refer to homeschool curriculums that are based on a set of texts or textbooks. A traditional text-based program will function a lot like the typical education you'd find in public schools but for homeschooled students.

    Online programs and resources

    Online programs are pre-constructed school curriculums that allow children to finish school on the internet at home, though some projects (e.g., reading assignments, physical education, art, etc.) will be offline. Parent involvement is critical for a child's success with these programs.

    If parents don't opt for a fully online curriculum, online resources, like educational videos, games, or lessons, often help children learn and can be valuable additions to any homeschool curriculum.

    Unit studies and project-based learning

    Unit studies refer to a teaching method where students learn as many subjects as possible through one activity. Parents using this method may do a "unit" on animals and teach children multiple skills through various activities, like reading about animals, making art, and going to the zoo. You may count the animals or learn math facts by preparing for the trip to see animals in real life. "Units" usually last 1-3 weeks.

    Project-based learning, or PBL, is very common in homeschooling. PBL lets kids learn through real-world activities and projects that are personally meaningful to them.

    Multisensory and experiential learning

    Multisensory learning refers to learning activities that utilize more than one of the five senses. For example, a learning activity may include a combination of tactile (touch), visual, and auditory engagement. Experiential learning refers to "learning by doing" or, in other words, through experiences. For example, learning math skills by cooking or going to the museum to learn about a topic. These styles often work well together.

    Montessori and Waldorf approaches

    The Montessori method involves children's natural interests and activities as opposed to classic or formal learning methods. It emphasizes real-life skills, hands-on learning, independence, and respect for children. While there are Montessori schools, the method can be used at home as well. The Waldorf approach is similar because it emphasizes a child's freedom and life skills that aren't taught as extensively in public school environments, like gardening, cooking, and art.

    Hybrid approaches

    Hybrid approaches combine part-time homeschooling with part-time instruction in a regular school setting. This can be ideal for parents who feel it'd be beneficial to keep their kids in a traditional school setting part-time.

    Best Homeschool Curriculum Options for Children with ADHD

    Now that you know about some common approaches to homeschooling curriculums, let's talk about some of the homeschooling programs out there. Specifically, those that tend to work well with the ADHD brain. Remember that even with ADHD, everyone's different, so take into account what'll promote your child's engagement and support their learning most effectively.


    Time4Learning is an engaging homeschool program that makes school fun for kids and easy for parents. Time4Learning offers online learning curriculums for kids in pre-k through 12th grade that allow students to move at their own pace, which means that your child will have the opportunity to master important skills and subjects. There are thousands of interactive lessons which keep kids entertained and interested. Time4Learning also has a page for parents discussing homeschooling a child with ADHD and why their program works for kids with the condition.

    Find Time4Learning here.

    NeuroNet Learning

    NeuroNet Learning is a strong contender when it comes to finding the best homeschool curriculum for an ADHD child. This is because their programs are backed by research and include approaches that aid sustained attention, memory, visualization, and learning readiness. It's owned by StepUp, which was created by an audiologist who noticed improvements in children's academic and behavioral outcomes with a combination of kinesthetic learning, repetition, and rhythm in learning activities.

    Find NeuroNet Learning on the StepUp website here.

    Oak Meadow

    Founded in 1975, Oak Meadow is a Waldorf-inspired education option for kids in preschool through 12th grade. It is a book-based homeschool and distance learning curriculum. Oak Meadow programs are compassionate and student-centered, making them an appealing choice for those who have kids with an ADHD diagnosis. Since they partner with over 120 US schools, parents feel trust in Oak Meadow's learning practices.

    Find Oak Meadow here.

    Moving Beyond the Page

    Moving Beyond the Page is described as a homeschool and distance learning curriculum for hands-on, gifted, and creative students, making it an excellent homeschool curriculum for ADHD kids. You can shop for curriculums based on age or grade level on the Moving Beyond the Page website, which makes it easy to find what you're looking for and build a plan catered to your child.

    Find Moving Beyond the Page here.

    Abeka Academy

    Some features of Abeka Academy might make it an ideal fit for new homeschool parents who have kids with ADHD or who need a personalized learning plan and approach to education for any reason. Abeka Academy has customizable lesson plans, videos, teaching tips, learning games, suggestions for how and when to use teaching aids, and so much more.

    Find Abeka Academy here.

    Learning Abled Kids

    The Learning Abled Kids website has a host of different resources, including lists of educational software, books, information on dyslexia and other learning disabilities, and so much more. If you're looking for ways to make school work for a homeschooled child with ADHD, check out Learning Abled Kids.

    Find Learning Abled Kids here.


    Sonlight is a literature-based program that may be ideal for those seeking a Christian homeschool curriculum. On the website, you can build your own curriculum package and shop by subject. This allows for customization, which can be ideal for homeschooled students with ADHD.

    Find Sonlight here.

    Tips for Implementing a Homeschool Curriculum for ADHD Kids

    Homeschooling helps many kids discover their strengths and can offer a powerful, productive learning environment they wouldn't be able to access otherwise. With that said, it can be an adjustment, and knowing what tips and tricks to use ahead of time can be vital, especially for those teaching children with ADHD. Use these homeschooling tips to help your child with ADHD get used to and thrive in a curriculum.

    Establish a routine and schedule

    People with ADHD benefit from routines, and they are necessary for homeschooled children who don't have the structure of a traditional school setting. Create a daily routine and share it with your child so they'll know what to expect. Include specific times for lessons, breaks, lunch, and other activities, to help manage time and stay on track. Consider adding transition time between items if your child tends to need help transitioning from one activity to another. Engaging in a supportive morning routine before school can also be valuable and is recommended for children.

    Utilize breaks and movement activities

    Be mindful that kids with ADHD often need more breaks. This is a common school accommodation for kids with ADHD and can make a big difference in how they learn. Look at your child's schedule and ensure that there are regular breaks. If you need to make adjustments at some point, that is absolutely okay.

    A fun part of homeschooling is that there are nearly unlimited options for physical education activities. Dance lessons, nature walks, sports, and other activities all work. Even better, exercise is known to reduce ADHD symptoms and provide other benefits.

    Add physical activity to your child's school day strategically and choose activities they'll enjoy. Not only will kids meet their PE requirements, but they'll also be able to get the focus, concentration, mood, and behavior-related effects of exercise.

    Incorporate hands-on and kinesthetic learning

    The best homeschool curriculum for ADHD will almost always include movement and hands-on learning. Hands-on activities let kids learn by doing, which is valuable because it allows children to fully interact with, engage in, and often get the best chance at retaining what they learn in their lessons. No matter what program or curriculum you use, you can include hands-on or kinesthetic learning activities to enhance your child's education.

    Emphasize positive reinforcement and motivation

    Positive reinforcement is very motivating for ADHD kids and can help them make academic progress. Reward children for their effort and participation to encourage learning. Give verbal praise and consider the use of reward systems such as sticker charts or token systems.

    Provide accommodations and modifications

    We talked a little bit about what accommodations can look like for ADHD children. Homeschooling gives you a chance to give your child the specific accommodations and modifications they need - even those that wouldn't be possible in public or private schools. For example, allowing white noise to aid concentration or making other sensory changes may not work in a classroom with other kids, but if it helps your child with ADHD focus, you can use it at home.

    Seek out support and resources

    There are both resources for homeschooling parents and resources for families of kids with ADHD that may be helpful throughout your homeschooling journey. These can include but aren't limited to:

    • After-school sports, activities, and groups for homeschooled kids.
    • Support groups for parents with homeschooled children.
    • Occupational therapy.
    • Books and guides.
    • Therapy.
    • Tutoring.

    Most families find that community matters more than ever with homeschooling, so don't hesitate to see what's out there!


    Homeschooling can be an undertaking, but many parents and children find that it's more than worth it. Learning at home can uncover a child's strengths, give them the ability to get the accommodations and type of instruction they need, get as much support and one-on-one instruction as they need, and make learning fun. Diverse options for homeschooling curriculums are available, and while one may be best for a particular child, other families could find more success with another. Using tips such as creating routines, incorporating breaks and movement, and getting extra help if needed can help a child with ADHD thrive.


    Dr. Carrie Jackson, PhD

    Carrie Jackson, Ph.D. is a licensed child psychologist, speaker, and author working in San Diego, California. She has published over 20 articles and book chapters related to parenting, ADHD, and defiance. Dr. Carrie Jackson received her Ph.D. in Psychology, with a specialization in Clinical Child Psychology, from West Virginia University in 2020. She completed her predoctoral internship at Rady Children’s Hospital through the University of California, San Diego. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital before returning to San Diego, California to open her private practice.


    Dr. Carrie Jackson, PhD

    Carrie Jackson, Ph.D. is a licensed child psychologist, speaker, and author working in San Diego, California. She has published over 20 articles and book chapters related to parenting, ADHD, and defiance. Dr. Carrie Jackson received her Ph.D. in Psychology, with a specialization in Clinical Child Psychology, from West Virginia University in 2020. She completed her predoctoral internship at Rady Children’s Hospital through the University of California, San Diego. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital before returning to San Diego, California to open her private practice.