7 Online Programs for Homeschooling on the Spectrum

by Kimberley McGee
teaching special needs

Many parents choose to homeschool a child with special needs to provide a more tailored curriculum and target areas where they may struggle. Homeschooling special needs learners allows them to find their own pace and tackle big concepts with confidence. If you are planning on returning to school and need help or advice with an IEP, there are many local resources to help you during this different and somewhat more difficult Back-to-School period. Make back to school easy with schedules, fidgets and sitting wedges from NationalAutismResources.com.

Parents often find that the homeschool environment allows their special needs kids to thrive. It can be overwhelming, but many homeschoolers find that kids with special needs or learning difficulties can soar when allowed to learn at their own pace and style. If you don’t already know, take time to assess your child’s learning style. Take time to talk to your kiddo and create a curriculum built around their interests to further engage them in tough subjects.

The following 7 programs have either been recommended and tried by me or highly recommended by professional tutors and special needs teachers we’ve reached out to.

ACE: Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia

A complete education package, ACE: Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia is designed as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)) program. The software-based curriculum has lessons that range from basic skills to the more advanced concepts that kids on the spectrum can often struggle with. These can include more complicated concepts such as solving equations to writing lengthy essays that are fluid and fluent. Kids tend to rate ACE highly for its positive messages as kids move through the many subjects. ACE is is a completely customizable and comprehensive curriculum.

All About Learning Press

This program is good for kids who struggle with reading and spelling. It is parent-friendly, meaning that the guided instruction helps parents take the fuss out of figuring out the basics of reading and spelling for pre-K and kindergarten kiddos. They advance through to level 4.  There is also an interactive kit available with letter tiles, divider cards, magnets and other manipulatives that are ideal for virtual learners.

Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool

This completely free online resource was designed by a homeschool mom and has been touted by many homeschoolers for its user-friendly access and wealth of info. Kids can work at their own pace and find many different ways for kids to tackle subjects. It’s ideal for independent learners and busy parents. We paired it with other curricula when we were first started and it gave me more confidence.

Gemm Learning

The online learning software creates a customized curriculum tailored to your learner. Kids as young as 5 can get a head start with a behavioral assessment that parents complete and a reading assessment that the child finishes on their won. A bonus is the update that parents receive about a quarter into the program. Weekly updates alert parents to their kiddo’s progress. Teachers are on hand 24 hours a dayl 7 days a week to help parents guide their kids through frustrating or confusing concepts.

Handwriting Without Tears

I wish we had tried this earlier. Many kids, as my son has, who are on the spectrum struggle with those fine motor skills. Handwriting assignments can be a pain, in more ways than one. This program was suggested to me by more than one homeschool mom when we started our homeschool journey in 3rd grade. The multi-sensory handwriting instruction is developmentally appropriate for Kindergartens and through 5th grade work.

Miquon Math

Math can be intimidating, for moms and dads just as much as the kiddos struggling with these big concepts. Miquon Math uses simple and visually plain workbooks to cut down on distractions. They pair this with manipulatives for kids who learn better when handling objects to understand math. Download the PDFs at the Rainbow Resource Center for about $10-$12.

Time4Learning

This is a full online curriculum that guides parents through setting up the classes and working the program. Time4Learning offers a lot of support, children are regularly assessed and can work at their own pace. There are lots of incentives, awards and ways to build confidence in struggling learners. We used this program as newbie homeschoolers and the kids loved it.

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