Curriculum and Books
Here's some info about how I choose curriculum. You'll find my specific book and curriculum recommendations if you scroll down, but I do recommend taking a quick read of this information first. :)
When you start homeschooling, one of your first questions might be about which curriculum or materials to use to teach your child. There are many options for curriculum that you can purchase, but you can also put together your own curriculum by making individual lessons and activities.
I'll list some of my favorites curriculums below, but I honestly haven't found many complete curriculum programs that I like for all students with autism, so I prefer to put together my own curriculum for each child I work with using a combination of published curriculum and supplemental activities that I make myself.
If you don't purchase a "published" curriculum, you can make your own activities based on your child's interests, which is really fun! Of course, you can also use a published curriculum and still give your child lots of time to explore his or her interests, so it's all about what works best for your child, your family, and what helps you meet the homeschooling requirements for your location (more info about that is at the end of this post).
To put together your own curriculum, start by setting-up a plan for assessment and progress tracking (such as a homeschool IEP). This allows you to know what skills and knowledge your child already has, and then create goals to build on those. Once you have some goals, you can then make or find lessons and activities that match those goals.
You can also buy a curriculum program and supplement it with making some of your own activities. This is what I do the most often. I own lots of curriculum kits, and I make visual aides or other materials to go along with them to help match my students' learning styles. I also make extra activities if there's a skill that a student needs more practice on than the curriculum provides.
Below you'll find some of my favorite curriculum programs that I've used with students. Please look at these in detail to see if you think they would work for your individual child, as no two children are the same. Some of the things I look for in a curriculum are: (1) concepts broken down into steps, (2) lots of pictures/visual supports, (3) hands-on activities.
Please note that your state or country may have specific requirements for which subjects to teach and similar regulations. Check with a local homeschooling organization for specific guidance. Since I'm in Texas, I'm most familiar with the regulations here. You can find some great FAQs for Texas at this link.
If you have any questions about curriculum, please feel free to ask them in the Autism Homeschool Success Facebook Group!
Here are some examples of curriculum programs that I've used with students. Please note that some of these are affiliate links and I may receive compensation from any purchases you make using them.
(I like this program for younger elementary school-age kids.)
Danica McKellar's Math Books
These books make math concepts really easy to understand. Your student can read the books directly, or you can use the books to create your own lessons. They're honestly great to just refresh your own knowledge as the parent teaching the materials, regardless of whatever curriculum you're using. This is what I do for my tutoring students, particularly if they're boys, as the middle and high school level books are more written with girls as a target audience. If you have concerns about the language, such as on the "Math Doesn't Suck" book title, you can just use the examples from the book to teach your child without including that type of terminology.
All About Reading
Read my review of "All About Reading" here.
Write Your Own Story Book
A step-by-step workbook with visuals.
Write and Draw Your Own Comics
My students have really enjoyed exploring character and story elements through the activities in this book.
Usborne Books (the publisher of the two books above) also has lots of other writing books that sound really fun, such as writing your own magazines and scripts. I haven't used any of those other books yet, but I will post a review when I do. You can find the additional writing books from Usborne here: https://u9527.myubam.com/search?q=story+writing
A free website to learn the basics of computer programming (for young kids through adults) featuring fun characters.
How to Teach Art to Children Grades 1 - 6
Easy-to-use lessons on various art topics.
Read my review here.
Early Childhood Art Guide
Outdoor/ Creative Play
Montessori-based program that encourages children to develop their own personal connection to Bible stories.
Tinkergarten offers group classes for young children, as well as free DIY at home activities to help children develop their motor skills, creativity, problem-solving skills, and more.
Kumon Workbooks: One of My Favorite Resources for Numbers and Letters
I've been using Kumon workbooks with my students for years, and I absolutely love them. They take each skill and break it down into easy steps for the child and they include lots of visual supports. I usually like to make my own teaching materials to use with my students, but these workbooks are so great that I don't need to make materials for the skills they cover.
Note: The books have recommended ages listed on them, but I usually ignore those and just choose the ones that are right for my students and what skills they're working on regardless of age.