resources for special needs homeschooling


I’ve reviewed  a few of the books that have really helped me and put a few resources that we are using. Unfortunately there is no special needs curriculum that you can just buy to homeschool and in NSW an IEP isn’t enough for a homeschool plan. You need to meet the curriculum (in all subject areas) and I have to say it was daunting. But buying a ready made kindergarten curriculum and adapting it and finding other resources and just getting started has given me plenty of confidence.

I hope this helps…..I do have to say that most of the resources come from the US as there are more homeschooling families there and from my internet searches a lot of homeschooling families and resources are geared towards children with autism. It took a bit of researching to find books and resources for children with intellectual disabilities and that is how the books for children with Down Syndrome came up in my searches. These have been my favourite books. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of your child and their developmental age and work from there. There are a lot of FB groups even groups for certain curriculums for children with special needs.

Homeschooling Children with Special Needs by Sharon Hensley

This was the first book I bought and I have to confess that I started reading it and had to put it away for a while. I really don’t like the terminology she used ‘mental retardation’ as it’s outdated and the book wasn’t giving me warm fuzzies. Then I picked it up again and went straight to the resources and realised that is why I needed the book. Some of my favourite books have come from the resources section of the book so I think it’s worthwhile for that reason. You can find 2nd hand copies on amazon/eBay and it is really worthwhile getting.

Christian Homes & Special Kids by Sherry Bushnell & Dianne Ryckman

This is my favourite book and really sealed the deal for me. It just spoke to me and is written by Christian families who homeschool and there was such a wide variety of disabilities included in the book. The resource section was great and the advice and personal stories really hit home for me. A great buy and I prefer this one to the one above but the book above has a much more comprehensive resource section for all subjects. They also have a website here.

Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome

This was one of the books mentioned in Homeschooling Children with Special Needs and it is an absolute must if you are going to teach someone with special needs to read. It has so many activities and ideas and starts from the very beginning teaching the alphabet to ultimately having the child create their own books and read them. You could be at any level of learning to read and could pick up this book where you are. For less than $30 the book is so thick and full of great ideas and fun ideas. That’s how we’re going to get someone to read. If conventional methods aren’t working then this might be the book for you.

Teaching Math to People with Down Syndrome

Since I was impressed with the reading book I bought this book. Not just for children with Down Syndrome but children who need a different way of learning. For us we are still learning to count to 10 in Year 1 so I need something I can start with now and that can move with us as we learn more concepts in maths. Lots and lots of examples and templates in the back of the book, games and ideas and covering lots of maths concepts. A really great one to have in your library

Teachers Pay Teachers

How did I homeschool last year without this website. It’s amazing. There are free downloads but most of the ones you want you need to pay a few dollars for. They are fun, bright and have cute pictures so make learning fun. We’ve bought some book covers, lessons for maths, english and religion and it’s a great way to plan lessons and cover skills starting from Pre – K to senior years. Absolutely love this website and am a huge fan. You’ll need a printer to print everything off and I also got some wonderful alphabet and number games that I printed in colour and laminated and at $3 each game is so much cheaper than paying for an educational game from the shop. I’ve now started using it for year 3 when we are stuck on a concept or need something a bit more exciting than our textbooks.

Literacy Planet

All of my kids are enjoying this website. Membership came with our Complete Education Australia purchase and the games and activities start from preschool upwards. Because we are still at a preschool level we are using some of those and then making our own word list and then the program puts that into games so you can learn your simple words (for us it was cat, dog, fox, mum, dad etc). Lots of fun and a great activity when someone has hit the wall or needs a break (but it still counts as learning).

Complete Education Australia

I did look at distance education as an option for homeschooling as I’ve never taught someone to read and write before but decided the work would be too hard and after an assessment we decided to go with something else. Complete Education Australia is a homeschool provider so you pay $160 a term and the materials are all sent in pdf. All the lessons are planned out for you and it’s very hands on. We will do kindergarten over 2 years and I like having the maths, science, geography, history and art all planned out. In our first week we were recreating Monet artworks with watercolours and this week we are cutting out and sticking a skeleton together. Some of the work is too hard for us but apparently Complete Education Australia will help you adapt the work to the level of your child. Because we are doing it over 2 years I’m just saving some of the tasks for later on. I’m really impressed with it. I print each week on a Sunday and put it into my folder and then I have a planning sheet that I spread out the work over the days of the week so I can tick everything off.

Homeschooling Special Needs Australia

This mum has a wonderful success story of homeschooling her special needs son. She shares lots of resources and its worth reading her story as it’s a great one.

Facebook Groups

There are a lot of Facebook groups with parents from around the world who are homeschooling children with Special needs. There is an increasing trend for children with special needs to be homeschooled as schools just can’t always cater for special needs or children aren’t coping in the school environment.


Now that I’m actually doing it I love it. I was quoted last year as saying I couldn’t teach kindergarten as I wouldn’t know how to teach a child to read -it’s definitely easier to pick up homeschooling once your child can read and write – but now that I’m doing it is so much fun. I have a dear little girl who loves being home with us and is happy. So happy. We don’t have cranky mornings or afternoons being so tired from all the travelling and she’s doing fun things and what she loves.


  1. Thanks for this list! I’ll be referring back here, I’m sure. Another one you might be interested in is “Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child” by Cheryl Swope. I purchased an e-version as it was much cheaper than paying shipping from the States. The author adopted and raised twins with very intense special needs (many different types, each child being different) and severe learning delays. The book has lots of personal stories about what their days looked like, how they integrated therapy into life, and how she pursued a classical style education model despite challenges. I know classical education isn’t for everyone (we’re going to be flat out learning English and Auslan, without adding Latin into the mix!) but there were loads of great ideas and inspiration, especially I guess in the realm of expecting more from our kids than others might consider they are capable of. I found it a very encouraging read and refer back to it a lot.

    • thank you I’m going to look into that one! I like hearing from other stories as they are more realistic and encouraging than just advice!
      I’ve also discovered podcasts to listen to while I’m sewing and knitting

  2. Great resources, the Complete Education sounds like a fantastic option, particularly for beginners.
    I don’t know how to teach children to read either – they teach themselves 😉

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