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Agonizing over Curriculum

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I don't know if it should be as agonizing as it is but I am totally overwhlemed and confused as to what's best.... any advice is appreciated.


Here's the background.  My son is 9, has Asperger's Syndrome.  Has attended public school since PreK- except for 2 months finishing out 1st grade because his teacher refused to follow the IEP.  Fast forward to now, we have done mediation, filed a complaint with the DOE and it appears the school is unwilling to meet my son's needs.  I had always wanted to homeschool him, and we planned on homeschooling our younger daughter, but with his challenges we were convinced to PS him.


I have decided that I know what's best, and we are going to HS him next year.


Curriculum seems to be the sticky part though.  There are so many choices. 

My son would be entereing 4th grade, he reads at mid to end of 5th grade, his math skills are "above grade level" according to his teacher, I do know he knows all multiplication facts to 9, can add and subtract any size number, can do simple division and they are starting on fractions.  Science and social studies has not really been a part of his schooling unfortunately. :(


Given all that, here is what I have looked at...


Abeka, I like the looks of it somewhat, I am concerned about the religious part of it, we are not religious though my son does enjoy his bible studies with his "good news club" at school (not a school sponsored event the people from the baptist church just hold it at the school) Concerned about the lack of "novels" to read as that's something that's enjoyable for my son.


Calvert- I really like the look of this, I do not want something that I have to plan every lesson for, I like that it's all done for me.  But it's very spendy and I have heard science and history are lacking... I am willing to spend the money if it's worth it, but I hate to spend that much and have to add supplements.  I would also like to start a foreign language, and at the price of calvert I don't think I can afford to add anything...


piecing it all together- I like the look of history odyssey and R.E.A.L science as well as Science Odyssey, but that leaves me questioning how to get the rest of the curriculum- specifically English/Language Arts, Literature, and Math.


Help! Please,

post #2 of 6

www.timberdoodle.com has a page of recommendations specific to families with children on the spectrum. I think if you call or email them they would be able to help you customize a curriculum for your son.


They are a Christian company but most of the products they sell are not explicitly from a biblical perspective. Mostly the history and science books would be, but they have a ton of science kits that are not. 


If he likes to read they have a huge selection of graphic novels if that is something that would appeal to him.

post #3 of 6

Saxon Math has their placement tests online. I would figure out where he is in math before you buy something.

post #4 of 6
Since his math skills are strong and he is likely coming from a disheartened view of education from what you describe regarding his previous school and teachers, I would look at a literature-based curriculum and holistic Ed.

We absolutely LOVE Waldorf education, and while I am not a purist by any means, I find this way of education to meet the child developmentally while offering balance and healing, as well as fostering a love of learning through quality literature and poetry, math movement, science in nature and exciting phenomena, etc.

I would recommend looking into Christopherus, or even Oak Meadow, which while it is not a pure Waldorf curriculum, the lessons are immersed in quality stories and the science looks excellent.

post #5 of 6

we had good luck with the 6th grade curriculum from oak meadows with my brother who has aspergers and I use OM with my own kids as well.

The timberdoodle suggestion was also good. personally I didn't like calvert. it was TOO structured in some places and lacking in strange educational spots in others but in all fairness I only used kindy so higher grades may be different and structured can be a very good thing for an aspergers kid... I believe they have samples you can order \ download perhaps that would help you get a feel for it.


sonlight.com is good and very literature based. They are a religious company but it is pretty easy to make their program secular. With the exception of the guide books you could pick out the religious books and materials and it's a great program. (even then the guide book mostly just has bible versus to memorize so you could just ignore that bit and move on to the rest.)

post #6 of 6

I always encourage piecing it together, because there are so many wonderful things out there from sources that specialize in subjects and have found great ways of presenting material - and there are so many different ways this can be done, that you can easily find things that are perfect for your child.


If you spend some time perusing the FUN-Books catalog, you'll find lots of rich and creative approaches you'll never find anywhere else, and things that will jump out at you as ones your child might enjoy. 


Whatever you do, don't worry about having everything in place all at once - it's a long and organic process, and lots of learning will be going on as you experiment and explore together. You can even get a lot of things from the library for a while - look through the juvenile non-fiction section, and you'll be amazed what you find. If you invest in a whole packaged curriculum, you'll probably feel it needs to be used, but it may not be a good fit for your child.


There are fabulous materials and resources that can be much more productive and enjoyable than what you'll find in a package - so take your time, relax, and explore before you make any kind of commitment. Enjoy!  - Lillian

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