How to Choose the Best Homeschool Math Curriculum

How to Choose the Best Homeschool Math Curriculum

5 Tips To Choose The Best Homeschool Math Curriculum

This is part 1 of a two part series focused on how to choose the best homeschool math curriculum for struggling students.  

Isn’t that the million dollar question, right?  

As homeschool moms begin to plan for the new school year, we want to do the “right and best” thing for our kids.   Many families choose to homeschool when the traditional system fails their child.  Honestly, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this happens.  

Our educational system is designed to serve the masses.  By virtue of being a system, it can’t provide an optimal learning environment for every child.  This only makes sense.

1. Learning Styles & Wiring Should Drive Educational Planning

Here is the reality. Diversity of learning styles, learning differences, and specific life circumstances impact the learning experience of each child.

Kids with ADHD, Autism, dyslexia and other outside-the-box learning styles are often served very well when homeschooled.    Ultimately, homeschooling allows the parent-teacher to choose the best teaching materials based upon their child’s unique needs.

Homeschool ADHD Cheat Sheet

Best Homeschool Curriculum For Your Student

So when a new homeschool mom asks the ultimate question about the best homeschool curriculum, there really is no one right answer.   In fact, when I hear people asking this question, alarm bells begin to sound in my mind.

“Stop!  Do not pass go!  Do not collect $200!  Go directly to jail!”

Crazy response, right?  Do I sound dramatic?  It’s ok.  I own it.   However, there really is a reason behind my madness.

2. Always Prioritize Learning Outcomes

When it comes down to it, I am passionate about learning outcomes for kids.  

My heart aches for every to child grow up confident in their ability to learn.  There is not one mom out there who does not desire that her child be a lifelong learner.

In the long term, we want all of our kids to think deeply and know how seek truth throughout their lives.  

With this in mind, it is crucial for parents to understand that every child is truly unique.  Every person learns best when equipped based on his or her own unique wiring.

So what does this mean for the new homeschooling mom?  How does she make the right choices for her child?

3. Reframing the Question Helps

When referring to math in particular, we need to reframe the question from,

What is the best homeschool math curriculum?”  to

What is the best homeschool curriculum for my child at this time?”

There is never going to be one right answer to this question. 

Our children all have different needs and those needs are going to ebb and flow as time and circumstances change.

The point being… give yourself grace. Take the pressure off when choosing learning materials for your student.  

We all just need to do our best with the information we have at any one time.  

4. Run Through These Questions Before Buying Curriculm 

Ultimately, when deciding what the best homeschool math curriculum will be for our specific child, we want to ask the following:

  • How does my child learn best?  
  • What educational materials will best support my child in learning effectively, efficiently and with intrigue?
  • Does my child have any educational gaps?
  • What are my educational goals for this student?
  • Areas of interest?

Grab the FREE Homeschool 101 Planning Guide to help you walk through this process for each of your children.  

Once you have the answers to these questions, you will be best equipped with what you need to make a solid decision for your child or children.  

Let’s dig a little more deeply into the homeschool math materials out there.  

how to choose homeschool math curriculum

5. Spiral vs. Mastery Homeschool Math Curriculum

There are two different approaches to math curricula out there: Spiral-based and Mastery-based.   Here is a brief explanation of the two and some factors to consider when deciding which approach will be best.

Mastery-Based Homeschool Math

Mastery based homeschool math curriculum focuses on just that.  Mastering concepts.   These homeschool math resources focus on one topic at a time.  Ultimately, the goal of this approach is that the child will master each concept before moving on to the next.  

The ADHD Brain and Mastery-Based Homeschool Math

For our kids who struggle with shifting attention once “in the zone,” this approach can be very effective.  Think of your child who has the gift of hyperfocus

You know the one…

The child who can become easily frustrated when asked to stop playing with his Legos.  

Or the little girl who “never listens” when told it’s time to stop playing with her Beanie Boos because it is time to go.

Ironically, despite the name that indicates lack of focus, those with ADHD often can zero-in on an activity of high interest to the exclusion of the world around them.  

homeschool special needs math curriculum

ADHD Super Powers

Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, in an ADDitude magazine article, says,

“Many scientists, writers, and artists with ADHD have had very successful careers, in large part because of their ability to focus on what they’re doing for hours on end.”

For our kids who struggle to learn new math concepts, a mastery-based homeschool math curriculum may serve them well.

Using multi-digit multiplication as an example.  

Once a student finally “gets it,” the last thing that student wants to do (or even can do) is suddenly shift to calculating fractions.  

These kids tend to do well focusing their energy on one concept until they have it backwards and forwards.   

Specifically, these kids often need lots of targeted practice over an extended time period in order to develop automaticity.    

This is just a fancy way of saying that a student finally gets the concept without struggling.  

Homeschool Math Curriculum Struggling StudentsPlanning

Spiral-Based Math

Spiral-based curricula offer more variety in that they tend to introduce a new topic each week.  

The first lesson of the week often includes multiple problems associated with the new topic.   However, the rest of the lesson will circle back to and spiral through older topics as review.  

If you have a child who tends to be more math-minded or who needs more variety to stay engaged, a spiral approach is a great choice. 

That ADHD Brain & Spiral 

Interestingly, neither Mastery-based nor Spiral-based homeschool math is better than the other.  What works best will be completely dependent upon your unique child.

Referring back to that same ADHD brain, that same child may need more mental stimulation and variety of math problems in order to stay engaged.  This may make a spiral approach the better choice as was the case in our homeschool with my oldest daughter.  She tends to be more math-minded and has the gift of an ADHD brain.  

In the beginning of our homeschool journey,  I heard that the mastery-based approach was the “best way to teach homeschool math.”  Understandably, I wanted the best for my daughter and so I chose “the best homeschool math curriculum.”

Whah… whah… total fail.

My girl’s ADHD, math-minded brain needed more variety in order to keep her engaged.  By pivoting to a spiral-based math program, she thrived.  Ultimately, what approach works best will depend on the unique-wiring of your student.

How to Choose Homeschool Math Curriculum

Again, whether your child does well with one or the other will be based on a number of variables.  These factors include frustration tolerance, aptitude for math, need for variety, etc.  Like everything else, it all depends on the learner. 

I’ve created a Homeschool 101 Planning Guide to help you tease through the important questions to get a better picture of your child’s needs.  Grab a copy, take a deep breath and know that it’ll never be perfect.  Do the best you can and as you learn, be willing to look outside-the-box.  

Homeschooling is a lifestyle of learning and growing for your children and just as importantly, you.

Homeschool ADHD Cheat Sheet

Best Homeschool Math Curriculum For Struggling Learners

To help you make an informed choice about the best homeschool math curriculum options for your student, I asked the experts.  Yep, some of the veteran homeschool moms from AHFAS private community.   Each has their own story which makes them a valuable resource for us all.  

They share what has worked, what hasn’t worked and why.  Praying they can save you some homeschool heartache. Check it out here. 

And comment below with what math curriculum has worked in your homeschool.   Always excited to hear from you!

Our Journey Westward
Our Journey Westward

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

ADHD Homeschool Teaching Tips
Orton Gillingham Method For Struggling Readers

Orton Gillingham Method For Struggling Readers

Orton Gillingham Method & Struggling Readers

Have you heard of the Orton Gillingham method?  What about the All About Reading program?

Do you have a struggling reader in your home?

Sadly, as of 2016, roughly 36 million adults struggled with basic reading and writing skills.

This alone is tragic.  And can have devastating impacts on lifestyle, emotional well-being, access to decent-paying jobs… to name just a few.

Whether you are a homeschool educator or a teacher in a traditional classroom, we all agree that we want our kids to read.

Ultimately, child who can confidently read is on their way to a lifestyle of learning, knowledge and a brighter future.

So what happens when your own child struggles to read? 

What do we do when our kids resist reading or “hate” reading?

When a child has dyslexia, a learning difference or simply struggles to catch on, how we approach our kids’ reading challenges has vast implications.

This is why it is crucial for parents to be armed with information and resources to support their struggling student.

orton-gillingham, all about reading, homeschool reading curriculum, ADHD, dyslexia

Orton Gillingham Method

One alternative reading teaching method is the Orton-Gillingham (OG) method.   

Orton Gillingham is a teaching approach that explicitly teaches the relationships between letters, combinations of letters and their sounds.

It is multi-sensory which means it uses multiple parts of the brain in order to solidify reading component skills.  

How to Evaluate a Reading Program

Multi-Sensory: The 5 Senses?

When speaking of the term multi-sensory, this simply refers to the various sensory systems within the body.  And while we now know that the body contains dozens of sensory systems, for the sake of this post, we will focus on the basic 5 senses.  Think of the senses that you learned about in grade school.

  • Sight
  • Taste
  • Hearing
  • Touch
  • Smell

Basically, each sensory system is designed to allow the brain to receive and process information from the outside world.  This is what many parents of uniquely-wired kids know as sensory input.  We know that a child with ADHD or autism may need specific sensory input in order to function well in day-to-day activities.

This same concept applies to learning in general.  The brain often needs multiple forms of sensory input specific to what is being learned.  Learn about the brain and the sensory systems that impact learning and behavior in the FREE 5 Day Devotional Video Series.

orton-gillingham, all about reading, homeschool reading curriculum, ADHD, dyslexia

An OG Example

Using the Orton Gillingham method of teaching reading, let’s look at an example.

When engaged in reading lessons, the teacher may have a child learn basic phonics sounds in the following way:

  • the child sees a letter symbol on a card (visual), 
  • builds the letter with clay (kinesthetic or touch), 
  • hears an adult modeling the sounds aloud (auditory), 
  • the child would then repeat back the sound (oral output) aloud (auditory )

Again, this multi-sensory learning approach is often highly effective as it targets multiple parts of the brain.  

All About Reading

All About Learning Press

All About Learning is a homeschool curriculum company that uses the Orton-Gillingham method.  

They have two programs lines to support literacy with each complementing one another.

  1. All About Spelling 
  2. All About Reading

This homeschool reading curriculum is highly effective, engaging and visually appealing for both parent-teacher and student alike.  

All About Reading

Orton Gillingham Method: Outside-the-Box

Both All About Spelling and All About Reading work well for our outside-the-box thinkers.  

The curriculum materials include:

  • Hands-on letter tiles, 
  • A systematic flash card system (unlike any I have ever used) that provides explicit and incremental instruction, 
  • Leveled readers that are engaging, fun, and well-illustrated, 
  • and easy to follow step-by-step teaching guides for parent teachers.

No stress on momma!!  Can I get an amen?!!

The Power of Orton-Gillingham

Letter Tiles & Systematic Flash Card System

Speaking to the intentional design of All About Reading and All About Spelling, the sequential flash card system is brilliant.

Children learn all the letter sounds for each letter and combination of letters. 

Rather than teaching our children that the English language doesn’t make sense or follow rules, it specifically teaches the patterns within our language.  For example,

  • c says “s” before i, e & y
  • a says “a” (cat), “A” (skate) and “ahh” (all)- this is laid out right away before official spelling or reading instruction begins
  • syllable division rules are explicitly taught
    • Open Syllables (represented by an open door image) have a long vowel sound (We)
    • Closed Syllables (represented by a closed door image) have a short vowel sound (hat)

Instead of waiting until kids are “older” to teach these ideas, these are assumed foundational skills that are taught at the lower levels.  

Homeschool Reading Dyslexia

All About Learning Press in My Home

Personally, some of the sweetest homeschool memories that we have had in my home involved our time using All About Spelling.

I actually taught my girls to read using a completely different reading instruction approach called the DISTAR method.  We used the book Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Ultimately, my girls learned to read fairly easily using this resource.

However, once we had “mastered” reading, I wanted to give them a solid teaching in spelling and further strengthen their reading skills.

All About Spelling was an incredible blessing to us in a surprising way.  All About Spelling is chock full of literacy support that came from more deeply understanding the English language through spelling rules.

Both my girls loved physically manipulating the letter tiles.  The tiles’ color-coding of vowels, consanonts, vowel teams, etc. were highly effective.

All About Learning: Teaching the Teacher

Honestly, each lesson seemed to be an “aha” moment for me as the teacher.

Finally reading and spelling rules were no longer ambigous and without meaning.  The program provided me the key to put the puzzle pieces together.

Homeschooling and using All About Learning press’s materials have ultimately helped me become a better teacher.

Honestly, I have learned more about reading instruction through their curriculum than I ever did in graduate school.  And I earned my MA in Teaching!

 

Dyslexia Resource Library

Starting Over With All About Reading

This year, I will be starting at the beginning again.  While my oldest is going into high school, my middle is going into middle school, I will be starting kindergarten with my boy.

My son has cognitive differences including a severe speech and language delay.  Because of this, I have to be very intentional with my reading curriculum choice.

I’ve decided that in order to best equip him with what he needs to thrive as a reader, we will be using All About Reading this year.

I will post an update about his progress soon.  Can’t wait!

all about reading, all about spelling

Reading aloud TO your child as a reading strategy

In addition to seeking out alternative reading curriculum, I highly recommend reading aloud to your struggling reader.  Reading aloud to your child will yield incredible fruit including:

  • Language development 
  • Reading comprehension skills
  • Exposure to rich vocabulary
  • Deepened family connection and so much more…

For more on reading together as a family.

Dyslexia Resource Library

Who Benefits From Orton-Gillingham?

Kids are unique in so many ways.  This diversity includes neurodiversity… the way we think and process the world around us.  Our children (and all people) learn in different ways and develop at different times. 

I am convinced that every student can excel when equipped to learn based on who they are and their own wiring.   Therefore, teachers and parents need to be equipped with appropriate strategies for struggling readers. 

If our goal is to equip our children to become literate learners, we must be willing to think outside-the-box.   And how cool is it that we can homeschool our children in this country?   Not only that, but we can provide them with superior instruction using programs such as All About Reading.

So, Friend, what strategies and programs have you used with your struggling or resistant reader?  Do tell!  Comment below.  We are all in this together.

Homeschool ADHD Cheat Sheet
All About Spelling Giveaways
20 Best Tips

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

How Do I Choose The Best Homeschool Curriculum? Learning Differences

How Do I Choose The Best Homeschool Curriculum? Learning Differences

How Do I Choose The Best Homeschool Curriculum?

When mommas ask me to share my thoughts about what’s the best homeschool curriculum, I tend to answer with a question.

How does your child learn, how is she wired and what is he most interested in?  

Many moms haven’t yet identified this essential understanding about their children before jumping into spending big bucks on curriculum.  And that often bites us all in the butt.  (This includes me… Many times.  In the past decade.  Took me way too long to learn.  Ugh.)   

Anyhoo… Because of this, before I ever discuss specifics about curriculum, I walk my moms through a series of questions.  Utimately, the goal is to help tease out their child’s learning style, interests and wiring.   This will save everyone a lot of heartache and stress.  And it doesn’t hurt that it’ll save cash too.

Best Homeschool Curriculum - Learning Differences

by Lindsay Leiviska | A Heart For All Students

What’s the Best Curriculum?  The Most Important Info First

I ask questions designed to identify learning strengths and weaknesses. For example, 

  • What subjects does your tend to do well in and which does he or she struggle in? 
  • Are there any subjects that your child particularly enjoys?
  • Which concepts cause tears on a regular basis?

This helps us dive deeper to establish the root cause behind why a child struggles in a subject.  With this understanding, we then have a starting point.  

By doing this pre-work, moms are armed with essential information to choose the best homeschool curriculum for their child.  This’ll serve kids academically and emotionally.  In the end, this will bless the entire homeschool dynamic. 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

homeschool language arts curriculum, special needs

Homeschool is NOT School At Home

Because we are all uniquely-designed, it makes sense that many children think and process the world differently.  Often, moms choose to homeschool their kids when they realize that their children are not served well in the traditional system. 

Ultimately, the reality is that a school system is just that.  It is a system meant to serve the masses and not the individual.  However, this is not a criticism.  By virtue of being a system, institutionalized educational frameworks cannot serve each individual child.  

So when a child consistently struggles or resists school, it is often best to step back and seek out other educational options. Check out this post for 7 Tips For The New Homeschool Mom.

This, my Friend, is when homeschooling shines as the blessing that it is.  No where else can one find the ability to meet the individual educational and emotional needs of the whole child. 

Homeschool ADHD Cheat Sheet

Homeschooling is a Gift for Unique Thinkers

Homeschooling allows parents to provide outside-the-box thinkers the opportunities to succeed as students.  Whether a child has ADHD, dyslexia, a processing disorder or other learning difference, every child can thrive as a learner.

Working with the grain of our kids’ wiring and interests is key.  Doing so improves learning, self-worth, and creates a more joyful and peaceful educational experience.  For tips to optimize your child’s ADHD brain for the best learning, listen to this episode of the podcast.  

So What Is The Best Homeschool Curriculum For Unique Thinkers?

Sadly, I cannot tell you what the best homeschool curriculum is for your child.  However, I can offer you some great resources to check out once you have a baseline understanding of how your child is wired.  

For this post, I asked homeschool moms in A Heart For All Students community to share their insights.  They gave us their “best homeschool curriculum” choices. 

Please note that these moms are homeschooling kids with a variety of learning differences and styles. 

Today we will focus on the preferred Language Arts homeschool curricula of these seasoned homeschool moms.  Next week, we will hear all about their favorite math resources! 

data-pin-description=top homeschool reading curriculum for kids with special needs

Best Homeschool Curriculum- Language Arts

1. Master Books

Melissa Cochran, M.Ed., is a former principal, reading specialist, and kindergarten teacher.  She homeschools 2 teens with ASD, ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety, SPD, and PDD (Persistent Depressive Disorder).

She describes her homeschool as “it’s like alphabet soup around here!”  With so many nuances to how her kids learn, Master Books has been a hit in her home!

Master Books curriculum is open-and-go. The curriculum is written to the student and is easy for new homeschoolers to jump into without feeling overwhelmed.  Bonus! They have materials for Social Studies and Science, too.

Heather Purvis also enjoys Master Books with her son.  

My favorite is Master Books. It is Christ centered with a Charlotte Mason approach. I have had luck with the phonics and reading for my struggling reader.  It is not strenuous which makes it approachable for my son. 

Master Books isn’t heavy on pencil paper work, but more living education.  Their phonics and reading is focused more on letters, sounds and recognition. Not a ton of sight words. 

It’s a laid back approach with very simple reading by student with more reading to them by the parent.

Heather Shank-Purvis is mom to 5 very different learners.  Some are in homeschool, private and public school.  Her homeschooler navigates life with  ADHD, OCD, Anxiety, PANS/AE, Dyslexia and Dysgraphia.

Another Vote for Masterbooks As A Best Homeschool Curriculum

I am just switching to Master Books and so far I am loving the look of it!! We’re starting with the Language Arts for a Living Education.  Also, we purchased their Bible curriculum for my 11 year old.

Janelle, homeschool mom of 3, ADHD-infused homeschool life

Logic of English Tree

Orton-Gillingham Based Reading

2. Logic of English

Beckye Barnes, a homeschooling rockstar and an educational advocate, loves Logic of English.

Logic of English amazing. It is available both online and in print.  Based on the science of reading, it is a full language arts curriculum. 

Beckye Barnes is a homeschool mom of two teen boys, Autism, PTSD, ADHD, dyslexia & dysgraphia.  She just recently graduated a student with a 4.868 GPA who is entering college as a freshman with 30 college credits.
All About Reading

3. All About Reading & All About Spelling

My dyslexic son is doing well with All About Reading at a slower pace.   We are able to go at his pace.

Colleen has homeschooled four children, each with different learning styles.  Speaking about All About Reading, she continues, 

Physically moving the letter tiles, my son can now see that the ending or beginning sounds stay the same.  He was thrilled when he was able to read a story from the reader. I think that boosted his confidence that he will be able to conquer this struggle.  

Colleen Webster, homeschool mom of 4, dyslexia and ADHD

Dyslexia Resource Library

More Orton-Gillingham Homeschool Reading Curriculum Choices

The Orton-Gillingham method is systematically designed to support children with dyslexia and other reading learning disabilities.  Here are just a few more recommendations that you may want to consider when teaching your struggling reader.

Beckye Barnes offered these suggestions.

She recommends several programs for struggling readers.  Each of these employ the Orton-Gillingham method and start at the foundations of phonemic awareness.  If you have a struggling reader, she recommends checking out any of the following programs:

Beckye also recommends two online supplements Nessy and Teach Your Monster to Read as they are also based in the science of reading. 
my kid hates writing, homeschool help

Here are some other homeschool reading curriculum choices that Crystal and Kara have found helpful in their homeschools.  Both ladies have children who learn differently, from autism, adhd to language processing speed.  

Misc. Homeschool Language Arts 

4. Collections Close Reader 

I like Collections Close Reader for 6-7 Language Arts. My girl hates reading, listening, writing, etc. and this has collections of short stories.  There are short questions and vocabulary sprinkled throughout the stories. It can be done in small chunks even if a student can’t finish a whole short story.

Crystal, homeschool mom of 2,  Autism 

5. Rod and Staff Grammar

Kara, a homeschool mom of two adopted sons with multiple learning challenges, offers her favorite grammar curriculum.

For grammar we love Rod and Staff for GrammarI like that it’s traditional and gives clear examples. 

I love that they include sentence diagramming and start it early.  It really forces kids to learn the parts of speech and how to use them.  This is something I wish I had learned earlier as a kid.  I really only learned them through taking Latin. 

She continues by emphasizing the bite-sized approach that is often helpful for kids with executive functioning issues.

I also like that they give short exercises that are to the point, not just busywork. I also like the teacher’s manual- it gives easy to understand examples and uses concrete things within my kids’ realms of experience.

Kara, homeschool mom of 2 adopted sons, ADHD, Aspergers, Sensory Processing Issues

6. Classical Academic Press- Writing & Rhetoric

Kara continues about her favorite writing curriculum for her boys.

We love Classical Academic Press’ Writing and Rhetoric. It seems more comprehensive and we can go at our own pace, which right now is important.  If we cannot finish an entire one in a day, we can break lessons into two smaller ones. It’s concrete, but also allows my kids to think about things in depth, but in smaller chunks they can process. 

Kara points out that her son will often write long, involved “paragraphs” with tons of words, but without any cohesive meaning.

Writing and Rhetoric is forcing him to use the concept and main ideas of the stories to create his own.  It gives him a good example of appropriate length and level of detail.   Being able to cut lessons down and spread them out keeps them focused while  working in-depth, with good quality. 

Homeschool ADHD Cheat Sheet

Two of My Homeschool Language Arts Curriculum Choices

7. Christian Light Homeschool Language Arts

Christian Light Language Arts is a program that tends to lie low in it’s advertising, but it packs a mighty punch.  I was introduced to CL several years ago after teaching my children how to read.  This was a godsend for a number of reasons.

This homeschool curriculum is:

  • Student-driven: It’s written for the student to work through on their own.  There are small check boxes throughout each lesson to guide the student.  Who doesn’t love to mark off checkboxes?  (Wait?  Is that just me?)

 

  • Small Chunks of Teaching:  Each grade level is broken into 10 smaller workbooks which allow kids to have small attainable goals throughout the year.  Kids love to “finish” each workbook.  This helps with motivation.

 

  • Complete:  Once your child is reading, this program can stand alone for several years.  Includes grammar (with simple sentence diagramming beginning in second grade), spelling, vocabulary, and penmanship.

 

Note that I absolutely love teaching English grammar.  Christian Light does an EXCELLENT and thorough job of teaching English grammar in a way that is not overwhelming.

Homeschool ADHD Cheat Sheet

What Is the Best Homeschool Curriculum?

If the ultimate goal is long-term learning, it only makes sense to use materials that will support each child (and family) best.   Like all things, however, no homeschool curricula is perfect.  A resource may be an excellent fit for one season, but not another.  This is to be expected as kids grow.  

When it isn’t working, feel the freedom to pivot in order to best educate your unique child.   While you are planning, grab a copy of the Homeschool 101 Planning Guide below.  I’ve included some of the questions I ask homeschool coaching clients to create targeted plans for their unique children.  

What would be on your best homeschool curriculum list?  

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

Six Ways We Make Spelling Easy
Logic of English Tree
Our Journey Westward
homeschool planning guide
6 Step Scripture Memory Plan for Kids

6 Step Scripture Memory Plan for Kids

Simple Scripture Memory Plan For Kids 

Need a simple Scripture memory plan for you and the kids?  Do you feel overwhelmed at the task because you’ve never memorized Scripture in your homeschool?

You know deep down inside that you want your children to have God’s word hidden in their heart.  Except, quite frankly, you’ve never really done it yourself.  

No worries, Friend!  

You can use this simple Scripture memory system to deepen your connection with your kids and memorize Scripture.  Add this to your homeschool routine in just 5 minutes a day and have fun.  Win! Win!

Simple Summer Scripture Memory Plan for Kids

by Lindsay Leiviska | A Heart For All Students

scripture memory plan for kids

Why Use A Scripture Memory Plan for Kids?

For Christian moms, we know how important it is to hide Scripture in our hearts.  Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly encourages His people to hide His Word in their hearts.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Blessed is the man (whose…) delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  -Psalm 1: 1-6

Jesus himself uses Scripture as an offensive weapon against the adversary when he was tempted in the wilderness.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’. John 4:4

The Sword of the Spirit (Scripture) is our only offensive weapon in the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

Clearly we can see the importance of knowing God’s Word.  We know the value of hiding it in our hearts and even more importantly, in our minds.

scripture memory plan for kids

Scripture Memory Plan For Kids:  Make it Easy

By having God’s Word hidden in our minds, we are able to lean in to the truth of his grace and mercy in times of trouble.  

In this season of quarantine and social distancing, knowing where our hope lies is an incredible blessing.

In Chapter 6 of Deuteronomy, God emphasizes to the Israelite parents the importance of what messages we give to our children.  God encourages the Israelite parents to repeat the same stories of God’s provision again to their children.

These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

By doing so, God points to a child’s natural ability to memorize.  He knows how He has designed us and wanted His people to pass down what He had done for them in the past.   So He offered them the most efficient strategy. 

The reality is that messages we share with our children are the ones they will take with them into adulthood.   

Devotional Christian Special Needs Mom

Capitalize On Our Children’s Developmental Ability To Memorize

It’s so important that we allow our children opportunities to memorize God’s Word.

Engaging in Scripture Memory work while our kids are young is effective because children are especially capable of memorization in the younger years.  God designed the human brain to memorize effectively and efficiently while it grows in childhood.

We have all heard the saying, “Kids soak up everything,” right?  

It’s true in so many ways.  Let’s jump on this opportunity. 

Let me pause and address the elephant in the room.  If you are starting scripture memory work with an older child, this does not mean that your child is unable to memorize.  They absolutely can and will!  

It’s never too late.  Where there is a will, there is a way. 

scripture memory plan for kids

Aren’t Kids Too Young To Understand?

You may have heard it argued that rote memorization is just a waste of time.   Whether it be multiplication facts or Scripture verses, rote memorization has received a lot of flack.  Some say that it is useless to have kids memorize what they cannot understand it fully yet.  

The argument follows that memorization of anything which cannot be fully understood is moot. I cannot more highly and passionately disagree.  

Scripture Memory & Rote Memorization: Here’s The Deal.

Kids are sponges, right?  The season when a child’s ability to memorize easily and efficiently is a gift to be captured.  

As our kids grow, the Scripture they have memorized is not going anywhere.  In fact, God will only reveal Himself more over the years through his Word. 

We all know that Scripture read once, is just that. It’s never mastered.   Remember, Scripture is living and active.  Just as with adults, it’ll take on a whole new meaning with each reading. 

A Heart For All Students

Step By Step Scripture Memory Plan For Kids

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. 

If you are ready to walk alongside your children in Scripture memorization, get excited!  

I have created a simple and fun way for you to deepen your connection with your kids while memorizing Scripture.  This is the exact strategy that I have used with my kids for years.

1. Choose A Chunk Of Scripture

There are tons of ways and plans for Scripture Memory Work out there. 

However, I have found that most of them are based on one Scripture verse in isolation at a time. This has never been an effective strategy for my kids and me.  

There’s something about memorizing Scripture in chunks that has served us so much more than trying to pick and choose one verse at a time. 

Chunks of scripture that we have memorized are:

  • Psalm 100,
  • Matthew 5:3-12,  The Beatitudes
  • John Chapter 1
  • Proverbs 2
  • Isaiah 11
  • Philippians 2
  • Colossians 3

2. Print Scripture

Once you have chosen the chunk of Scripture that you are committed to memorizing, print it out.

It is important to consider visual input whenever you are teaching your child anything.  Make the Scripture visually appealing and not too overwhelming.

I tend to favor printing the Scripture passage on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. 

Make sure the text is in large font and, at a minimum, double spaced.  We want it to be read from a distance of 3 to 4 feet.

I always insert the Scripture in a sheet protector.  Then we display it either on the refrigerator or we keep it safely in our homeschooling binder.  

Choose what works for your family.  In the end, just make sure to have a home for all of your memory work printables.

3. Choose A Short Burst Of Time To Spend On The Verses Each Day

It’s summer time!  

There are no rules about what time is best to memorize Scripture.  

If you have littles and everyone is up at the same time each morning, practice the verses while eating breakfast.

Teens sleeping late?  

Catch them at lunchtime. 

It doesn’t matter.  Just choose a time to gather 4-5 days a week for a whopping 5 minutes.

4. Rhythm and Rhyme

Get ready to bust out the rhythm and melody in order to memorize the verses one by one.

We all know what it is like to hear a song that we haven’t listened to in years.  Every word comes back to us as if we had just heard it yesterday.

There is power in music and our brains were designed to create memory through music.  

Focus on one verse at a time and chant to a nursery rhyme tune or song.  

There are lots of options.  You choose what works from verse to verse.  You do not have to use the same tune for the entire passage.

5. Incorporate Movement

By using movement while learning Scripture, you are utilizing multiple parts of the brain.  Employing the various sensory systems allows information to more efficiently and effectively stick.  

Capitalize on multisensory learning whenever memorization is needed.

6. One Step At A Time

I know that I mentioned how helpful it has been for my family to memorize larger chunks of Scripture.

One of the reasons this is effective is that we do so over a longer period of time.  Each time we begin a new verse, we review the prior one.  Doing so over a longer period of time allows the Scripture to move from short term to long-term memory.

Choose one or two verses to focus on each week.  Use a highlighter to highlight each verse as you progress.  Spend your short periods of time reviewing the prior verses and then work on the new verse. By the end of the school year, you and your kids will have fully memorized an entire passage of Scripture that will stick for years to come.  

So… what does this look like on a practical level?

Download The Simple Scripture Memory Plan For Kids 

Check out this video of my girls and I reciting Psalm 100.   Warning you now… no judgement here.  This is not a perfect video by any stretch of the imagination.  My kids are older now and not as excited about performing for the camera.   The point is that they know His Word.  I’ll take it.  Ha!

This video was made last year.  We hadn’t practiced this Psalm for close to a year at this point.  We used each step outlined above slowly… over time… and memorized this chunk of Scripture.  The kitchen island was our rehearsal studio and the memories of coming up with hand motions and rhythms will last a lifetime.

Use this only as a guide.  Modify the chants, movements and songs to fit your family’s desires.   Get excited about taking on this simple and fun Scripture Memory Plan with your kids.    

So what about you?  Do you have a fun system for Scripture Memory?  Do share below in the comments.  And if you are interested in more tools to help you guide your child’s understanding of God’s love for them, check out these FREE Identity in Christ Wall Printables.   

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

Growth Mindset For Moms Raising Kids With ADHD & Autism

Growth Mindset For Moms Raising Kids With ADHD & Autism

Moms Need A Parenting Growth Mindset

Friend, I am convinced that all moms need a parenting growth mindset.  For the sake of our kids, we need to shift our mindset.  Think about it.  Many of us enter parenthood believing we are going to be the perfect parent.  

“I will never let my child co-sleep.  That is not a healthy sleeping habit.”

Or, you may have been on the other end of that one.

“I will definitely co-sleep.  Attachment parenting is the only way to go.”

This is a good one.

“When I have kids, my child will never talk back to me.”

It gets better.

“What is wrong with these parents?  I will never tolerate that attitude with my kid.”

Girl, I can’t lie.  Some of those were totally me.  Ugh.  Please tell me you can relate.  Please.  Just lie to me.  

Parenting Growth Mindset For Moms

by Lindsay Lieviska | A Heart For All Students

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

Moms Growing Together 

Ok.  In all seriousness, there is no judgment for any of us.  We mommas are all just people doing the best we can with what we know at any one given time.  Here is the deal though.  Whether you’ve believed one of the above or something else, we all grow as parents.  

We change as we learn.  Being a mom is a process.  And it’s so freeing when we finally realize and EMBRACE that there is a heck of a lot we do not know. 

grace for moms raising kids with adhd & autism

Moms Need a Parenting Growth Mindset 

What is a growth mindset?  

Growth mindset as a term was coined by Carol Dweck, PhD.  Basically Dweck explains a growth mindset as one that sees:

  • challenges as opportunities, 
  • obstacles to be overcome,
  • criticism as learning lessons,
  • and ultimately the general sense that we are not “stuck” in any one position forever…

She focuses her efforts on equipping children with an understanding that they can succeed and that they are only limited by their beliefs.

While Dr. Dweck’s work has been primarily geared towards the educational system, all people are impacted greatly based upon their mindset.

She points to the great difference in life outcomes for those who have a fixed (I can change nothing mindset) or a growth mindset.

Clearly, we can see how our beliefs about ourselves and those around us, can radically impact the quality of our lives.

special needs moms, stress, exhaustion, encouragement

Raising ADHD or Autism?  Parenting Growth Mindset

Friend, it’s essential to the well-being of our neurodiverse children that moms embrace a parenting growth mindset.  

Are you parenting a child with ADHD?   

Does your child have Autism?  (For more about girls on the Autism Specturm- the overlooked and often misdiagnosed population, read this article from my friends at Autism Parenting Magazine.)

SPD?  APD?  GAD?   

Any acronym?

Or does your child simply struggle to fit in the box of the world’s expectations?

Do you wake in the middle of the night worried about your child’s future?

“What is going to happen to him?”

“Will she always struggle?”

Friend, I’ve been there.  And I have come to the conclusion that if we want our kids to avoid a bleak future,  we mommas may want to rally together to make a change.  

Devotional Christian Special Needs Mom

Parenting Growth Mindset vs Parenting Fixed Mindset

Fortunately, we moms tend to get to the point where we settle in to the fact that we are not God.   As we embrace the reality that we are not in control of everything nor everyone, we have some choices to make. 

A fixed parenting mindset tells us to dig our heels in the sand when our kids don’t fall in line.  When those little people living under our roof dare to be different, we do everything we can to force those kids to get in line.  

“Nope.  He will learn to obey right away because that is what my parents expected of me.”

From experience I know where that leads.  This often leads us to broken relationship and a whole lot of stress.

The growth parenting mindset allows us to sway with the winds of unmet expectations.  It frees us to see our struggles with our kids as not personal failures, but as opportunities to grow.

parenting growth mindset adhd & autism mom

My own journey to a parenting growth mindset

My hubby and I adopted a baby boy 6 years ago.  His transition into our family was relatively smooth.  

That is, until he hit 18 months.  It was then that his uncontrollable behaviors began to destroy our home and our family.   

This was the lowest and most desperate season of my life and in parenting.  

The isolation and shame.

I felt overwhelming guilt for my two biological daughters who had lost their mom.  They found themselves living in a war zone within their home.

Humiliation and depression suffocated me for several years.  My husband and my girls suffered greatly every day.  

The internal dialogue in my own momma head did not help one bit.  I truly believed that life was over.  

Except it wasn’t.

parenting growth mindset adhd & autism mom

Mercy Triumphs

Friend, God used this season of absolute HELL to radically change the way I see everything and everyone.  

As we sought help for my boy, I learned from incredible pediatric specialists.  Ultimately, we found some answers for my son. 

And I found answers I didn’t know I was searching for.  You see, I was forced to acknowledge my need for outside help.  I entered Christian counseling and faced my own internal junk.  

God used the agony to chip away at some boulders that had been holding me hostage for years.  

Let me cut to the chase.  

Black & White Thinking Can Destroy Our Kids

I had been stuck in black and white thinking that labeled a child’s outward obedience as the ultimate sign of a good Christian momma.   For decades I had been believing that something was true without ever having examined it.  By God’s mercy, He used another baby boy to offer more freedom to me and my family.

In this journey, I have learned so much about His design of the brain and His heart for the broken.  

He looks at the heart and sees in each of us who He designed us to be… even when we mess up.  In His grace, God allowed me the opportunity to develop a parenting growth mindset.  And I am so grateful.

parenting growth mindset adhd autism

Parenting growth mindset saved my kids

Developing a parenting growth mindset has been key to the progress we have made with our precious boy. 

Even more, it transformed my relationship with my biological daughters.  Honestly, I believe it has saved their lives.

When we adopted our boy, we had no idea that our daughters needed their mom to develop a parenting growth mindset.  For one of my girls in particular this soon became apparent.

For years, I tried to make her into a social butterfly like her older sister.

  • I didn’t understand why she was so “shy.”  
  • I worried about her heightened-sensitivity level.  
  • Why did she hang on the outskirts when we would get together with friends for play dates?

I tried to “fix” her so that she could be “happy and healthy.”

Devotional Christian Special Needs Mom

Mental Health Crisis Hamster Wheel

When we’re willing to examine our beliefs about how we approach our outside-the-box kids, we open the door to hope. 

Adopting a parenting growth mindset that seeks to find the strengths in each of our children offers an alternative to:

‘What’s wrong with me?’

‘I always screw up.’

‘The teacher is mad at me again.’

‘My mom is always disappointed in me.  Why can’t I get it together?’

‘The noise was just too much and I couldn’t handle it. I’m so stupid.’

‘I cannot focus in a room full of other kids.’

‘What is wrong with me?’

How many more kids have to scream for help through drug-abuse, cutting, suicide, eating disorders, before we take a good look at this one-size-fits all system that is FAILING so many children?

Moms willing to examine unhealthy expectations

Friend, moms need to feel safe within community in order to best serve our kids.  So many of us have kids who don’t fit in the box of the world’s expectations.  What’s devastating is that so many of these expectations are never even questioned.

And yet we can easily spend our fleeting time of influence trying to force our kids to conform to these unexamined and unhealthy expectations.   The end result?  Broken relationship between parent and child and, ultimately, hurting adult children.

It’s time to make a change for the sake of our children.  Don’t ya think?

Parenting growth mindset frees us and our kids

When we develop a parenting growth mindset, we become moms living in freedom.  The parenting peanut-gallery commentators lose their power.  We feel confident to care less for what the “experts” say if it is going to destroy our children.

These years matter. What our kids believe about themselves matters so let’s examine the beliefs that are influencing how we raise them.   Let’s do this differently for the sake of our kids.  Together, one mom at a time.  Be encouraged and grab a copy of the Free 5 Day Devotional for the Weary Christian Momma.  

You’ll receive a beautiful devotional prayer journey and I’ll meet you in your inbox for 5 days of video teaching.  Find out how the Gospel and neuroscience require us mommas to examine the traditional parenting framework.  Find freedom to parent your unique child in a whole new way.

You’ll be so encouraged!  Join me?  

Devotional Christian Special Needs Mom

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids to Thrive

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids to Thrive

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids Well

To my momma friends who are fiercely in love with and are parenting neurodiverse kids, let’s be brave. 

You know the ones I am talking about.

  • The children who are constantly hearing that they are not enough.
  • The ones who will never live up the expectations of the adults around them.
  • Like the kid back in school who was considered a troublemaker (yep, he ended up exactly as expected by the adults around him)
  • The “loser” with a life that went nowhere.

So many of these neurodiverse kids simply grew up shrouded in a culture that believes that outward behavior is always willful.  

Sadly when it comes to parenting neurodiverse kids and children in general, this mindset is often quite dangerous.  When we have black and white thinking to what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior, outside-the-box children end up suffering.

The Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids to Thrive

by Lindsay Leiviska | A Heart For All Students

What is neurodiversity?

 The concept of neurodiversity is basically a viewpoint that says that all people are wired differently.  

For kids with ADHD, Autism, or any other cognitive difference, this shift can be life changing.   This means that instead of viewing them as disordered people who need to be “fixed”, we embrace their differences as part of their wiring.  

When we remove the “willful disobedience” mindset, we begin to see the whole child through the eyes of grace and of strength.

Our responses to perceived infractions on expected behaviors lose their rough and often aggressive edge.  We are able to then see the strengths that need to be harnessed for good. 

Our kids lose the shame and instead are able to see us as in their corner.  We can then parent our neurodiverse children with what they need to thrive.

Diversity in who we are and how we are all designed.  Doesn’t that sound like something to be celebrated?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you which allows me to continue offering as much free content as possible. I appreciate your support.

neurodiversity, christian special needs moms, adhd, autism acceptance

Parenting Neurodiverse Kids Well: Difference vs disordered  

As moms begin parenting neurodiverse kids from this mindset, anxiety and fear is lessened.  By recognizing our child’s ADHD or Autism as an inherent part of what makes them unique, we experience freedom. 

Parenting our neurodiverse kids in this way allows us to focus on their strengths instead of trying to constantly fix these traits out of them.  

For more about neurodiversity, check out this article from Understood.org.  

Neurodiversity brings freedom 

Culturally, when adults cannot “control” the “challenging” behavior of a child with ADHD, the perception is that there is something wrong with the child.

The idea that perhaps we are using the wrong approach with these kids rarely comes to mind.  Adults blame the child and continue with the same ineffective, life-sucking discipline strategies… and the behaviors increase as the child’s sense of self-worth decreases.

Albert Einstein is often credited as saying, 

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  

So… as we parent our own neurodiverse kids, what is our goal? 

To force these fish to climb a tree, never allowing them to swim in the pond for which they were designed?  Do we want them to believe there is something inherently wrong with them when they can NEVER meet our expectations?

neurodiverse children, special needs mom, adhd, asd, sensory processing

Kids set up for failure

So many of our kids are placed in no-win situations.  They continuously fail to live up to the accepted expectations of the world around them.

These expectations are often based upon an environment that they were never meant to thrive in. 

Sadly, our outside-the-box kids are consistently living from a marginalized position.  They are repeatedly corrected, punished, and shamed.  

These kids spend their formative years hearing about their faults.  Oftentimes these “faults” are simply differences in the way they receive and process the world around them.  

What about the real world?

Some may argue that modifying how we educate and parent neurodiverse kids is not realistic because “they have to learn sometime”.

Hello?!!!

There are millions and millions of people in this country who are suffering and have suffered their entire lives because of this belief that its the kid who is broken.  

We live in the United States of America.  It’s 2020.  We say we celebrate diversity.  So let’s do it.

It is time we offer an alternative system.  

autism, adhd, neurodiversity, christian parenting

Momma Friend, I hear it every day.

  • The school called. My kid flipped out and hit a little boy in class. Now he is suspended.
  • My daughter clings to me at church because it is so loud and crazy in there. She started melting down in the middle of the foyer last Sunday.
  • The teacher said that my child is off in lala land and that’s why she can’t learn to read.
  • My son comes home from school every day and screams and has meltdowns. No one believes me because he is quiet at school.
  • My child begs me not to send him to (church, sports, school, etc).
  • Getting my child to do her homework always ends up in tears and stress. She just screams that it’s too much to do.
  • My child hates going to birthday parties, he just cries and avoids the other kids.

These children struggle to please adults and even other kids around them by trying to suppress their responses to an environment they were never intended to live in.

They receive the message loud and clear that they are inherently defective.  

Our neurodiverse kids are suffering.  Their anxiety is through the roof.  Wouldn’t yours be as well?  

my kid hates writing, homeschool help

Mental Illness Hamster Wheel

These misunderstood children frequently end up trapped in a cycle of mental health issues that plague them for life. 

Rates of childhood anxiety, depression, cutting, and suicide are growing.

Moms parenting neurodiverse kids… we need to join together to advocate for our children.  We need to be brave enough to parent the children God has given us and not the one Aunt Edna wants.

We are raising children to one day be adults. These formative years are crucial.

Moms parenting neurodiverse kids differently

It’s time to be BRAVE for our uniquely-designed children.  

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Sensory Processing Differences
  • Learning Differences
  • Anxiety

These are not personality defects.  These are inherent differences in wiring just as are introversion and extroversion.

  • That struggle to take direction is not her being willfully stubborn but is her independence
  • His hyperfocus on his latest “obsession” is not a disorder.  It is a gift that has allowed some of the greatest inventors of our time to change the world.
  • The boy who cannot sit still was made to move… he receives and processes information through movement.  
  • Is your daughter the day dreamer? The one who can’t focus? That is her incredible imagination taking her places that others will only experience when she becomes a published author.

We must begin to shift our perspective so that we can set these kids up for success.

Let’s stop shaming those who don’t fit the mold.  We need to stop clinging to this belief that our kids are WILLFULLY making a choice to disobey.

It is time for us to be our child’s cheerleader and coach.  

Let us coach them well while we equip them to thrive as who they have been designed to be.

christianchristian moms raising adhd and autism moms raising adhd and autism

God Intentionally Chose You

Moms, you know in your gut there must be another way for your neurodiverse kids.

Deep down, you know that God has created your child uniquely and that He must have a plan for your child. 

Yet, fear takes over.  

  • The world tells you that a child who is screaming in public deserves a good spanking.
  • Aunt Edna tells you that you had better nip that bad behavior in the bud now.
  • Your mother-in-law glares at your child when he begins jumping on the couch.
  • That perfect mom stares in shock when your child begins shrieking uncontrollably at the fireworks display.
  • The teacher at your child’s school told you that your child needs to learn to sit still now.

You don’t know what to do, but you know your child will never thrive knowing that he is a constant disappointment.

Parent the child we have been given

We must be willing to parent our children who have been created differently. As a Christ follower, I believe with every bit of my being that God creates every child with gifts, passions and purpose. 

We must be willing to think outside-the-box with our outside-the-box kids.

Let’s partner with our children so that through safe relationships, we can influence them.  We want to equip our kids with tools and strategies so that they can live a life of confidence and purpose.

Or we can continue to listen to the world and it’s rewards and punishment mentality.  

How is that working for your child?

Every child needs an adult who believes in them… let’s be that for our kids.

Wisdom of Moms Raising Neurodiverse Kids

Mom Friends, it’s time to be BRAVE for our children.

It’s time to be willing to allow other adults to disapprove of us in order to save the future lives of our children.  Let’s allow our kids to dare to be exactly who they are.

If you are looking for the support of other moms who are parenting uniquely-wired kids to thrive, join the private AHFAS community.  

We are in this together!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you do end up purchasing any of the recommended items through this link, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I appreciate your support.