Thursday, March 9, 2017
Homeschooling Multiple children, Multiple Grades~All at one time!
One of the biggest challenges as a homeschool parent is teaching different grades. Obviously, you can’t do that all at one time! So how do we manage at our homeschool? Having 4 kids with at least 2 years in between them, they are not on the same grade level! So how do you manage? There certainly are not enough hours in the day to do all the subjects individually with each, unless you don’t want to sleep or get anything else done!
How have we managed? It doesn’t matter what grade you learned things, as long as you learn them. For example, if your child learned their times tables in 2nd or 5th grade, or cursive in the 1st or 4th! Have you ever had an application at any point ask at what age/grade you learned something? Good thing for that! So we have combined lessons!
We have always used separate math and Language Arts, while we used the same for Bible, History, Science and Art,until the kid reaches high school. Once they are a Freshman, they are on their own! You will find that there are several curriculums out there that offer multiple grade enhancements or tips to teach multiple students, like My Fathers world or Trailguide to Learning. We have used both of these in the past and have had great success with them. To the right, is a page from My Father’s World Countries and Cultures page. This not only works for multiple ages, but multiple subjects!
Along with using all inclusive curriculum I also have put together planners for the kids. Their planner will show them what work they are to complete for the day. I am pretty flexible with their work for the week. By the end of the week they need to have complete that weeks assignments, however I don’t care if they do more than on lesson in one day of a particular subject. This allows some flexibility for me as well. Say if someone needs a little more help with a lesson, then the rest can move on with a math or art lesson, for example. Then when I have finished with the first child I can move on to the next (even if it happens to be the next day!) It has taken some stress off of me implementing the planner pages! They were super easy to create in Excel! The kids can highlight, or mark off the lessons they have complete so everyone stays on track!
Homeschooling multiple children at one time is an adjustment. However, it is one that isn’t too hard to accomplish. The biggest thing for me was a schedule. The older I get the more I realize I need that schedule for me! You may not need to be as structured. When the kids were younger, I had a poster board that I would have the times of the day listed by the half hour. Then I would place their subjects on at different times. With this schedule, kid one would be doing language arts, kid 2 math, kid 3 art and kid 4 reading. By staggering the subjects I could better help one with something they were struggling with. This system isn’t perfect! There have been times when someone has had to wait for me to help because I was helping someone else. Now, we have “graduated” to full page planners! I purchase them in bulk!
The bottom line is that you need to find what out what works best for you. It may be a schedule or not. It may be “family curriculum” or not. One of the joys of homeschooling is working it the way that works best for the family! Scheduling your day/classes shouldn’t be any different. Take a deep breath, pray and enjoy teaching your children at home!