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Suzy is learning all about fractions today in math, Mark is still trying to master borrowing, while Frank focusing on variables. How do you homeschool multiple ages, teach what they need to know, and stay sane?
How to homeschool multiple ages and stay sane!
When you’re homeschooling multiple ages, teaching the kids to be independent is all well and good. But it doesn’t replace the need for time with each child. This time together is when you teach your child how to carry and borrow. You focus on variables or fractions. You explain the difference between complete and run-on sentences.
This time with each child is vital. After all, children don’t learn in a vacuum. They need quick explanations which shed light on a difficult math problem or clarify why Napoleon is so different from George Washington. In my opinion, sitting down with your children individually is a critical part of homeschooling.
Plan 30 minutes of sit-down time with each child. The other children are enjoying special time with each other, doing independent work, or spending time on a hobby.
Everyone has something to do so you can concentrate on each child in turn. Even the toddlers have an activity and are being supervised by one of the older children.
During these 30 minutes, we discuss math. You can explain the day’s lesson and review yesterday’s assignment. This helps you discover mistakes and errors become they become entrenched and impossible to change.
Latin can be taught during this time. When the kids have wide-spread ages, it works better to treat Latin as a skill subject rather than a content subject. This means you can teach Latin to individual children rather than all the children as a whole.
We discuss the week’s writing assignment. It’s time to check to ensure the kids are on track and actually making progress towards completing the paper in a timely manner.
English grammar and spelling are quickly covered. It’s also a prime opportunity to double-check any history and science assignments. In science, check to be certain vocabulary words are being memorized and concepts understood.
Alternate as Needed
There’s no need to touch on every subject each day. Instead, consider alternating subjects. For instance, double-check history on Mondays and Wednesdays. Check science on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This saves you quite a bit of time.
A small family can afford for mom to be spending hours with each child. However, when you’re homeschooling multiple ages, you spend a lot of time planning, running the house, morning time, and teaching group subjects. 30 minutes per child is a good rule of thumb to follow.
It’s plenty of time most days to touch on all the skill subjects each day particularly as non-skill subjects like art, music, history, and science would be covered during your group or morning gathering..
In my house, sometimes math would run long and grammar would be lightly touched on. Other days we’d spend a long time on Latin but math would be an easy concept to explain. It always worked out in the end.
Make a schedule to allow yourself to alternate between the kids and touch base with each child. It’s vital over the to have activities for the younger children when you’re sitting down with their siblings.
This can be computer time, playing with a brother or sister, or even time to play by themselves in their room. Art projects and hands-on learning stations also work well.
A good schedule allows the family to progress in an orderly fashion throughout the day. Each child knows what to do and when to do it.
As you teach your children, remember that homeschooling multiple ages is closer to a tutoring situation rather than a classroom. Make the time to sit down and teach each child individually rather than attempting to lecture about borrowing, fractions, and variables to all of your children at the same time.
You’ll find you and your children cover more material in less time through tutoring.
Do you homeschool multiple ages through tutoring in your homeschool?
Read more posts in the 31 Days to a Well-Run Homeschool series!