Thursday, April 9, 2009

Homeschooling With Mulitple Ages

So you've decided to home school.... and now your pulling your hair out because the toddler is flushing the cat down the toilet while you're trying to teach fractions to one child and basic addition to another! How can one person manage all of the children? Take a deep breath, relax, and know that you are not alone!

Here's a suggestion:

As a starting point, let's categorize school subjects in three categories:
teacher intensive, student intensive, and teamwork.

For example, in our home school:

Teacher intensive subjects:
Science experiments
Math: introduction of new topics
Administration of a spelling test

Student intensive subjects:
Math practice and drill
Creative writing

Teamwork subjects:
Read aloud time
Home Economics (i.e housework ....come on it's a subject! How else does Mom have time to teach?)


Complete your own list for all the subjects being covered.

Once you have your subjects categorized, organize the teaching day so that one child is working with you on something teacher intensive while another child is doing something student intensive, or while everyone else is doing something that involves teamwork. This will give you one-on-one time with the first child while everyone else is occupied. (I usually work with the most easily distracted child first, before I become distracted myself! Then cycle through them one by one. Making a schedule to loosely follow is a big help here.)

As the children get a bit older, it can be nice to involve the oldest sibling with a younger one to act as the teacher. It is not only a good curriculum review, excellent practice in teaching and a sibling bonding experience, it also gives Mom (or Dad) a break!

Give it a try!

Oh, and for the toddler who is flushing the cat, check my next post on what to do with a wayward toddler!

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