Preview: It can feel overwhelming to think about teaching multiple children at the same time. Learn two tips to homeschool multiple ages without losing your mind.
How do I teach my children at the same time when they are different ages and working at different levels?
If you have asked yourself this question, you are not alone! Many parents wonder how they will ever teach all of their children at the same time. In fact, I’m willing to bet that every homeschool parent has asked this question at some point in their homeschool journey.
There’s only one of you and many of them. It can feel overwhelming. Obviously, you cannot be in two places at once, so how do you handle situations when multiple children need help at the same time? In this article, I’ll share two secrets that help me homeschool multiple ages without losing my mind.
Two Secrets To Homeschool Multiple Ages
Secret #1: Operate a one-room schoolhouse
When we began our homeschool journey, I wondered how I would teach my two daughters. As you can probably guess, I did a lot of research. I learned about families who implemented a one-room schoolhouse concept, and that really appealed to me. Here are highlights of how I implemented this concept in our homeschool.
- I taught as many subjects as possible to both of my children at the same time. Until my oldest was in high school, we covered everything together except math, copywork, and music instruction.
- For subjects that we covered together, I also assigned independent readings at their individual level such as a biography to each child.
- I assigned my older daughter to help my younger daughter with some subjects.
- I scheduled time to work with each child on independent subjects such as math.
Secret #2: Utilize independent learner toolkits
One aspect of operating a one-room schoolhouse that I appreciate is that my children learn to work independently. While I worked with one daughter on an individual subject, my other daughter worked on her individual lesson or engaged in a quiet activity. This is where secret #2 comes in.
When I was working with one daughter, the other one was not supposed to interrupt us. To put your mind at ease, the students in my homeschool are real children and therefore do not always do what they are supposed to do! They did interrupt sometimes, and this is how the independent learner toolkit concept evolved. I needed an activity to keep the child who needed my help quiet and engaged until I could help her.
I pulled together quiet, educational activities they could do on their own. You could put many activities into an independent learner toolkit depending on the ages, needs, and abilities of your children. Examples include the following.
- Picture books
- Nature field guides
- Map drill practice
- Learning wrap-ups
- Dot-to-dot books
- Dover coloring books related to a current subject
- Math drill activities
- Poetry books
- Drawing supplies
- Grids for Kids math puzzles
- KenKen puzzles
- Printable puzzles
You can learn more about these two secrets in episode 78 of the All in a Homeschool Day podcast.
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