Homeschooling a single child can be a challenge, especially until you find your rhythm and what works best for you and your child. You can certainly multiply those challenges when you figure out how to homeschool multiple ages. It’s not just that there are multiple children to teach, it’s that they’re all at different points in their educational journey.
So what’s a homeschooling mom of multiple ages to do? Not to worry mom, follow these tips on how to homeschool multiple ages and you will be doing it like a pro in no time!
Busy Activities for Young Children
If you have young children, then you need to have activities for them to do while the older kids get their school work done. Busy bags or boxes are one great option for keeping younger children occupied quietly while you work with the other children.
Busy bags or boxes are self-contained activities that don’t require adult supervision, and you can find amazing ideas for creating your own on Pinterest. In addition to busy bags and boxes, playdough, crayons and coloring books, water painting books, puzzles, or a tablet with headphones are some other options for keeping younger children busy.
Encourage Independent Learning
Encourage all of your students to become independent learners that can do at least some of their work on their own, which you can review with them later. A great way to start the process of independent learning is with busy activities for your younger kids. Online activities, worksheets, and reading are a great way to introduce older students to independent learning.
Online Courses for some subjects
There are so many online educational courses and games available for kids of all ages, use this to your advantage and allow your kids to do some of their work online. There are several curriculum options out there that will read it for them, grade it for them, and track it for you. You certainly don’t have to use an online curriculum exclusively for any subject, but it can help you to identify problem areas and allow your students to do some work on their own.
When possible do group learning as a family so that you can teach all of the children at once. This can work exceptionally well for classes like health, life skills, Bible, science, history, and art.
Start with the Youngest First
When homeschooling children of multiple ages, it can be quite helpful to start with the younger students first. Younger kids are typically not as patient as the older ones can be so giving the youngest ones their lessons first, and then settling them down with busy activities can allow you to work with your older kids with less interruption.
Include One-on-One Learning
Make sure that you do include some one-on-one learning with each of your students. This one-on-one instructional time can be used to teach new concepts or review concepts that they may be struggling with. The key here is to let each of your kids know that they have your undivided attention during their one-on-one time. Don’t stress if you can’t give each child one on one time every day, as long as you are doing it several times a week you are doing great!
Use Visual Media
There are so many great educational resources out there in visual media that there is no reason not to use them. Educational videos, a book that has been adapted into a movie, and cool documentaries can all be used to supplement what your kids are learning, as well as give you a break. It doesn’t matter what you are studying, chances are you can find some appropriate visual media to go along with it.
Let Older Kids Help with the Younger Ones
Give your older children opportunities to teach their younger siblings. This can be reading directions to them on a worksheet, reading them a story, working on flashcards with them, or simply keeping them busy for a few minutes so that you work with another child. Homeschooling multiple ages means that everyone needs to work together as much as possible.
There is no one perfect way on how to homeschool multiple ages at the same time. You have to find the methods that work best for you and your family. Some of these tips might be perfect for you, and others might not work at all, but they do give you some ideas to start working with. Do you have any tips to share for homeschooling kids of multiple ages?
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