As my children grow older, I have found myself concerned with homeschooling multiple ages. Since we are a large family, I have several students at different grade levels. How is it possible to teach each child in the course of one day? I have developed some tips and tricks along the way that help me juggle multiple grade levels.
How To Homeschool Multiple Grade Levels
Combine your kids in as many subjects as possible.
My biggest tip is to combine your kids in as many subjects as you can. This is one reason I specifically chose My Father’s World curriculum. Once children are in the second grade, they are able to do bible, history, science, music, art, and even foreign language together. Even though MFW is not set up for children in kindergarten and first grade to work with older children, I still combined my kindergarten and first grade daughter with my older son.
We all start our mornings together with a morning basket and then we move into our group subjects. Being able to teach the kids the same thing saves a lot of time.
Of course, my preschooler does not do work with my older students, and if I had a child in junior high or high school, there would definitely be some modifications. My Father’s World tells you exactly how to handle these situations.
Even if you do not choose MFW, look for a curriculum that is designed to allow you to combine your children for several subjects, or choose your own curriculum that can span across various grade levels.
Train your child to do work independently.
Now that my oldest child is in third grade, there are several things that he can do independently. I cannot combine my children in math or language arts, but I can get one child started on a lesson and let him work on completing that lesson while I work with another child.
Once your child can read fairly well on his own, a whole new world opens up and several lessons can be done without you having to stand right next to your child.
Teach individual subjects while other children work independently.
This tip goes along with my above tip. While another child does work independently, work with another child for some one on one time. My preschooler requires me to sit with him while we read and maybe do some quick work in our alphabet notebook. I can accomplish this while my older children complete a math page or do some copywork. Make good use of your time!
Allow older children to help with the younger children.
My daughter does what she calls “baby school” with my toddlers. She will sit down with them and play with some toys or read them a story. It doesn’t always go well, but it helps me while I’m working on more difficult subjects with my oldest. That is one of the greatest things about having a big family, I think. The older kids learn responsibility and also feel accomplished because they are helping.
Encourage creative play among all of your children.
So, this may not work if you have a huge gap between your kids’ ages, but mine are stair stepped. I encourage them all to play together as much as possible. Whether it is LEGOs, or playing in our fun teepee, when school is over the play does not end! I love that they can all play together. (No it doesn’t always go smoothly, haha!)
So, those are my best tips for teaching multiple ages! What are some of your tips?