Homeschooling children of multiple ages can be a lot of work but it can also be very rewarding. With a little planning and these tips, you can homeschool your children of multiple ages easily and efficiently, leaving time for hobbies and other personal interests that will help your children grow and develop. This can be done with children close in age or even with several years between them.
Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Ages
When homeschooling children of multiple ages look for a curriculum that can be taught together at the same time. This is where programs like Logic of English or Apologia science programs that offer workbooks come into play. Having the ability to teach multiple levels at once allows you to get more done and have your children work together even if they are not on the same level.
Have older kids, especially those in high school, help teach younger kids. This can help give younger children one on one time while you work with other children. A hidden benefit to this is that we tend to remember things we teach others better than things we are taught, so having an older child go over something with a younger one can help cement the concept into the older child’s mind easier than ever.
Set up learning spaces that allow your children to work away from each other but all within an area that you can come help them if one of them needs assistance. This can be a great way to ensure your children have some personal space to lessen distractions and fighting while concentrating on their work.
Along with having areas that your children can work in without being directly on top of each other, you can take advantage of tools like noise-blocking headphones to help make it easier for your children to focus and stay on task when they are working independently.
Teaching your older children to complete school work independently opens you up to more time to work with children that are not developmentally ready to work on their own yet. Help older kids learn to stay on task and organised by giving them a planner to use for tracking their own education.
Keep several sets of school supplies on hand. This will give them the supplies they need even when spaced out instead of sharing. It will also ensure if one set is missing something a child needs they can find another quickly by borrowing from a siblings set.
Keep young children out of the way of learning. While infants can happily stay in a swing or high chair, toddlers and young preschoolers are always getting into everything and making it difficult to focus on learning. Set up a space in your learning area that is gated off with an infant play yard to keep your young ones out of trouble and playing safely while you work with other children.
Give yourself grace. There will be hard days where the chaos of having several children of different ages working on different projects and all asking for help will feel overwhelming and you just need to take a moment to step away and redirect your learning.
Give yourself grace and don’t be afraid to take a step back and redirect when you need to.
An afternoon of changed plans is better than an afternoon of a stressed-out mom.