Are you homeschooling with more than one child at home this school year? If so, I bet the thought of how to juggle the different needs of your little (or not so little) learners has crossed your mind. How can we, as moms, effectively meet the needs of children of multiple ages? I’m definitely not an expert here, although I may be by the time everything is said and done.
This school year I will be teaching a 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old, and 1 year old. My head is already spinning
My plan is to implement 3 main practices.
Schooling Kids of Different Ages
1. Learn through real life. While I’m not officially labeling our family unschoolers, I do believe that children can learn so much by being involved in the ins and outs of normal life– math in the grocery store, art at the kitchen table, science in the backyard, health at a dental appointment. At least in the younger years, most of the subjects we’re required to teach can easily be incorporated in a hands-on, literacy-rich environment, as long as we’re aware enough to make them teachable moments.
2. Do it together. The majority of our learning will happen with all the little ones present. While the baby may not be fully involved she’ll definitely be close by. Of course, some of our studies (mainly Reading and Math) will be geared towards our oldest, but there are simple ways to include younger siblings.
For other subjects like Bible, History, Science, Art, Music, Health, and Physical Education we’ll all easily be involved in the same activities. For example our “official” Bible studies will be continuing with breakfast readings from 365 Read-Aloud Bedtime Bible Stories. We’ll also be walking through the Bible with the What’s in the Bible? DVDs and the My Bible Coloring Book. We’ll be continuing to focus on prayer with our Prayer Pail and we’ll keep memorizing scripture with this simple Scripture Memory Box system (which, by the way, we love). For more ideas check out our Raising Children of God Pinterest board.
3. Have fun, hands-on learning tools ready for younger children. Younger sibling don’t want to feel left out, so make them some special “school time” toys of their own. We have a selection of preschool appropriate busy bags, craft supplies, and manipulatives ready for our little learners. If you like to sew you could always make an oh. so. sweet quiet book for your littlest ones.
Update: Check out our 31 Days of Busy Bags & Quiet Time Activities to help keep your little ones learning independently.
So, what will our typical day look like? Well, I’m guessing anything but typical, I’ve been a mom long enough to know that things never run as planned and that children are not predictable.
But, our little ones will be learning some of the most important lessons of all, how to love God, get along with others, love learning, and put their toys away. Really, what more could we want?
Check out the blog parties we like to join
August 21: Teaching Kids to Read