How to Homeschool Multiple Ages

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

Before I share some ways I manage (or balance) homeschooling multiple children at multiple levels and varying learning styles, you must know that our homeschool days are not “picture perfect”. Let’s be honest, there is no such thing. But there are some things I do in order to keep our day moving forward and make sure everyone at least learns something. 

Utilize Real Life

Over the years I have really learned how to integrate learning more seamlessly into our day-to-day lives. I do not consider us unschoolers, but rather look for opportunities to encourage my children to explore something that interests them in more depth. Typically this is outside our normal course of study. Sometimes I will set aside our regular lesson plans to allow for this, other times they will explore in addition to what they are learning during their formal lessons.

It takes some training, but with a bit of attentiveness, we can teach lots of things as they come up. When we decided, very unexpectedly, to sell our home and buy a new one back in January, many of our formal lessons were put on hold due to prepping the house for listing and staging the house for showings. My 11-year old daughter was very interested in the whole process of selling and buying a house. She asked lots of questions and I obliged her, allowed her to listen to conversations with our realtor, and encouraged her to further research the process. We may have set aside formal Geography for a season, but we picked up real estate.

Start With the Littles

It’s amazing how much of a difference structured time with the young children makes. It’s natural to want to make sure we’re working with our older children because their schooling seems more imperative. (More on this in the next section). However, one of the most effective ways to fill up the tank of our young children (before working with our older children), is by working with them first. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something formal, but being structured and consistent are key components.

Teach Independent Learning

It’s important to teach our children to learn to work independently. For a long time I felt very uncomfortable with this idea because I felt a responsibility or duty to constantly be a part of their learning process. But actually, this is a hindrance to our children becoming competent adults. They need to be able to think for themselves and be self-motivated. We cannot always hold their hand. It is a necessary for discipline our children to learn to work on their own. Even young children can begin working independently for a short amount of time and as they master that, the time can be increased.

This does not mean their work goes unchecked. They still have accountability with us and each family can dictate consequences or adjust independence as necessary for each individual child. Our goal as homeschooling parents is to set our children up for success (however you define that).

Use a Multi-Level Curriculum

There are some curricula on the market that is tailored for families teaching multiple levels. We have used several and enjoyed each them. There are definitely pros and cons to this approach. One important “pro” is that everyone is learning the same material, just at different levels. This can also benefit younger children as they overhear higher level work and conversations from their older siblings.

In addition, older children can help younger children. This is also beneficial for the children. It can strengthen their relationship and teach conflict resolution, if that should arise during their work time together.

So, Where’s the Balance?

Balance doesn’t necessarily mean the load is evenly divided, daily. It does mean I work to meet the individual needs of my children on a daily basis. Some days one child will require more attention while another requires less. Some weeks we work heavy on formal lessons while other weeks we take more time to explore and learn about everyday life (such as moving/learning real estate).

What tips can you offer to teach multiple children?

Blessings,

Christin

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

“Comfy Cooking with Kids” Ebook (99 Cents for 48 Hours Only!!)!

JanelleBookAmazonFile

Hi Ladies! I am SO excited to introduce to you the release of my latest ebook, ”Comfy Cooking with Kids“…  designed to help guide you and your children in the kitchen! 

 To celebrate, I’m practically giving it away for 99 cents at Amazon.com for 2 days only!

That’s RIGHT! From Wednesday, April 2nd until Friday, April 4th you can hurry over to get your Kindle version for JUST 99 cents!!! 

Please feel free to leave feedback on Amazon to let me know how you are enjoying the book! Also, feel free to share this deal with anyone- FB, Tweet, and Pin away! 

I pray you’ll enjoy using this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always, I will continue to pray for your families and the ministry you’re teaching them ….starting in the kitchen! 

About the ebook:

JanelleBookAmazonFile

Congratulations, Parents!
 You’re about to teach your children all about how to get “Comfy in the Kitchen!”

As you go through this e-book with your kiddos, you’ll teach them how to: Use many basic kitchen tools, incorporate simple cooking techniques, properly set a table, make delicious recipes the entire family will love, and even teach them how to clean-up afterwards! All of the recipes displayed are handpicked to be simple enough for small children to make with a parent and/or older children to make on their own. A variety of different cooking tools and techniques are highlighted to help your children gain cooking confidence.

Because cooking goes beyond just following instructions, “Food for thought” ideas are highlighted under each recipe giving you teachable moments to share with your children. Some examples include: “What is Shoe peg Corn? How do I separate an egg white from the yolk? And, why do we use oil rather than butter when we cook on high heat?” Who knows, maybe you might even learn a thing or two!

Gluten-free options are also available under each recipe to accommodate my allergy-suffering friends (hand raised!). So, here we go…. let those kiddos crack eggs, pour milk, measure, and make a mess. Did I say make a mess?! Ohhh, yes I did, but don’t worry, Mama- as I mentioned above, the kiddos will learn how to clean up the kitchen in the last chapter, they’ll even learn how to make their own cleaning supplies. Last, but not least, when the baking and cooking is done, make sure to sit down and take in those precious moments and indulge in the delicious creations you and your children have made together! 

Example Recipe: Classic French Toast 

french toast

*Food for Thought: It’s easier to whisk eggs when you break the yolks first! Just poke them, then easily whisk together.
 *Gluten-Free Option: Use Udi’s GF bread.

62884_108905969170955_108904002504485_77450_4676800_n

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin


Available for 48 hours at Amazon.com at the LOW introductory price of JUST 99 cents! Hurry! 

Blessings,

Janelle, ComfyintheKitchen.com

What’s in the Bible Celebrates Making it to Revelation {Coupon Included}

whats in the bible

What’s in the Bible did it!  They made it to Revelation!

The final volume in the What’s in the Bible? series covers Hebrews to Revelation and is available on March 4.

To celebrate this release, they’re offering you 20% off any order over $75.  This deal is a great opportunity for you to catch up on the series and complete your collection.

158

Click HERE to order and apply code above on the last page of checkout!  This offer is only valid during release week, so don’t miss it!

Happy Shopping :)

signature1

*This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.

Learning to Let Children Be

I often feel like I’ve stumbled through the past 8 years of parenting.  There have been so many ups and down and boy, have I had a LOT of lessons to learn. I’m still learning them daily.  But there’s a few that stick out as ‘life changers’ in my mind, and this is one of them-

I’ve learned, when they are engaged in something positive, children need to be left alone.

 

As a homeschooling Mom, I live this philosophy every single day.  To be clear, I’m not talking about leaving them to do ‘nothing’ for hours on end.  This is about spending lots of time engaging with the children and learning along side them but then, being in tune with when they are happily engaged with play, work, learning and exploration on their own.  And in that awareness,  choosing to let them be as they are.  If they are engaged, enlightened, naturally content and learning independently, I “Let Them Be”.  And in our home, sometimes this takes place for hours.  For hours they will build Legos.  For hours they will draw pictures.  For hours they will read.  For hours they will play with Playmobil.  And yes, we let them.

It’s in those times when they are actively engaged in their own learning that they come up with the most incredible things.  Ideas flow like rivers and imaginations run wild and free.  Sometimes, it doesn’t look like learning, but then, they show me over and over again just how beneficial those times of creativity and independence are for them.

Holt Quote

Our days are not scheduled for us.  We have a task list but no set hour by hour schedule.  Just the other day, our son was busy building a Solar Power Car from a Science Kit he’d received.  The problem was, he was building it at the same time I really wanted him to complete his Math.  I was just about to interrupt him when I realized he WAS doing Math.  He was engineering a car.  I left him alone and we accomplished the ‘book’ Math later in the day once he’d accomplished the task of the car.

Another example is our daughter.  She will make up stories with her dolls and stuffed animals for hours.  I don’t stop her.  I let her explore and create and make believe.  Children just don’t have enough time to ‘mess about’ these days, as John Holt put it, and I want ours to have plenty of time to do what children do best – just be.

Our life is incredibly peaceful for a family with three young children.  We have our days, but for the most part, I’m amazed.  Our children are wonderful independent learners and thinkers.  Just like everyone, we’re all a work in progress but I can’t over communicate what ‘letting them be’ has done for our us!

Some of the Benefits of ‘Letting them Be’:

  • Respects the child’s interests and ability to self-teach
  • Brings more peace into the home
  • Builds concentration skills and nurtures the habit of attention
  • Leaves room for authentic learning to take place
  • Allows time for creativity to grow and develop
  • Infuses the child’s day with a relaxed, anti-rush atmosphere
  • Give Mom time to breathe and accomplish tasks

The only thing I wanted to add is this – there is one exception to the concept of letting children be.  Media time.  I don’t believe children should have free reign on screens and media devices.  That is one activity we always interrupt when the time is up!  (We allow no more than about 15 minutes of screen time daily).

 Let’s encourage our children to engage in active play and

independent learning and then watch how they develop and grow!

Big hugs and blessings to you!

Cassandra

**************************************************************************************

So now it is time to LINK-UP and join the party!!!!

*****We pin our favorite link-ups on The Better Mom’s Pinterest Board!!*****

Better Mom Mondays Link-up is every Monday!!! Every week we have hundreds of posts linked up here from so many beautiful women with beautiful things to share!  I encourage you to visit their sites by clicking on the links and reading all of the fantastic ideas and insights! Also don’t forget to join the fun by adding your blog!!   We request that if you join below -please add the Better Mom Mondays Link Up button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of mothering, marriage, homemaking, discipleship, recipes, organization and more!) You can find the html code in the sidebar, or “save as” copy, and paste the button below.




 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...