One thing that I have learned over these last 10 years of homeschooling is this:
If I can make it easier on myself, then I need to do just that.
Yes. It can be.
Because God has blessed my husband and me with 3 amazing children, I knew that when they all got into the schooling years that I would need to figure some way to “school” them all at the same time. How is that even possible? It is possible, but for me it goes way beyond breaking out of the schooling mind mode. But it is possible.
For many years I only had Isaiah as my main concern for school. Ana was little and was listening to all of the school work being done. Then she eased into doing school work with little issues. But now that I have Joseph in the mix too, well, my mama brain was in slight panic mode for a while.
So, here is what I have figured out so far:
You must teach your children to work independently.
They must be taught to follow directions. If they cannot read, they must learn to listen and follow the tasks that they have been given. Yes, it gets old, moving them onto the next subject verbally, but it does help them learn.
This is so very important because later they will need to be independent enough to read their assignments, follow the directions, and complete them. All because this mama is usually working with someone else in a different subject.
Combine, Combine, Combine.
I am so grateful that I love to read. I have been reading to my children since they were in the womb. Since they like to listen to stories, I have been reading aloud to them for years. This allows them to grasp the reading concepts, as well as learning to sit and listen, comprehension skills, and hopefully the love of books. And not to mention, this a wonderful way to combine school work.
Unit Studies are another fantastic way to combine school work for multiple ages. Pick a subject that will interest more than one age and then get to work. I like using Homeschool Legacy, Amanda Bennett Unit Studies, Notebooking Pages, Amy Puetz, and The Old Schoolhouse Store.
Some of our favorite subjects to combine:
Combining subjects allows for more one on one in subjects like math and reading. Since I am combining the other subjects it provides me the added time to spend with the child that needs more assistance. It makes me life easier as a teacher and a mama.
Less is More
Yes, there are a lot of subjects that Isaiah needs to complete to graduate. But, sometimes less is more so that he can take time out to experience life too. So, again, this goes to the 4 days a week of homeschooling. I want the kids to have hands on knowledge and getting out in the world allow for just that.
Ana and Joseph are really getting into this doing school for 4 days a week. They are actually excited to get all of their required work done so that we can enjoy a day out, without feeling guilty.
This is another example of how we can homeschool multiple ages at the same time. By doing less sit down school, we are all learning about something and creating memorable experiences at the same time. Less is definitely better than more!
I hope these ideas help you with homeschooling multiple ages. If you have more ideas, please feel free to share them with me, as I am always looking for different ways to make this homeschooling thing work. And work well!
In His Grace.
Visit my fellow homeschool blogging mamas as they share their own Back to Homeschool posts below.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew partnered with Homeschool Blogging Connections to bring you a week full of back to school encouragement.
Meet Your Back to Homeschool Blog Hop Hosts
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement
Missica @ The Open Window: An Autism Blog
Misty @ Year Round Homeschooling
Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
Clarissa @ Counting Our Blessings
Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Rebekah @ There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
April @ ElCloud Homeschool
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Tara @ This Sweet Life
Tara @ Embark on the Journey
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Annette @ In All You Do
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama
Aurie @ Our Good Life
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Katie @ DailyLife
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans
Annette @ A Net In Time
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm
Meg @ Adventures with Jude
Dawn @ Double O Farms
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Steph @ Indy Homeschool
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Tawnee @ Adventures in homeschooling
Lisa @ Tales of a Homeschool Family
Jennifer @ Organized Home Organized School
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama
Nicole @ Some Call It Natural
Crystal @ Crystal Starr
Bonnie @ Write Bonnie Rose
Shawna @ Tenacity Divine
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Kelli @ Adventure Homeschool
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Leah Courtney @ As We Walk Along the Road