Homeschooling Multiple Children

Do you homeschool more than one child?
Me too.

Did you start off homeschooling more than one child?
I didn't. For me, it was gradual.

First, I taught our oldest son. It was a one to one ratio, and it was easy!

The following year, our oldest daughter joined the lesson time. I moved between the two. Though a bit more difficult, it was doable, even if I did feel a bit frazzled and like a ping pong ball some days.

As the years progressed, another child was added to our homeschooling days. In those days, I tried to combine as many classes or topics as possible. For awhile it worked beautifully.

For the past couple of years, I have been teaching four children at home. The grades range from first to ninth. One child is taking Geometry and another is learning to add. One child is analyzing literature and another is still working through phonics. While I strongly recommend and have benefited from group classes, it just isn't possible for all four. Instead, a couple of years ago, we implemented the one room school house approach.

All of our children rise early. It works for our family. My husband leaves for work early in the morning and I am up with him. Our children awake and are downstairs by 7 AM each and every day.
This means, our day starts earlier than some families.

Consequently, our school day starts earlier. We are all hard at work around 8 AM.

Generally speaking the older three begin their day with independent work. I use this time to work one on one with our youngest. He is in first grade and his work load is lighter than the rest of the children's. He is able to do some work on his own, but only after I have reviewed the directions with him.

Once I am done working with our youngest, I proceed through the ages, instructing our oldest last. This seems to work best right now. Other years we have used more group work than we are using this year.

After I have worked individually with each student, we typically break for lunch. During lunch I will read aloud a book pertaining to history, science, or literature. Most of the books are familiar to our oldest, but since these read alouds don't count for his high school credits, he just enjoys listening to them.

Once lunch is eaten and the kitchen cleaned, we begin our afternoon work. History is the one main class in which my three youngest children study together. We are currently working through Ancient Civilizations & the Bible. The curriculum lends itself well to multi-level learning.

Our Overall Approach to One Room School House Homeschooling:
  • each child is challenged at the level they are currently working at, regardless of 'grade level'
  • children progress through the levels as they master the material, not due to the passage of time
  • individual teacher instruction begins with the child working at the lowest level
  • harder subjects are completed first (for us: math, reading, and  grammar)
  • lighter, less demanding academic work is completed in the afternoon

A few links of related articles I wrote in the past:
Homeschooling Just Next Door: Our Daily Schedule (2012-13 school year routine)
Growing Your Homeschool: The One Room School House Approach
Growing Your Homeschool: Using the One Room School House Approach (2011-12 school year)

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