Five Tips to Teach Multiple Children Efficiently
by Heather Gneco
Home school organization is essential when teaching multi-aged children at the same time. As a busy home schooling parent, you need to be as efficient as possible. If you have toddlers, babies or preschoolers in your family, you have even less time to waste. When schooling multiple children, look for ways to make the best use of your time and energy. Here are five tips that I use to maximize my time and successfully educate my multi-aged family, while trying to keep my home in order and my housework done!
#1 Teach your children together.
Unit studies are a great way of teaching multi-aged kids at the same time - even with different learning styles. They are especially convenient when your children are close in age. Lessons and projects can be easily adapted to your children's unique learning styles. Expect more from older children and less from younger ones.
#2 Use self-teaching curriculum with older children.
What is self-teaching curriculum? Curriculum that can be completed independently by students, with minimal teacher involvement. Lessons are written in a conversational style and can be completed without the need for constant or direct teacher instruction. As a home school parent, you will not spend all your time teaching. Your student gains independence and you? More time.
#3 Swap work.
While you mark your child's work, have them do a job for you. Your children can do many odd jobs around the house. Fetch or organize laundry, clean the bathroom, play with the baby, change a dirty diaper (always on the top of my list!) or any other project that needs completing.
#4 Involve young children in daily household chores.
While your older children work on lessons, use the time to complete simple projects and housework that your preschoolers can help with. Do "school" while working on household chores. Young children love to help with laundry - sorting colors, pushing buttons, adding soap, putting clothes into baskets and matching socks. Nothing compares to the fun interaction and relationship building that occurs while cooking in the kitchen with children! Learning happens and meals get prepared at the same time, albeit with a little more mess.
#5 Include younger children in lessons, whenever you can.
To increase your home school organization, find projects or hands-on activities that everyone can do together. Your younger children will love to participate in your older student's activities. Buddy-up your older children with the younger ones. The many questions young children ask will definitely reinforce what your older children know and working together helps everyone to develop patience.
It does take extra work, flexibility and patience to achieve a small measure of home school organization. When schooling multiple children, especially with preschoolers around, home school organization often looks like disorganization.
Your life home school may never be completely organized. However, the blessings that come from a family working together, far outweigh the challenges of trying to achieve home school organization perfection.