Homeschooling multiple grades can be just as frustrating as it is rewarding. Currently I am teaching 3 different grade levels at the same time. There are days when we barely get through everyone’s lessons and other days where we miraculously get ahead. So, from a veteran mom, here are my best tips for teaching multiple ages in your homeschool.
1) Always preview the week on Sunday night. Looking over your classes and getting your head around your schedule for the week will save you time and sanity in the long run.
2) Keep a running checklist of things that need to get done. Keep it with you wherever you go.
3)Choose a curriculum core that can be used for multiple ages.
4)Know your kids most independent subjects and plan your schedule accordingly.
5)Start your kids’ lessons at different times, so you can get some one on one time with each of your students as they start their day.
6)Teach your kids strategies for when they get stuck on a question. (Reread, underline, skip etc.) This way they have some things to try independently before they ask you for help.
7)Utilize flashcards and teach your kids several games they can play with them. You can have 2 kids, using flashcards and reviewing their lessons while you’re helping another.
8) Let go of non-important chores. I for one don’t stress about making beds or cleaning windows. Neither are sanitary issues, if they get done, yay. If not, I’ve stopped worrying about it.
9) Let go of perfection. Homeschooling multiple grades absolutely takes more time, you will not be able to do everything to perfection in your homemaking. Doing something to 90% is fine.
10) Teach your kids how to make lunch and a few dinners ASAP. Being able to have your first grader make lunch while you’re working with your 3rd and 4th grader is a life saver, trust me.
11) Stagger your kids silent reading times, so you can maximize instructional time.
12) Get your older kids to tutor the younger kids (be sure to monitor their patience level with each other) This actually benefits both the student and tutor in terms of learning.
13) Have activities your kids can do while they’re waiting for help, preferably something that goes along with their lessons.
14) Encourage patience from everyone. Mom cannot help everyone at once. The kids need to be patient when waiting and Mom needs to be patient when the kids ask for help.
15) Remember learning is a process. Your family is a team, have fun, and work hard together.