You can homeschool multiple kids! You already have all the flexibility and time you need.
Since I homeschool multiple kids, sometimes it's hard to keep it straight with three kids doing three different levels of content for each subject. During the homeschool day we have a lot to accomplish, and I will admit that having individual time with kids doesn't always happen. That's why we developed a
and that helps a lot. Interestingly, I've seen my kids go through different stages of independence. When they were little, we mostly played and read and didn't worry too much about focused instruction. As they got older, they became ready to do more complicated things, which took more instruction time from me. As they got older still, they were ready for even more complicated material, but their independence level was also increased.
People sometimes ask how on earth I can homeschool multiple kids. There are some wrong assumptions in that question:
Homeschool means one on one all the time
Different aged kids can't learn together
A teacher-student ratio in a traditional classroom is better than what I can give with 1:3
Having a homeschool routine helps me homeschool multiple kids and stay organized and increases my time with kids. Each of my three sons is at a different level in their various subjects, and using the homeschool checklist is really helpful. Often I'm working with all three kids at time, either reading aloud, or at the kitchen table while they work on different things. I've started to add some individualized time to our week, which lets me check in with them and have some time together with each one. We call this time a “learning date.”
How much time you spend on each learning date depends on how many activities you have during the course of the week, and how much structured work they do. It also depends on how the rest of the kids in your family can handle independent work or unsupervised time while you are with one child.
With my oldest, we usually use the time to do a Life of Fred math lesson and then we do some read aloud. Even with my 11 year old, who has been a voracious reader for years, I always make time to read aloud with him most days, either as a part of the
or during this learning date time. He is independent in most of his other subjects.
I usually play with or read books to my youngest during this time. Sometimes he likes to play a game and other times we're playing with cuisenaire rods or shapes blocks. Even if we're just playing Battleship (which, btw is a great way to learn graphing!) we're having fun together and he feels valued. This emotional health transfers onto his learning and he is much more ready to learn.
My middle child is gaining independence but still needs some direct instruction. During our time together, we work on writing (either 6-Traits or just cursive) and then do some read aloud from whatever book we're reading.
Usually we'll each choose something and we'll spend the time together, usually 45 minutes or so. Read aloud is always a part of it because it is so important for their
love of reading
. Please don't stop reading to them once they start to read themselves!
Whatever you decide to do, educational or leisure, kids benefit from uninterrupted, individualized time with you.
Consider carving out some time for a learning date with your kids. If you homeschool multiple kids, take the time to check in with what they're doing. With learning dates this is easy and you get to spend valuable one on one time together.
Many homeschool families have a harder time keeping the house tidy because your kids are home during the day messing it up, right? (Maybe that's just my kids) Implement a chores system and put them to work!