Updated: Mar 1
Homeschooling has become an alternative option for parents, especially with schools forced to close because of the pandemic today’s current health situation. Your child can continue their education within the comfort and safety of your own homes. It should be easy if you are only homeschooling one child. But what if you have several children, all at different ages and educational levels? Here are five tips for schoolers of all ages.
Schedule Routines for Schoolers of all Ages
It might seem logical to teach your kids individually and separate them so that you could focus your attention on them one at a time. Teaching them one on one is great if you want to have no time for yourself. Imagine if you have more than two kids just running around managing routines will burn you out before the week is out.
You can find an effective way to accomplish this if you do the routines together. That way, you and your kids get your tasks done at the same time. Utilizing this method of group learning means everyone will get to enjoy their time. Your kids will get their free time, and so will you.
As you stick to a routine that works well for your family, leave room for changes if any may come. You should also focus on a specific goal when planning the routines. It’s easier to make progress schooling your children from home when you set particular targets for each kid. Monitor your compliance and performance regarding the routine you chose and find ways to hit your targets if you made little progress.
Your homeschooling routine should consider the times your kids have meals or take bathroom or resting breaks. Children tend to adjust to activities set by their parents provided they have adequate time for play and rest. You wouldn’t want your kid learning when they’re feeling exhausted or hungry.
Choose a Curriculum for Home Schoolers of all Ages
Instead of teaching your kids separately, you can choose a curriculum that applies to all ages. One example is as follows:
In a multi-age curriculum, all your children will study one subject simultaneously, but the lessons and activities will be personalized or tailored depending on their level.
Curate your homeschooling curriculum depending on your child’s learning style. Children may be slow or fast learners irrespective of their upbringing and the teaching style. Watch your kid to determine whether they enjoy workbooks or project-based learning. It’s even possible for them to prefer learning through music or games.
Your teaching style is also important when it comes to setting the curriculum. Are you the type to use illustrative diagrams or math fact cards to teach? Talk to your child about their learning interest and consider their feedback in your plans. Family priorities such as preserving religion and learning a particular language are equally important too.
Make Use of Time Blocks
In a traditional school setting, classes last for an hour. That does not have to be the same for homeschooling, especially for younger kids.
You can use time blocks to rotate your focus among your kids—for example, you teach them math. After your introduction, you can give one child an activity that they will have to finish in no less than 10 minutes.
During that time, you can shift your attention to another child, and so on.
Structuring your time between children is an excellent strategy if you are using a multi-age curriculum. It also lets your kids study the same subject at the same time.
Time blocks allow you to work within chunks of allocated time for you to balance your homeschool tasks. The goal here is to allocate the right amount of time for the right task. You shouldn’t work on a task at a random hour until you complete everything you planned for that particular hour.
With discipline and consistency, it’s easier to make time blocks work in your favor. For example, you may allocate the 8 to 9 AM time block to responding to your emails and assigning tasks to your kids. You may also allocate the 9 to 11 AM time block for a series of homeschool lessons. Your role here is to complete responding to emails and assigning tasks to your kids before taking them through the lessons of the day.
Teach Older Children to Be Independent
You can assign your older children to work on their own (for a time) while you focus on the younger kids. For example, give your teens readings or practice drills that they can do by themselves. Allowing the children to work independently gives you the time to teach your younger kids without having anyone idle.
The good thing about having your child learn independently is that they’ll have full responsibility for their learning. For instance, you can have them read the lesson from a book, answer specific questions, study for a test, or take a test. Allow them to ask questions when something doesn’t seem clear to them.
As your older children learn by themselves, you can use the spare time to teach the younger, dependent ones or carry out house chores. If your family is large, independent learning can work miracles. Your work will involve supervising them and assessing their progress.
When All Else Fails, Give Yourself a Break
Even with the best routines, you will have to accept that not everything will be perfect because screw-ups can happen. And if setbacks do happen, do not be too hard on yourself.
It can be overwhelming sometimes and can feel like you have failed your children. Relax, close your eyes, and take a deep breath.
Remember that learning is not a race. You cannot and should not rush your kids to learn and grow at a fixed rate. If your homeschooling journey encounters a hiccup, know that you can always go back a few paces and restart from there.
During your breaks, you may put on a music playlist, and listen to your favorite songs, work out, take a walk or take a power nap. The list of things you can do to relieve your mind from all the pressures of homeschooling is endless. You just have to be mindful about what you want to do and ensure that it doesn’t get in the way of your other tasks or responsibilities.
Give The Kids a Break
Getting the kids in a bubble bath may also be a fun way to unwind when taking breaks from your homeschool routine. You can also have them watch fun, educational videos, or documentaries. Ensure that at the end of it all, your mind is fresh, relaxed, and ready for other tasks.
Homeschooling might be considered unconventional or non-traditional by many; however, that does not mean children of all ages cannot try it. These five tips for homeschoolers of all ages will certainly help you to have a successful journey. All you need is a lot of patience, perseverance, and organization to make it work.
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