As a homeschooling mom, some days I don’t feel like there’s enough of me to go around. I feel like it’s so easy to become inconsistent and get too lax with things I NEED to teach. If you are homeschooling more than one child at a time, then you probably know what I’m talking about! It is hard to stay consistent teaching multiple ages. But if you have a PLAN, then it’s no trouble at all! In fact, it can even be enjoyable.
I love ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and as a kid, I was always fascinated by the one room schoolhouse! Little did I know, that one day have my OWN one room schoolhouse!
I know it’s a show, but one thing that always struck me as so awesome was how the teacher could teach so many different kids!
Well now, in my own classroom, I know that it takes work to stay consistent teaching kids of multiple ages!
I have some tips that I want to share with you so that you can be the BEST homeschool teacher you can be!
Schedule Your Time
Scheduling does not come natural for a person like me, but I have found that if I take a little bit of time and write down what I want to accomplish in my school day, then it can make a big difference.
A schedule can look very different for each person, and you may choose to do a very elaborate schedule or just have a basic framework.
Either one is ok, but if you are scheduling your school days then you are much more likely to stay consistent when teaching your little kids as well as your big kids.
Side note: If you need help scheduling your life in general, my friend, Kim Anderson @ Thrifty Little Mom has a great course on life management! You’ll want to check out The 5 Day Complete Life Management Course and Workbook! It’s a game changer!
Use a Good Organized System
Without an organized system for curriculum, it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to stay consistent while teaching different age levels.
You MUST organize somehow!
I am speaking from experience and a lot of failure!
Early on when I was only teaching one or two kids I couldn’t understand the need for organization. But now as our homeschool classroom has grown to 5 kids (and 7 kids in our family), I cannot believe that I NEVER saw the importance of organization!
Without it, our days were a disaster. I found myself telling my kids to do as little or as much work as they felt like! (True confessions!)
Needless to say it wasn’t very effective and everyone was constantly in the dark about where we were at in the school year. Once I started using the Crate & Binder system, by Kristi Clover, it made a huge difference!
Whatever system you choose can only help to make your school run smoother. And when you are teaching kids of multiple ages, organization is KEY to being able to stay consistent teaching your little kids while you have big kids.
Pair Off Your Kids
In a sense having kids of multiple ages can be more of a blessing than not.
At times it may seem like you have NO idea how to get anything done, but if you step back for a second and think about it, you have built in babysitters.
The beauty of having kids of all ages is that you can use your older kids to teach your younger kids. (This is a great way to reinforce some learning skills for your older kids. – they don’t even realize how helping a younger sibling with their school will help them practice the things they have learned!) (Of course, I’m not talking about the main teaching. Just some added ‘tutoring!’)
Or maybe it is just some guided playtime. Pairing up your kids to play with each other is a GREAT way to be able to have some time to work on teaching your other kids.
Write down a system in which you pair up your kids. You may have your oldest child play with your middle child, while you work on Phonics with your first grader. In the same way, you can alternate kids for different periods of time. You may choose to pair up kids for one day at a time. Or maybe it would work better for you to do it on an hourly rotation.
Don’t be afraid to tap into the resources of having kids that are older and make a fun time of having them play with the little ones.
There is no right or wrong, but it will go a long way in helping you stay consistent teaching the little kids when you have big kids.
RELATED POST: How to Overcome Homeschool Burnout
Have Special School-Time Activities for the Little Kids
Kids love an opportunity for something special! I have found that keeping a special drawer of toys that are only available to play with while I am teaching school is really fun and motivating for the little ones.
Give them 1 or 2 special things to play with that get put away when you are done teaching. Keep an eye out for educational toys at thrift stores and rummage sales. You can find some pretty neat things that are educational and exciting!
Teaching is a Marathon, Not a Race!
There are some days when I feel like I haven’t taught much at all. The little kids need me – the big kids need me. You know how it goes!
But it’s OK to remember that the little daily choices you make over a period of time are what add up to a solid education.
Don’t sweat the days where you didn’t feel as consistent. Try to remember that just because you had one day that wasn’t as productive as the others, you can still hop back on the bandwagon and do it again!
Tomorrow is another day!
With practice, you can learn to become consistent teaching kids of multiple ages!
How about you? Do you have a hard time staying consistent teaching kids of multiple ages? What are some tricks you’ve learned along the way to help stay consistent teaching all of your kids? Please comment below and don’t forget to subscribe for more encouragement!