Homeschooling is not a mini version of a public school or a traditional school setup. However, with homeschooling, a parent/teacher is not limited to only one student either. The system allows multiple children to be taught by their parent even if they belong to different levels. To educate one child is hard enough. To educate more than one at the same time seems to be asking for too much. But to educate more than one at the same time that belongs to multiple grade levels is like asking for a miracle. Or is it? You’d be surprised to know that it has been done. Who was able to pull off what seems like an impossible feat? Well, in this day and age, heroes are known to be those who appear in history books or on the news, those who were able to exhibit selfless acts to help others in need. Those people can and must be really regarded as heroes. But there is another breed of underrated heroes in the homeschool community. They are often overlooked because they allow, or better yet, they push others to take the limelight and shine. These individuals are the superheroes of today and they are none other than the parent/teachers themselves.
How can parents possibly teach, for example, a large family of 5 siblings at the same time? Not only that, how can they teach them all given that they belong to different grade levels? Lucky for you, they are willing to share their best practices which made them successful in their chosen line of work. You’d be surprised that it is not as hard as you might think. After knowing their secrets, you might strive to become a superhero as well.
First of all, it is important to note that a well thought of plan is a must to achieve success. Then, you have to assign a block of time with each child; probably 30 minutes or 1 hour with each child. It depends on several factors such as the attention span of the child, the topics to be discussed, and many more. You can also set a specific time if you prefer, as long as you avoid placing unnecessary pressure on the students and on yourself as well. One of the benefits of homeschooling is having the freedom to learn at your own pace at your own time. Setting a daily schedule may somehow take away a portion of that freedom because the kids are then required to be in a study/learning mode at a certain time of the day. Again, a schedule is okay to keep as a guide. Just make sure that you remain flexible with whatever that may throw it off. Also, if you are attending to one child, others can do independent work. You can also ask for help from your eldest child to work with the younger siblings.
You must also learn how to combine subjects to save time and effort. Take history, for example. Past is past. It’s history. It can never be undone and it can never be changed. Geography as well. The physical features of the Earth and its atmosphere is pretty much still the same since you were born. Changes on these physical features may take hundreds, if not thousands of years to accomplish. So, you can gather your students and discuss history or geography to them all at once.
Use unit studies. A unit study is an in-depth look at a topic that interests your child. It incorporates real-life experiences and it takes advantage of «hands on» activities while maintaining the interrelatedness of your children.
Maximize the internet. You must learn to adapt to the new generation. To most kids who were born after the emergence of the World Wide Web, they categorize the internet as a need and not as a luxury. Use it to your advantage. Before, when you want to search for something and learn more about that topic, you have to go to the library and get all the books that have bits and pieces of information about the topic. You have to put everything together yourself. Then the encyclopedia was introduced. It has almost all the information you need about a certain topic. From multiple books, it was trimmed down to just a few. It saves you time and effort. Now, you have the internet wherein you can search for almost anything, anytime and have all the answers that you need with just a few clicks. With the advent of modern technology, you can do so much with so little time and effort. Empower your children to learn on their own. You can control the use of the internet by bookmarking the pages related to the topic you want your kid to know more about. Not only did you teach your children to be independent, you also had your work cut out for you.
You can set up a workbox system. Basically, it is assigning a drawer for each child and inside these drawers are their books and assignments. It helps you and your children to keep things organized. You don’t get to lose things. More importantly, it encourages your children to be independent and to study on their own.
Maximize every teaching opportunity. The secret to being successful in homeschooling multiple children is this: not only do you have to incorporate real-life experiences in homeschooling for it to work, you also have to incorporate homeschooling in your daily life experiences. What does that mean? It is pretty simple. You can teach science while doing the laundry, or geography while mowing the lawn. These are the lessons that will be remembered by your children because they are not only learning experiences, they are also special bonding moments with the family that strengthens the relationship. You taught your children a lesson they needed to learn; you showed them the value of it by incorporating real-life experiences; you strengthened the bond that unites the family; and you had fun doing it.
These are just some of the tips that can help you be successful in homeschooling multiple children. But as you start the school year and get the ball rolling, you may pick up a few techniques here and there that may work wonders for you. So it is always best to be flexible and be open to all possibilities.