Maybe you are new to homeschooling or your family has grown and you now find yourself homeschooling multiple ages. Here are a few of my best tips and tricks for how I homeschool 5 kids of different grades and ages at once.
Homeschooling doesn’t have to look like a traditional school setting. And for the homeschool family, it often does looks very different.
In a traditional setting all the kids (of the same grade and age) are all working away at the same task, and yeah sure that works. But what if you find yourself homeschooling a handful of kids with different ages and grades (or learning levels)?
That my friend is where you drop the public school model and find a more flexible approach.
Let me share a little bit about my approach for homeschooling multiple ages. This year I am homeschooling an 8th, 5th, and 2nd grader as well as two pre-k kids plus one on the way.
First off let me say I have found for us we are not “schedule people”, but rather a routine based family. What does that mean you ask? Well, a schedule is working with exact times. 8 A.M. is reading, 8:30 is writing, 9-9:45 math, and so on.
However on the other hand a routine means we go in this order. Reading, then writing, followed by math. Basically time constraints are not there. I have found when I implement a routine (and we do it enough it becomes a habit) we flow through things quite easily.
Homeschooling tips for teaching multiple ages
As this is our 9th year of homeschooling, I have learned a few tricks that help us and make our learning day flow more smoothly.
- A solid morning routine that helps the kids and me to know what comes next.
- We start our school time with meditation (this has been a game-changer for me and having kids that stay calm and focused).
- Make sure I have handy ways to keep littles (baby, toddler, pre-k, etc.) busy and hopefully learning.
- Make sure all kids have work they CAN do independently (writing, copy work, online math, spelling programs, etc) for the times when mom is busy helping a different child.
- Have some of our subjects that can be taught and used at the same time across several ages and grade levels.
I have found that the kids who do need more help (generally speaking) are the younger ones. K-3rd graders will need more sit down time with mom on things like language arts, reading, writing, and math.
When I have one child I am helping work through something I make sure the others are working on something they can handle independently.
For example, when I am working on language arts with my 2nd grader, my 8th might be on his online math program, and my 5th grader is working on reading or writing. Then when my 5th grader needs help on one of her subjects like math or language arts I’ll send the 2nd grader to work on handwriting. While the 8th grader can work pretty good through most of his language arts with the exception of a question or two here and there.
Homeschool Curriculum for multiple kids
As far as curriculum goes there are literally tons of options that can work well in a situation with multiple kids. There are online options. However this may require you to have access to multiple computers and devices all at the same time, and maybe that is just not feasible for you.
I will share what we are doing this year, and then some other things we have done and used in the past as well.
Our 2020-2021 curriculum across the ages
These are things that are just for them and their specific learning level. The littles do not have math or language arts but do have a pre-writing workbook. The rest of the time they work on blocks, coloring, sorting, etc.
- Math: The Good and the Beautiful (for 2nd & 5th Grade) Khan Academy (for 8th Grade)
- Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful
- Hand Writing: The Good and the Beautiful (for everyone including the two pre-Ks).
These are things that I can teach as one and then they may just have different levels of assignments at the end. These only involve the 8th, 5th, and 2nd graders.
- History: The good and the beautiful
- U.S. Elections: Homeschool in the Woods (We only do this in an election year)
- Science: The Good and the Beautiful
Some of the other curriculum we have used over the years that have worked well with the concept of independent study and multiple ages.
- ABC Mouse
- Pentime- Handwriting
- Homeschool in the woods
- Elephant Learning Math
- Fun-Schooling workbooks
- Notebooking Pages (good for any subject, self-directed study)
This is the approach I take and it works well for us. While I may not be the super “strict” homeschool mom, and we blend a variety of traditional learning with relaxed and unschooling methods. We get the learning done and in half the time. Our curriculum-based book work, we work on 4 days a week, and we aim to be done by lunch. We save Fridays for learning what I call “lost skills” also known as life skills.
While there is no “set way” to homeschool that will fit everyone, there are successful ways of homeschooling multiple ages. The best part it can still be in way less time than that “traditional school model”. While homeschooling multiple kids may seem scary, it is not. I promise ♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.