Wednesday, March 30, 2016

5 Days of Tips for Homeschooling Parents~ How to Teaching Multiple Ages



5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

For us, homeschooling has always been a joint effort with my kids. I was blessed with two wonderful gifts from God who happen to be a 16 months apart in age. The closeness in age has made homeschooling fairly simple. It has allowed us to school some subjects together. Obviously, some subjects we've had to do separately just because of age and learning abilities. Since, we lean toward a Charlotte Mason style of learning combining classes has been quite simple.



Art and music are probably the easiest to combine. Art is a way for children to express themselves. There is no right or wrong answers! Music for us was listening to great composers while working on our art projects or traveling in the car! Even as babies, I played classical music in the house. My kids can listen to many pieces and name it. Each one has found their favorite composer to listen too.



History can be easy to adapt for all ages. For example, while studying the Medieval time period, we would read books aloud together. Michael would also read books to himself, while I would read some to Therese. Michael even would read to Therese. This is a great way for siblings to come together. Michael learned to read early on and is still a strong reader. Therese on the other hand struggles with reading. Even to this day, Michael will help her if she needs help pronouncing a word. They have formed a closeness that might not have happened if we schooled separately. Projects we would work on were very hands on. Making a sword, creating a knight with a toilet paper roll, and a catapult with popsicle sticks and a spoon. One week during our Medieval study, it snowed and we lost power for the week. We pretended we were in the middle ages with no electricity. We played games, read, and cooked on the wood stove. They still talk about how we lived like people during the Medieval time period.

Science can be adapted for all ages too. Again choosing a variety of books on a particular subject allowed both Therese and Michael to learn at their own levels. We did experiments to bring in the hands on learning. I always allowed both children to participate in the experiment. A younger child can do most things with the assistance of an adult.



I'm sure many people are wondering how you can combine writing and grammar to children at different levels. I promise is can be done. Early on, I had a notebook for both kids. At the top of the page, I put a topic. For Michael, I had topics like snakes, bears, bugs, camping, flying a plane, etc. Anything that might be of interest to him was chosen as a topic. For Therese, I put more girly topics like kittens, puppies, flowers, butterflies, dolls, etc. Again I picked topics she would want to write about. For Michael, I had him write more than Therese since he was older and a stronger reader. So for example, he would have to write 5-7 sentences, while Therese would be required to write 4-5. This is were a little bit of competition is good. Therese took that as a challenge and started writing more because she wanted to be like Michael. She didn't want t be left behind. Grammar repeats every year so we just started with books at Michael's grade level. Therese is just ahead a little. If I see she is struggling, I slow down and explain it more for her. So far it's worked. There are even times now that she remembers more information than Michael when it come to writing and grammar. 

Religion is easy. We live our a faith daily. We all pray together and we focus on the Catechism. We read the Bible together. Now that they are older, we read the Bible daily. Michael and Therese now take turns reading the Bible chapter we are covering for that day. Crafts and art projects to go along with our religion lessons are a fun hands on way to learn and allows different ages to work together.

Most subjects can be combined. Math and Spelling are the two that have never been combine in our house. I don't want a child to be held back or another child pushed ahead only to struggle. 
The subjects we do combine allows the kids to work together and encourage one another. 

The biggest thing I would stress when combing subjects is offer various options while studying together. Allow differences in writing styles and what you require the child to do. Give them different levels of reading materials. You never want to hold a child back or have a child struggling to keep up. Children learn at their own pace. Be ready to make changes and things will go fine.


Don't forget to stop by and visit the other members of the Review Crew! They are sharing a ton of great homeschooling tips for parents. 

Megan @ My Full Heart
Melanie (Wren) @ finchnwren
Melissa @ Mom's Plans



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2 comments:

  1. I appreciate your suggestions on how to combine subjects. Many times, we see the easy ones like art and music. But writing? Great suggestions. Thanks. - Lori

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  2. My older 3 children were close in age and I always did as much as possible together with them. It made life so much easier and made homeschooling a family venture rather than each child doing everything on his or her own.

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