As a 7+ year homeschooling mom, I know firsthand the challenges of how to homeschool with multiple children. It's not always a walk in the park, but with the right strategies and a well-structured schedule, it's possible to find harmony in the homeschooling journey.
For parents homeschooling multiple children, a well-structured schedule is like a compass that keeps everyone on the right path. It provides a sense of order and predictability that can significantly reduce stress and chaos. Without a schedule, it's easy for the day to slip away, leading to frustration and lost opportunities for learning.
What Type of Homeschooler Will You Be?
We have tried many different schedules and discovered we accomplish much more when we get our work done by early afternoon. We are NOT early risers, so our day usually starts around 10. We work until we either finish or need a lunch and activity break. After that, we come back together to finish whatever is left for our day.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to scheduling when homeschooling multiple children. The key is to customize your schedule to meet the unique needs and preferences of your family. Take time to assess what works best for you, your kids, and your daily routine. And don't be afraid to try different things. Your family might succeed best working in the afternoons or getting everything done before lunch, if you are early risers.
Plan Together Subjects First
When I first started planning to homeschool, figuring out how to schedule my two kids at different levels was definitely a concern of mine. I did not want to spend a ton of money or spend all day trying to complete school. Finding Sonlight Curriculum definitely eased my mind because I could combine Social Studies and Science that we call "Together Subjects".
We start our day with these Together Subjects because they are an easy transition to come together to begin our homeschool day. We get to cuddle and discuss these subjects through read-alouds and questions. It's not as much brainwork as Math and Reading. These are also the subjects that are easy to skip so beginning with them makes us take care of them first thing.
Give yourself plenty of time for these Together Subjects because this can be your family connection time. We have had many long discussions about life during this time which is one of our highlights of being able to homeschool.
Block Table Subjects Next
This will be the time you will need to be able to teach individually with each child. These subjects will be your Math and Reading in each child's level.
There will be independent work you can give each child during this block schedule. While you are working with one child, the other children are working on their independent work like reading their chapter book, handwriting, writing assignment, math game, etc. Anything your children and you feel confident they won't need any help. You don't want the constant interruptions while you are trying to teach one child. If they finish before you are ready to work with them, they find a quiet activity while they wait.
The timing of this varies to how many children you have, their ages and subjects you want to accomplish. As they get older, they will have more independent work and need you less, but their work will take them longer. As I stated early, flexibility is key in scheduling. Some days we fly through work and others just seem to take forever.
Tips for Creating a Successful Homeschooling Schedule
- Balancing Work and Breaks: Allocate time for lessons, breaks, and mealtimes. It's crucial to let kids recharge to maintain their enthusiasm for learning.
- Maximize Your Time: What is the most efficient use of every part of your day? If the boys are starving and we still have our read-aloud book, I will read it while they eat lunch. We will listen to an audio book in the car on drives to activities some days as well.
- Don't feel like you have to accomplish everything everyday: Block scheduling allows for you to schedule subjects on certain days. For example, I find a day and we read our Science books and do the experiment on Friday.
- Planning Extracurricular Activities and Field Trips: Include extracurricular activities and field trips to add excitement and variety to your homeschooling routine.
- Be FLEXIBLE: While structure is vital, flexibility is equally important. Unexpected interruptions or changes will happen, and it's essential to adapt to these situations while maintaining the overall schedule.
- Find a great planner to stay organized!!
In the wonderful journey of homeschooling with multiple kids, finding harmony through scheduling is indeed an art. Remember that it's a process of trial and error, and there's no one "right" way to do it. Embrace the joys of homeschooling, stay organized, and maintain flexibility in your approach. By doing so, you'll create an enriching and nurturing learning environment that benefits both you and your children.