I am a home-schooling mom of three children—one sixth grader, one first grader, and one third grader. I was an elementary school teacher for years and that has helped me to create engaging activities and get a lot of learning done in a short period of time for all three children. Most school days for us start at 8:30am and end by 1:00pm which offers a lot of time for learning even though it is shorter than the typical public school day. The most frequently asked question that I get is, “How do you home-school three children of different grade levels?”
I would like to share some of the tips and tricks that I use to get individual time with each of my kids while everyone is engaged in learning.
Organizing Time and Schooling Materials
Each of my children has a school desk area that I created from simple supplies. The entire desk and bulletin board area for three children cost around $30. You can visit my post here on how to construct the desk and bulletin board.
This special learning area helps keep supplies handy so everyone can find their books and pencils! Another bonus of having a separate area for school supplies is that those supplies are only used for school. I give each child a verbal list of supplies that they will need for the day’s lessons. My children are able to locate all of their supplies in advance, so that school time works smoothly and efficiently. Clean up is a breeze too! Everyone appreciates that!
Next I conduct a morning meeting. Every morning I discuss the daily schedule of classes and require assignments with each child. Then I practice calendar and math skills with my youngest children while my oldest begins independent work. To read more about my morning meeting routine you can visit my post here.
Learning Centers End Dead Time
Another common question is, “How do you get individual time with each child?” The answer is ‘Learning Centers.’ I call the dead time that is wasted waiting for a question to be answered or wondering what to do next ‘Sponge Time.’ Learning center activities ‘suck up’ that dead time like a sponge and turn it into learning time. If one of my children is ‘stuck’ and I am working with another child and cannot be interrupted, I tell them to, “Pick a learning center” or “Do a sponge activity.” Then when I reach a good stopping point, I find the child with the question to answer what is needed.
Some ideas for learning centers can be found on my website here:
I hope that this post has answered some of your questions about how to home-school two or more children of different grade levels. Do you have more questions about home-schooling? Post them here!
About our guest…
Veronica Stanley-Hooper is a home-schooling, stay-at-home mom of three children that enjoys natural living. Her BLOG Hands On Learning 4 All.com is all about life’s journey and living, loving and learning through experiences. Visit her BLOG at http://www.handsonlearning4all.com, Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/handsonlearning4all , and Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/learning4all.