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Homeschool Mom Advice

As I sit down to start working on a new issue of Family Magazine, I find myself pondering a topic that seems to come up regularly among homeschool moms: teaching multiple children. It doesn’t seem to matter what age group or subject we’re looking at. The nature of our one-room schools automatically forces us to consider how we’re going to handle teaching them all at once.

As a mother of five, I definitely had questions about how to homeschool all of them at once! It seemed like my best source of advice always came from other moms. Even though we are all different and have to remember that what works for someone else may not work for us, it’s also pretty obvious that the best “experts” in any situation are those who have shared the trenches with you. Other homeschool moms get it!

What About You?

The flip side is also true – you have solid advice that can benefit other homeschool moms. No matter where you are on the journey, you have experiences that can help someone else. Take a moment and think about that. What about you? What ideas can other moms glean from you? What advice would you give to moms on schooling multiple ages?

I want to invite you to join in and share your homeschool advice with other moms in the Well Planned Gal community. And, be sure to come back for encouragement for other moms as well. Let’s take the time to share the journey with one another!

With five kids in their teen and early adult years, Rebecca shares the many ups and downs of parenting, homeschooling, and keeping it all together. As the Well Planned Gal she mentors women towards the goal of discovering the uniqueness Christ has created in them and their family and how to best organize and plan for the journey they will travel.

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    Rather Notsay

    Similar topics at same time but different work. Where possible same workbooks different levels. So a sense of working together while doing individual work. Bit of a traditional school model but works for me for a sustainable routine.

    August 27, 2018 at 5:13 am Reply
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    Wendy M Stoller

    The advice I learned from others that helped the most was:
    1. As soon as your child reads fluently they can begin to work independently more and more often. The greater the independence the easier to teach youngers.
    2. Have a group reading/Bible time every day – or as often as possible (sometimes illness/etc can prevent) this brings the family together and you still enjoy the fruits of that shared time at home.
    3. When you have toddlers/pre-k – find activities that keep them close to you for supervision -but that they can enjoy only during school time. I have photos of my 2 youngest standing on stools “washing dishes” in the sink behind me while I taught the olders. They LOVED this time and made a royal water mess but they were happy. I also had activity bags with some toys that they could only play with during school time – we also used naptime. BUt littles can enjoy read aloud time on your lap – my children learned to love read aloud time at very young ages – my son remembers amazing amounts of history from when I thought he was too young to pay attention – but listened to me read aloud living history books to his sisters.
    4. Tomorrow is another day! Do not procrastinate – however if you don’t get done today or it didn’t go as well as YOU planned – tomorrow is a fresh new day, His mercies are new every morning, great is HIS faithfulness to you!
    5. They do grow up -these years do not last long – they seem long today – but in retrospect they were not long!
    6. Embrace who God has made you- when you read about THAT family or THAT super organized mom and look at your own clutter or mess – when you are working to your best – acknowledge weakness -and work to correct however do not regularly compare your weakness against another’s strength. And if your aquaintance is that seemingly judgemental have it all together mom that makes you feel less than – invest in finding another friendship. I have a dear friend who when you walk in her door you will see her younger two”s toys scattered across the floor and there still may be dishes in her sink. She will tell each new mom who walks in – my ministry is to make you feel better about your mess – because this is my mess and we all have them – none of us are perfect. I tell you – I love going to her house – her house is welcoming and warm – and you just step over the toys on your way.
    6. Embrace who God has made you – maybe you are that crafty mom – maybe you are that outgoing mom who’d rather have coffee with a friend than spend 2 hours at 10 PM making some pinterest worthy decor for the latest season on your hearth.
    7. be real = when other’s fail – acknowledge – hey ” I have don the same thing! Gracious- that was me yesterday – that makes others feel more welcomed and loved. we all fall short! Let’s encourage one another daily as we see the day approaching!
    ETc… blessings!

    August 27, 2018 at 5:44 am Reply
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      Belinda W

      Love #3!!! I think I have Similar photos. So sweet!

      August 27, 2018 at 1:14 pm Reply
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    1. Be sure to line out independent assignments early. They should have a list of what can be done independently before the day starts. This will help curb the bombardment of being asked what to do every few minutes.
    2. Make a schedule and try and stick to it. My kids have assignment sheets that are printed every day that include a time slot allotment for each subject. If it isn’t finished within that time allotment, they are to move on. This is not a time “limit,” nor done to encourage sloppy work, but rather gives them a good rhythm to their day and allows them to move through their work. I think (and I’m sure another mom told me this years ago) that consistency trumps perfection (or even completion) every time.
    3. When making the schedule, schedule in time alone with each kid every day. The time allowed will vary by child, by family, and even by year. But if you stick to this time frame, they know they have a time coming when you will be available for them. I have had to tell the kids that, even if they finish work early, they cannot meet with me until their time comes (except, of course, when I need to answer simple questions about their assignments.) This allows everyone to have their time and keeps the schedule fairly in tact. Some years, I meet with certain kids multiple times for multiple subjects, and some years, it is less often. As I said, this will vary.
    I have wrestled with this same question over the years and these things have helped me immensely. 🙂

    August 27, 2018 at 6:18 am Reply
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    Kim Dotta

    With twins, a son with a disease that left him vegetative, a daughter and another son, I gave them all individual schedules each week and I made sure there were times I worked one-on-one with each. We did group studies like composer and artist and singing and foreign language and they got used to narrating to me while gave Buddy physical therapy. Unfortunately, I pushed myself too much during that time so I would also recommend finding outside resources and activities so all the responsibility to keep the kids busy and giving them a listening ear and attention us not all on you the mom. Another positive thing I did was have us work together. We had to, really, in order to get meals and keep the house in order and then I played with them, too and enjoyed being outside every day.

    August 27, 2018 at 8:46 am Reply
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    Belinda Willmoth

    Hi! I love this question! I too am a momma of five and I’m schooling the four oldest currently while wrangling the three-year-old. One helpful breakthrough happened naturally at our kitchen table about two years ago. My second oldest (10 years old at the time) began explaining Math concepts to his younger sister and brother. I praised him for it & then thought to myself, “hey, he could be tutoring them in math.” Our second born struggles with dyslexia and looses self-confidence easily. I thought this idea could be a boost for him, all the while encouraging math practice in the little kids & skill-reinforcement for himself. Now, they often differ to big brother/tutor over Mom. hee hee

    August 27, 2018 at 1:12 pm Reply

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