Homeschooling one child can require a vast amount of energy, but teaching multiple children at home can require parents to stretch their patience and creativity to get children focused on the designated assignments for the day. Homeschooling siblings can be successful if a few tips and tricks are applied.
1. Have siblings participate in activities that they can complete together despite their age difference. Include older siblings by having them read a book to the younger kids or conduct art class with each child drawing at their own skill level. Older learners can write a book report and read it aloud, and younger children can verbalize the book report. When siblings learn together, it encourages a closer bond that expands outside of academic assignments.
2. Teach the older students to learn independently. If you micromanage each assignment for every child, you will be doing school all day, every day. Give your older children the responsibility to finish schoolwork by themselves. Help your student in the first steps of the assignment and then give them full control over finishing it.
Once the older students learn to complete assignments on their own, it provides a natural progression for them to help their younger siblings with their work. Encourage older children to help their siblings with their own favorite subject, whether it is math, science, English, or Bible. Helping each other creates a healthy rapport between siblings and teaches the older sibling patience and tutoring skills.
3. Understand that your children have different learning styles in varying environments. Identify whether your child prefers to learn in a group with the rest of his or her siblings, or alone, in a quiet area set aside from the group.
Be ready with headphones or a desk in a quiet space for the learner who works best alone. For the child who wants to play all day with his or her siblings, create a checklist and do academics in unusual places, like outside, on the floor, or with the family pet.
What tips do you have for homeschooling multiple children?