Category Archives: Homeschooling Help
When I first began homeschooling, I was terrified about homeschooling multiple grades. My middle (at that time my youngest) was only two, but the thought of her being in preschool and teaching my oldest at the same time made me cringe. Looking back, I can laugh because I know that preschool isn’t difficult, and teaching Kindergarten is nothing like teaching 4th grade but at the time, it really stressed me out!
As a homeschool parent I am sure at some time you will be homeschooling multiple grades. Teaching more than one grade does not have to be stressful. There are resources and curriculums out there that can help you as well as tips from those who have been homeschooling multiple grades for years.
When it comes to homeschooling multiple grades, the first thing you are going to want to do is combine your children for as many subjects as possible. Bible, History, and Science can all be taught together as a family. Curriculum like My Fathers World, Mystery of History and Apologia are geared towards homeschooling multiple grades and can make it easier to combine your children.
Another popular method for homeschooling multiple grades is unit studies. Unit studies are fairly teacher intensive but can be done rather inexpensively. A unit study is where you learn about one topic for a set amount of time. An example may be horses. You can teach the history of horses, the anatomy of horses, read books about horses, and watch documentaries about horses. The older children would study the topic more in-depth, while the younger children got a basic overview.
Another thing to consider when homeschooling multiple grades is the level of teacher prep work and cost. Purchasing curriculum that has the planning already done for you will require a lot less prep work then creating your own unit study. However, prepackaged curriculum will be pricier than making your own. Weigh your options and choose the method that will work best for your family.
Two subjects where you would want to keep your children separate are Math and Language Arts. If you have multiple children, it may be a good idea to purchase curriculum where the children can work on these subjects as independently as possible. Many parents enjoy computer-based curriculums like Teaching Textbooks or Switched on Schoolhouse. There are workbook-based options like Alpha Omega Publications and Christian Light Education that are also fairly independent. I have found having my children work on these subjects at the same time helps me teach multiple grades. I can go back and forth between them as they need me and both are focused on the same topic.
Homeschooling multiple grades may take a little bit of preplanning but seeing your children work and learn together is worth the hard work. I have also been amazed through the years how much the younger ones pick up on while learning alongside their older siblings. For more information about homeschooling multiple grades as well as help for scheduling your day I recommend this article from Fruitful Families.
Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
Homeschool parents have one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs out there. We have the awesome job of caring for our children on a daily basis. Yet, we also have to play the roles of teacher, nurse, housekeeper, cook and many more. Often times we will go to bed at the end of the day exhausted, and feel like a homeschool failure.
You may think to yourself that you yelled too many times, there are dishes still in the sink, clothes still needing folded, and papers that still need graded. Yet, chances are you didn’t fail your children.
- Think of everything you did accomplish that day. Did you read to your kids? Feed them? Play a game? Take them outside? Talk to them? Chances are you did at least a few of these things. You are not a failure!
- Take a deep breath and revaluate. What makes you feel like a failure? Now, find a way to fix it. Sometimes it can be as simple as getting up a little earlier, or delegating a responsibility to an older child.
- Lower your expectations. What season of life are you in? Depending on the season you are in you may need to lower your expectations. There are only so many hours in a day and sometimes things need to be put on the back burner. Freezer meals are not the end of the world, and it is not going to hurt anything for the towels to stay in a basket an extra day.
- Give yourself grace. As parents we are not perfect. If you feel like a failure for things that maybe were within your control, give yourself grace. Wake up the next day with a smile on your face and a resolve to not make the same mistakes again. Parents have the awesome luxury of getting to repeat their job each day. So, we can learn from our mistakes and move on.
Homeschool parents, you wear many hats and it is natural to feel like you failed at a few of them. But, remember the ones you didn’t fail at! Focus on those, then revaluate your expectations and give yourself grace. You are not a failure!
Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.
Homeschooling provides parents with a chance to cater to their child’s learning abilities. It provides students a chance to learn at their own pace, and not be tied up in a classroom for a full day. Homeschooling provides those students who have difficulty in classroom settings to thrive. This is the case for the ADHD child.
Children with ADHD tend to be fidgety, lack attention, and may have trouble comprehending what is being said in a typical classroom. They are wired differently, and being in one room or required to sit still all day does not play to their learning abilities at all.
Children with ADHD do best when allowed to learn in an environment that caters to their needs and provides a one on one education. Children with ADHD tend to thrive in a homeschool environment.
Here are some tips that can help as you begin homeschooling your ADHD child:
Break up the tasks into smaller increments. This allows the material to be more manageable for your child. At the beginning of day you can give your child a checklist of what you will be covering that day. This allows them to focus more clearly because they are able to see what is coming next.
Minimize distractions. Find a quiet place for your child to learn. Make sure there is nothing distracting like lights that are flickering, or a desk full of items unrelatable to the task at hand. Children with ADHD need their work areas to be clear and organized, this helps them focus and stay on task.
Be creative. If the weather is nice, take a lesson outdoors. If this is not an option incorporate hands on activities into your lessons. Children with ADHD tend to be more kinesthetic learners. They benefit greatly from short lessons that allow them to use their bodies as well as their minds.
If you have an artistic child, allow them to draw while you are teaching. To you this may be distracting, but to them it helps them focus. It allows them a way to utilize their energy.
Another option is to let them respond to questions orally instead of on paper. Many children with ADHD find writing a challenge, and oral answers allow them to expedite the learning process. Even if a child with ADHD knows an answer, it is difficult for them to transfer that answer to paper.
Be patient. If your child asks you numerous questions or the same question many times, don’t assume they are not paying attention. Chances are they are trying to comprehend what you said and they really may not remember. Asking again helps them to hear the material a second time, giving them another chance to remember what you said.
Deciding to homeschool your ADHD child may have you feeling overwhelmed, but believe me you can do it! Hopefully these tips can help!
Misty Bailey is a Christian wife and homeschool mom. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.
Do you have a child who just doesn’t like school? Everything seems like a chore when it comes to learning. They don’t want to do math, reading is a bore, and getting them to sit and concentrate is a near impossible task…. If this is your child, you may have a reluctant learner. Most kids are reluctant in school at some point in their education career, but reluctant learners are different. They really don’t seem to like school. At all. Here are some tips for homeschooling a reluctant learner.
Debunk the Myth
What is the myth? The myth is that your child doesn’t want to learn. That is not true. All children WANT to learn. Whether it be how to play the new minecraft game, or how to climb the tree they are gazing at out the window. The key is to find out what it is that they WANT to learn.
Don’t push. Really. Who says a child HAS to read at five? If reading is hard, slow down, and pick it up in a few months. Forcing a child to learn something they are not ready for can cause emotional stress on the child, and exasperation for you. Let them work at their own pace. That is the beauty of homeschooling.
What does your child like? Figure that out and set a goal. You can have X for 10 minutes AFTER we finish this page of math. The key is to get them to want to finish their work, in order to move on to the next thing.
You can set bigger goals for the weeks accomplishments. If you finish all your assignments this week, we will have pizza for dinner on Friday. Or something along those lines. Find out what excites them and use it to your advantage.
Get Them Involved
What do they want to learn about? Find out and tailor your lessons around that. Unit studies may be a great approach for the reluctant learner because all the lessons are focused on one topic. I had a friend whose child was fascinated with tornadoes. That is all he wanted to talk about or learn about. So, she did a study on tornadoes, for a MONTH! The science of them, the history of the worst tornadoes, math related to how long they travel, books and spelling lists related to tornadoes, it was a LOT about tornadoes. BUT, he learned, and not reluctantly. Because it was something he was interested in.
Having a reluctant learner can be a challenge, but you can homeschool your child! Find out what interests them, slow down, and get them involved. These tips will help make your days a little smoother.
Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
As a homeschooler, I am sure you have heard many excuses as to why people can’t homeschool. Many times these reasons are honestly just excuses, and that is fine. Despite the many advantages of homeschooling, I understand that it is NOT for everyone. However, I have had to ask myself through the years, are there legitimate reasons not to homeschool? And, I have found that there actually are!
- Money will sometimes be nonexistent. Most homeschool families live on one income. If this will be your family, you may find that sometimes, the budget will be tight. What does this mean? It means that the pay for all your hard work will be hugs and kisses, and that things like fancy clothes, new minivans, or six figure homes will probably not happen! If you like these things and don’t want to tighten your budget….don’t homeschool!
- You are the only one responsible for your child’s education. You cannot blame the teacher, principal, school, or anyone else if your child is not learning. If you don’t want this responsibility, don’t homeschool!
- Because everyone else is doing it. Just because all your friends are homeschooling doesn’t mean that you should. If you are considering homeschooling to follow the crowd, I encourage you to fully weigh your decision. Homeschooling is hard, and you will need encouragement, and the desire to continue on the homeschooling journey. If you are homeschooling just to follow the crowd…don’t homeschool!
- Your spouse is not in agreement. In order for homeschooling to work you must be in agreement with your spouse. Otherwise, it will never work. Homeschooling requires a united front. If one wants to homeschool, and the other doesn’t then take the time to pray about the decision, research, and fully understand the concerns your spouse may have. If an agreement is not made then don’t homeschool!
- You will absolutely fall in love with homeschooling! Homeschooling will probably take over your house J You will have messes, books everywhere, and freedom to educate your children in the way you see fit. You will know your child’s friends, and you will know what they are learning. You will be the one teaching them to read, which is an amazing feeling. You will also get to show them the real world not the walls of a classroom. This is fun! And once you start there is NO turning back, you won’t want to. If you don’t want to chance falling in love with homeschooling then…don’t homeschool!
Author: Misty Bailey
Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.