If you don’t know, I have four children. Two boys who are 9 and 5 and two girls that are 3 and almost 4 months! Makes for an interesting time right?
So many different needs; different stages. Their interests and personalities, learning styles and languages…..Where do we begin> And how do we remain on course when there are too many of them and not enough of me? 😛
As I write this I am listening to my three playing a marbles game (wait, listening to the marbles from the marbles game hitting the floor again and again) that we just got at Goodwill. My younger son was ecstatic to find a box of dominos there and my daughter got a few )too many) lovely dresses. I got one or two myself. 🙂 But I digress……
So how do I manage to teach all of them, when they are all in such different places?
First of all let me assure you, my kids are all quite curious. And they talk a lot too. Very seldom is it quiet in our house. It’s not easy; I won’t lie to you. We have our good days and our not so good days. We remind ourselves often God is good all the time. Just keep following Him.
We try to be flexible. Very flexible. Like today. I just had to drop some things off to Goodwill. So in the car, we did some Bible study and recited a couple verses from the Book of James. We did some math drills too (not enough since we spent more than I planned to! lol) My oldest son made oatmeal this morning (this counts as school, think about it) while my daughter helped me make pancakes and do some laundry.
So the point is, be flexible. Be creative. What can you do where you are? How can you school on the go? I admit, while I try to limit my kids screen time, when we are on the go it is handy. There is the kindle which I have packed full of educational books; the iPad has a ton of free games for learning. Stack the State, Presidents versus Aliens, Tower Math, Duolingo. There are more but these are some of our favorites right now.
There is a lot that we do together too. Bible reading and memorization, copywork (the little ones trace while the older one copies); for history we do a lot of reading. And narration is a great tool to use with all ages. One story has so many different lessons in it and since all of my kids have very different learning styles and interests, its amazing what we can glean from one chapter of a book. As much as possible we try to write and draw and read as a group.
My oldest son is taking a guitar class and learning Chinese. He also loves to draw and has started taking an interest in paper crafting and computer coding. These are independent projects which he does when I am busy with his younger brother or sister. He also has a photography class he is completing and a beginners course on architecture for kids. Both of these allow him the opportunity to explore and create, which he loves. I appreciate the lessons he learns that he doesn’t even rallied – patience, self control, math, science, problem solving/critical thinking.
My younger son and I work together each day on his reading, writing and math, He is learning how to read and so he loves every opportunity to practice this. He also loves to build and create, particularly paper airplanes. He has a panther gecko he enjoys reading to and playing with. He loves to learn about science (right now its tornados and local wildlife). He is such a curious boy; he has a need to understand how things work from the dishwasher to an airbag in a car; steam trains and electronics. He loves seeing how things are made too.
My daughter is learning her letters and numbers, colors and shapes. She loves to draw and write. She absolutely adores animals, especially ponies, ballerinas, and her baby sister. So we read together a lot, we make music and sing and dance and bake cakes and cookies! A day at the zoo, or one of the area farms brings about lots of learning and fun. Did I mention she loves to help with chores around the house and our pets? She happily feeds and brushes our bulldog 🙂
Of course as I am sure you can imagine, with them together all day, there is so much they pick up on just from being a part of the family and the home. There are trips to the library, the grocery store, there is church and the park where they can fly their kites or ride their bikes. At home we can do puzzles and color, we can build models, go to the museum, make a craft (endless opportunities there) and so much more. And its all being done together.
Now every day certainly doesn’t look like this. Which is why we choose to homeschool year round. Less pressure. If the weather is nice we can go outside and play, enjoy a nature hike or go beach combing. We can visit the zoo or the museum. We can just be home and do nothing. Sometimes we all need that. Plus I really like how this really helps my kids to see how learning happens all the time. Its not something we do for a few months out of the year but it is a lifelong experience. I hope, this is instilling a love of learning in all of my children that will last them for life ❤