Q: My kids are ages four-and-a-half years old, two-and-a-half years, and ten-and-a-half months old. I am intimidated to homeschool them for some reason! You’ve been home-educating for a while now, I would love to glean from your knowledge and experience! Are there any tips or advice that you can offer me as I begin to teach multiple ages?
A: I homeschooled my first three who were about the same ages as yours when I started! Now I’m starting again with a five-year-old and two two-year-olds! When I homeschooled my oldest, I let my second oldest sit in. She liked being a part, and she learned to read before she was four because of it! I also put the baby in the high chair and gave him things to play with that he only got to play with during that time. That only worked for so long, but he learned to play at the table (or under the table) while we worked.
Right now we are still settling in with these new kiddos, but even with craft time I’m working on projects with the five-year-old and (almost) three-year-old, and the two-year-old plays with cars! He is just starting to sit and listen to me read stories, so that’s the first step!
Boys are naturally slower at school stuff, so when my older boys were younger I’d incorporate learning into games. For example, we’d play cars and count them. We’d play with play dough and learn shapes. We’d read and watch education DVDs. We’d go on nature walks. We’d memorize things together in the car. (I had some great CDs with states and capitals, etc.) Sitting down and making my boys do work sheets did NOT work. LOL! Instead, pick a topic and focus on that, making it fun. (Check out www.unitstudy.com.)
You don’t need to be intimated. Think of it as making learning part of life. Don’t worry about finding the right curriculum or finishing books. Get them excited about learning things! The facts will stick in their brains for only so long, but the habit will last a lifetime!
*Photo credit: Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net