Homeschooling multiple children in multiple grades can be stressful! It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed to guide each child to be as independent as possible but blend in some one on one time too. I do at least one hour with each of the older children and spend most of my time with the younger ones. I schedule the more difficult and important subjects in the morning when everyone is wide awake (such as Math, Reading, English and other Language Arts.) To figure out if they will need my help, I look at the subjects they are weak in and whether the subject has a lesson to teach. Then I stagger those on my planning sheet so everyone isn’t needing me at the same time. I give each student a copy of their schedule which hangs on a clipboard to keep them on track and prevent wasting time waiting for me. I also stagger when classes begin at the start of the school year. The oldest child is usually a week ahead to give them a solid start and time for me to “work out the bugs.”
Although it is extra work, setting up an organized work area and making a schedule is crucial in my house and actually saves time and trouble. A regular routine provides structure and stability as well as gives them security and discipline.
There are times when I cannot be interrupted, such as when I am doing reading with Trinity. Before we start, I try to make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and what they will do when they are finished. For instance, after explaining the math assignment to my 3rd grader, I’ll tell her to do all the problems, then to practice spelling on the computer.
Every day doesn’t go according to plan and I try to be aware of when the schedule needs a “tweek.” I have really learned to RELAX and BE FLEXIBLE along this six year journey.