Read these 14 Single & Multiple Child Homeschooling Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home School tips and hundreds of other topics.
One of the easiest ways to homeschool multiple children is to use unit studies or theme based homeschool curriculum. For instance, if you are learning about the American Revolution a young child can learn about colonies while an older child can research famous leaders or speeches of the war. Pre-schoolers can be given pictures to color or they can learn the Pledge of Allegiance. Homeschool curriculum unit studies enable parents to teach one subject in a group setting while giving children their own individual assignments.
Homeschooling a single child should not be looked at as an easier task than homeschooling multiple children. In fact, homeschooling a single child can be more difficult. Since the single child is the sole focus of the school day it is easy for a homeschooling parent to place too much pressure on a single homeschooler. If you are homeschooling a single child it is important to keep in mind that homeschool is only part of your child's day. Do not turn everything into a “learning” experience. When school is over put the homeschooling curriculum away and have fun with your child.
Homeschool support groups are a great place to get your hands on those expensive homeschool science items you will need, such as telescopes and microscopes without having to purchase them. Many groups pool together to purchase these items so they can be checked out by families when they need them. This is a great way to save money on an item your child may only use once or twice.
The key to being a successful homeschooling parent to a single child is to not handicap the child with your presence. It is so easy for parents to hover over the lone child while he or she is doing schoolwork. After you have covered the lessons in the homeschooling curriculum give your child assignments and back away. Try to keep yourself from stepping in and helping your child unless your child asks for help. Single homeschoolers must not come to rely upon parents for automatic help. They should work toward becoming independent learners. Use the time your child is working independently to do something else such as folding clothes, preparing dinner or taking a shower. This will help reinforce independence in the child and it will also show the child that you trust his or her skills and judgment in a given subject.
Homeschooling a single child has its benefits because you can zero in on your child's interests. For instance, if you have a child who loves art you can incorporate art into most of your other subjects. Your child can study art history, read a biography of a famous artist, make a map of the world which shows where art movements originated, study early art materials and more. Whatever your child's hobby or interest, work it into your homeschooling curriculum and you will have a happy child who is eager to learn.
One thing that is generally not talked about with homeschooling is the amount of time single homeschoolers spend with their parents. Burnout can set in (for both the parent and the children) if alone time is not made a top priority. Part of the homeschool schedule should include at least one hour per day of alone time. Being together 24/7 can wreck havoc on the most blissful relationships. When you have two people together each and every day-- week after week, that only adds to the importance of alone time. Having these breaks each school day scheduled into your homeschooling curriculum can give both the parent and child a chance to regroup and come back to the table in better spirits.
If you are homeschooling a single child you should consider enrolling in a support group. Support groups will allow you and your child to come in contact with other homeschoolers. Homeschool support groups are a wonderful place for your child to make friends and get help with curriculum such as homeschool science or math. Most support groups offer field trips, potluck dinners and game nights for homeschooling families. Don't forget that support groups are also a great place for moms to make friends, too! When you find a support group that you enjoy you will be surprised at how much smoother your homeschooling life will be when you and your child have those weekly outings to look forward to. To encourage budding friendships invite your child's new friends over to your house to play.
A great benefit of homeschooling a single child is that your homeschooling schedule can be molded around the personality of your child. If you have a homeschooler who likes to be outside, let the child study under a tree or on the patio. If you have a homeschooler who is an early riser, give the child a list of assignments from the homeschooling curriculum that can be completed alone before you even wake up. If your child is more alert in the afternoon, wait until after lunch to start schooling. A single child's homeschooling environment should work off of the child's personality.
If you are a homeschooling mom to multiple children, you should treat yourself to a “Teacher's In Service Day.” Send your children off to a relative's or friend's home so you can listen to the quite of your own home. Try not to spend this time getting caught up on homeschool curriculum or housework. Instead, treat yourself to a soak in the bathtub, a massage or read a good book. This down town will greatly benefit you and give you back the energy you need to tackle school once again. You should schedule your special days two or three times per school year. Not only will it help you be a better mom and teacher but it will teach your children that “Mom” is a person, too.
The best thing you can do for your children when homeschooling is to set aside one-on-one time with each one of them. Each child is individual and having this alone time can help you see into the mind and heart of each of your children. When children know that they alone will have mom or dad's “ear” each day they are more inclined to relax. They will also interact easier with their siblings. This means they will be more focused on their homeschool curriculum. One-on-one time does not have to mean an hour for each child, either. Simply find a quite place each day where you and each child can have privacy for 10 or 15 minutes. Not only does this time help to build the parent-child bond, but it makes each child feel important and it builds self-esteem.
The key to homeschooling multiple children is to make them independent students as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you will have to work with a child who is doing an elementary homeschooling program more often than you will with a middle or high school aged child. However, just because you have older children does not mean they can do everything alone. Every child needs one-on-one learning time with their parent when new concepts or subjects are being introduced.
If you are homeschooling multiple children you should make sure everyone has their own alone time. Many homeschooling parents schedule this as part of the homeschool day. When you are working with your younger children on their elementary homeschool program, allow your older homeschoolers to go to their rooms, outside or to different parts of the home to be alone. When you are working with your older homeschoolers give each of your younger children an activity to do alone in their own space. Allowing these breaks will keep bickering and stress at a minimum.
To help alleviate the work load of homeschooling multiple children, everyone should be given a homeschooling responsibility. Older children can be asked to read to younger children or to help tutor them with arithmetic or another homeschool curriculum. Younger children can help by sharpening pencils, gathering supplies or fixing and serving snacks. Requiring that you children work together and help one another fosters social skills. It also helps them to see that they have an important role in homeschooling.
If you homeschool multiple children and you have toddlers underfoot, find things that can occupy the little ones during school hours. To help your toddlers feel that they have a part in homeschool provide special toys or activities that can only be played with or worked on during school hours. This will help toddlers adapt to a homeschooling life and it will also keep them out of your schooling children's way while they work on their homeschool curriculum.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|