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Homeschooling can be tons of fun, but also tons of work. This is especially true when you have a large family. There are only so many hours in a day and you only have two hands. Making sure everyone has done all their work, and checked all the boxes can leave your head spinning. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible. It can actually be fun. Here are some tips for homeschooling large families.
How to Fit in All the Classes for Large Families
One of the challenges of big families is fitting everything in. When you look at homeschooling as traditional school at home, it is impossible to do with multiple children. Every child has several subjects that you have to teach him. However, that is not how homeschooling really works.
Moms are the teachers some of the time, but they are mostly the facilitators of education. So, homeschool moms help keep the day moving and make sure everyone is completing their work. However, they do not have to teach every lesson. Coming up with a system and being creativity can make all the difference.
Teaching Multiple Ages at Once
One secret for teaching multiple ages is to teach multiple ages at once. Find subjects that everyone can do together such as art, history, science (for younger students), and literature. So, gather your children and dive into one subject all together. Give younger students an easier version of any work included. Then older students can do more advanced work. For example, if learning about a particular point in history, younger students can draw a picture of what they learned. On the other hand, older students can write a paragraph about it. This works really well, makes days shorter and is more manageable for mom.
Here are some other ideas:
- Online course
- Interactive textbooks that come with DVDs, CDs, or computer programs
- Co-ops and community classes at libraries, etc
- Combine subjects such as history and literature or math and science
- Unit Studies that combine all subjects into one set of lessons
- Educational Games
Setting Realistic Expectations in Your Homeschool
Now, one thing you need to realize is that your home will never be the same! Your children are home all day learning, playing, eating–homeschool children are always hungry! Plus, you have so much to manage at home between the family, home, and possibly a part time job or business. Life is busy, but that is good. Do not expect your home to look like a magazine all day long. Set a realistic expectation for home maintenance and get the kids involved to help you with cleaning.
Also, be realistic about learning expectations. Sometimes we think we have to just keep doing more to be successful in homeschooling. We do not! Just because you could homeschool 10 hours per day, six days per week, does not mean you should. Focus on the subjects that are most important, round out your schedule with short lessons in other subjects you want to teach, and be done. Less is more in many cases.
Thrifty Find and Budgeting for Homeschool Supplies
So, we all know that having multiple children usually means buying multiples of the same items. When you look in a homeschool catalog, you might be horrified at how much it can cost to teach your children at home. However, like I said above, less is more. Finding curriculum that the whole family can use over and over, again is an investment. Buying throw away items over and over is not.
Also, there are thrifty ways to save money on homeschooling. Such as:
- Bundle sales
- Group buys
- Avoiding consumable products as much as possible
- Using the library
- Downloads as opposed to hard-covered textbooks
- Online resources