This is the first year that I’m really homeschooling multiple ages: kindergarten/ 1st grade and 3rd grade. It’s been a little bit of trial and error as I figured out a schedule that works for us but I really feel like we have found our groove.
Homeschooling Multiple Ages
There are many questions that people ask when it comes to teaching more than one child and more than one levels in their homeschool. Here are some answers to some of the questions I’m asked the most:
What subjects do you teach together?
If you remember from our curriculum choices for the year my boys are doing most of their schoolwork together. The only subjects being taught separately are reading (for my little guy), spelling (for big brother) and math. History, science, nature study, etc is all done together as a family.
How do you teach subjects together?
We have a block schedule for our homeschool that allows me to only teach one extra subject a day. I usually have a spine or a main living book for a subject that I read aloud to my boys and then they work on notebooking pages or hands on projects. Sometimes they work together on assignments (like a timeline) and other times they have their own stuff to work on.
This allows me to let my boys each work at their own pace and on their own level. My little guy’s notebooking pages are mostly drawings. I will write down his narrations for him when he is finished. My oldest’s pages are 100% his own work. He writes his own narrations and adds his own pictures.
Choosing Curriculum for Homeschooling Multiple Ages
People often want to know how I choose curriculum for both my boys. I have 3 things that I look for when I’m shopping for homeschool materials:
- Can I use it with both boys: I look for things that I only have to pay for once. It could be something that we all use together for the year or it could be something that gets passed down from big brother to little brother. If I only have to buy 1 thing or buy it once that money that I can save to spend later on.
- Does it have a Christian Worldview: It’s important for me that our homeschool materials reflect and support our worldview and so I look to companies like Bright Ideas Press, Apologia and Answers in Genesis for many of our supplies.
- Can I stick to my budget: This is the key to my shopping (and one of the ways that I afford to homeschool as a single mom). I typically spend $150-200 a year on our homeschool material. Even if I find something that meets my first two criteria I won’t buy it if I can’t afford it. I am finding that focusing on multi age homeschooling curriculum that I’ll be saving money in the long run. There are things that I am buying now that can be used all the way to graduation. I only have to buy it once and we’re good go all the way through high school
Recently I did a Google hangout with Bright Ideas Press all about Homeschooling Multiple Ages. Check it out for more tips and encouragement!