Teaching a Multi-level Homeschool
The concept of schooling multiple children at the same time of different age levels or academic levels should not stop you from pursuing your homeschooling opportunity. Children are going to do work according to their ability and one of our jobs as homeschool parents is to push their own, individual limits, whatever they are. It is only natural that some children will take a subject or topic further than others. God has given each of us certain skills and talents and knowledges that will help us in the future that He has created for us. Use your imagination and let your children do the same. Don't let the thought of teaching a multi-level homeschool deter you from actually doing it.
The idea of all children always on the same level rarely happens anyway. As a classroom teacher, my class as many different levels within one "grade". We are trained as professional teachers to deal with this by making lesson plans to cater to all the levels. The same thing can happen at home.
For example, If you are teaching your high schooler about botany, they may set up and manage their own garden and write a research paper on their findings in a certain area. With your middle schooler, you may have them use their science journal to observe the plants in the garden and draw pictures and take notes on what they see. Then, have them write a few paragraphs to summarize the growing process. With your elementary student, you may have them cut and glue labels on plant parts, find those parts on various types of plants, and help them make their own plant habitat with various art materials.
A close friend and I have chosen to share in homeschooling our boys this school year, we will each teach a class. The boys are about on the same intellectual level, but in different areas; one child excels more in reading and writing while the other excels more in math and science. My friend wondered about having the boys together in a class subject like reading or math because they would be on much different learning levels. But that's ok! Every child learns at a different level, we just have to learn how to embrace that and make it work in one "classroom" by differentiating the lessons to fit the needs. Think about the one-room schoolhouse in the Little House on the Prairie days.
Being a homeschool mom is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. You have the opportunity to ensure that your children are safe, academically attended to, and nurtured in the ways of wholeheartedness towards good works and godly living. However, there is a stressful side of homeschooling that I'm sure we have all felt at one time or another, and some more than others. One of the stressors, especially to a new homeschool parent, that appears is wondering how you are going to attend to the needs of all of your children at the same time! But, in reality, however you are able to make your homeschool work is probably the best for your children, and it is always a work in progress.
Please contact us if we can help you get a vision of what it looks like for your family and how to implement it!