Teaching Several Children at Once, Home-School Basics

Teaching Several Children at Once

The family home school is similar to a one-room schoolhouse with students at different grade levels.

There are many possible variations and combinations of multilevel teaching techniques that can work for any home-school family. Parents can choose the methods that best fit the needs of their children and the lifestyle of their family.

Two or more students might work independently on different grade levels.

Students on the same grade level might have different needs due to their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Students of different ages might be taught the same material at the same time, each on their own level.

Subjects like reading, math, and grammar that depend on mastery of some skills before others must be taught separately.

For example, you may want to teach a higher-level course such as algebra to your 13- and 15-year-olds together while younger children work at differing elementary levels for math.

Subjects like geography, history, science, and Bible, which do not depend on prerequisite skills for understanding, can be taught to the whole family together.

You may teach all of your children, ages 5 to 18, a course in botany, high schoolers using a detailed textbook while younger children read or hear about parallel topics from texts or library books on their own levels. Discussions and projects can include the whole family.

You might want to teach all subjects to all your children at once through a series of unit studies that integrate literature, history, science, and other subjects centered around one theme (such as light or diligence) at a time.

When one student must receive individual attention, the others must be prepared in advance to use their time constructively, working independently or perhaps playing an educational game or watching an enriching video.

Older children can take turns supervising young ones while Mother tutors the new reader, or Big Sister or Brother might do some of the tutoring.

The rich variety of teaching options and resources available to home educators ensures that you can find or design a plan that will satisfy and delight your entire family as you participate together in the joy of learning.

(Back Issue: March/April ’97)