Homeschooling Me! – Pt. 7, Learning to be Flexible – Multiple Ages
At one point in time, I had a high schooler, a middle schooler, a child in elementary, and a child in preschool. We hadn’t exactly planned it that way but that was the reality of it. I’m not going to lie to you. There were days when I couldn’t figure out what “stage” of life I was in. Most of my friends had kids that were fairly close in age so from my perspective, they were in a specific stage of child rearing. I, however, felt like I was all over the place. There was NO way I could not teach four different ages groups in some sort of integrated format. It was out of sheer necessity and the need to keep my sanity that we began to immerse our entire family in specific historical time periods for our study of history and in specific literary selections for our study of literature. Sure the discussion and approach was made to fit the needs of each child, but I didn’t have to juggle multiple history and literature texts. The decision to approach history and literature in that way was in and of itself REVOLUTIONIZING for our home. It relieved so much stress.
During times when I needed to spend individual times with one of the boys, I usually “assigned” an older sibling to read to our younger boys, or to play an educational game, or watch an assigned video. Audio books and stories were also great ways of keeping my younger children occupied when I needed to work with one specific child. Did it always work? NO WAY! But of course, keeping an eye on where we desired to end up, helped me to flex through challenges and still remain on track.