We are all adjusting to new normals right now during the Pandemic.
One of the most common concerns and worries are with parents balancing their new roles of teacher/homeschool parent while still maintaining all other duties and responsibilities!
It is a hard time for most families.
However, caring for more than one child adds an entirely different level of figuring this out.
We can’t promise it will be easy.
Even though it may still be exhausting, we can provide you a few tips to help homeschool multiple children while still parenting, working, and maintaining your sanity!
How to Homeschool Multiple Children Effectively
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1. Rotations –
No matter how many children you have, think about it from this perspective…
- Having one child working with you
- One (or more) completing independent educational activities
- Another child (or more!) doing fun/play activities
Let me explain a little more:
– Instructional Time:
This is the time your child is working with you. The focus here should be on skills that your child hasn’t quite mastered yet and could benefit from some extra support as they are working on these things.
– Independent Work:
Think of this time for skills your child as already mastered but can always use more practice and time to review.
- For a middle school student, this may be independently reading a book of his choice.
- A first-grader may work on a word puzzle or worksheet with basic math facts to solve then color.
The goal here is to choose activities that your child won’t need you for, but they are still focused on educational topics.
– “Play/Relax” Time:
This is your chance to give your child a break. Maybe this is even “tech time.” But find something that isn’t geared towards actual work and provide them with a break just to be a kid (and leave you and the child you’re working with alone for a bit!)
Create a homeschool schedule and have your children rotate through these different types of activities.
- 1:1 time on challenging skills with each child
- Time to check-in with each child individually
- Save your sanity of trying to manage teaching 3 (or more!) different skills at one time!
2. Pair-Up –
Think about how your children can help each other. Have an older child help a younger child with a skill they know well.
Or, have your children take turns reading independent on level texts to each other and ask each other questions.
Your children will both be learning at the same time (academics and cooperative skills). Plus, this will free up some time for you to do your work and work with another child if needed.
3. Timers –
Timers are going to be your new best friend! Using timers will help everyone in many ways.
Timers provide an “endpoint,” which is often great motivation to push through whatever task you’re working on.
It helps you and your children feel better in that even if you aren’t doing your favorite activity, you know it will be over when the timer goes off.
Likewise, if your children ARE doing their favorite thing, it helps them know that they will need to move onto something else, which may be less preferred, at a predetermined time.
The added benefit is that it will keep everyone on track in terms of getting the things done that you have scheduled for that day.
4. Manage Expectations –
This one is HUGE (and maybe should have been #1), but keep in mind you cannot, and should not, expect yourself to do it all. You are one person, and this may not be your area of expertise.
Even if you have a background in education, teaching your own child(ren) at home is quite different than teaching in a classroom.
Be forgiving of yourself and your children. Doing something, even one thing, and doing it well, while smiling, will have a far more significant impact than trying to accomplish it all and feeling defeated.
Remember, you can add things in as you find a routine and a rhythm. But take it slow and build from there.
While this isn’t an ideal time for anyone, there are hopefully a couple of tricks in there that will help you get through each day of homeschooling multiple children and maybe even enjoying it!
Good luck, and we look forward to hearing what has (and hasn’t!) worked for you so far!
Looking for more tips and resources to homeschool multiple children? Check out these additional articles:
- Special Education Homeschool Resources Parents
- Special Education Homeschool Resources Organization Tips
- 21 Point Homeschooling Checklist For Beginners
- Homeschooling’s 3 Biggest Challenges
- Brain Break Ideas That Your Kids Will Love
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I’m sending this to my bestie. She is currently working from home and her kids are having a hard time adjusting…plus now on top of work, she has to home school (which she has never done before). I love the idea of one on one learning…any tips for single parents on this? She’s going bananas.
This can definitely be a challenge if you have several children. I have two kids and it takes a lot of work to keep everyone busy and doing work.