4 Moms, 35 Kids have discussed teaching big kids and teaching little kids, so how do we put it all together? Read what the other moms of many have to say:
In our home we educate our big kids and our little kids together in many (most?) subjects. There are many reasons for this and if you’re interested you may read:
- 6 Distinctives of our Homeschool
- Our Method for Selecting and Using Curriculum
- God’s Method for Education
For more info on how we teach multiple levels together check out my homeschool page.
So with an age range of 2-13 how do we put it all together? How do we educate our children so that we can discuss things as a family, they can build stronger relationships with us and with each other and we can talk of things as we stand up, as we lie down and as we walk by the way?
The basic answer to this question is that we teach and talk with our children throughout the whole day, every day.
Each morning at the breakfast table Mark reads the passage of Scripture that he will be teaching from during family worship that evening. (I also read this passage to the children at lunch time.) Mark is also reading and discussing “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends” for the second time. After Mark is finished we work through our memorization box.
As soon as we finish chores each morning, I sit down with one of my beginning readers. The older children (9, 11, 12 and 13) work on their independent assignments; Greek, math, music practice and writing. The other younger children work on their handwriting, copy work and/or dictation.
Each Wednesday instead of reading with the little ones we do a hands-on project that reinforces what we’ve been studying in history. We’ve made mud bricks with straw like the Israelites, pottery bowls like those found in Mesopotamia, paint out of charcoal, etc.
Younger kids reading/discussion:
(The older children continue to work on their independent assignments.)
We’ve chosen a variety of resources for our younger kids that coincide with the topics and subjects that the older children are studying. (Many resources are from Sonlight 1.) Each day we read from a book on their level about the topic/event that the bigger kids will be studying later that day. We also read poetry, memorize additional Scripture and are working through a Bible study for young children.
Several of our older children join us for this time of reading and discussion. They’ve already been through most of this material, but they love it and want to hear it again.
Older kids reading/discussion:
We are using Sonlight 6 this year and begin with Bible reading and then a Bible assignment. (The big kids work on all of their assignments later.)
Next we read the history portions. Here we cover the same things (but more in depth) that our younger kids studied earlier. The little ones LOVE being able to tell the big kids what they already know, show them the area on the map or add an event to the time line. Once we’ve finished the reading portion our younger children are allowed to follow their own interests while we discuss the readings. They most commonly stay in the room and play quietly.
We read more poetry, read our read aloud and assign independent reading. The 5 and 6 year old almost always wish to hear this portion. As always we discuss what we’re reading.
Other school assignments:
Art, writing, logic, nature journals and other assignments are passed out at this time for the children to complete either in groups or independently. We do not cover all subjects each day. We think that it is very important for our children to have free time to discover and learn on their own and we make sure that they have plenty of free time each day.
Amber is working through Apologia Science on her own, rather that is her assignment. It usually works out that she is reading the information and doing the experiments with a group of children who are intensely interested in her level of science.
Has anyone done Apologia Physical Science with children much younger than 7th grade? I’m wondering if I should do more level combining.
More reading aloud:
Just before dinner, we usually read aloud to the children again. “Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History“, “The Blue Fairy Book“, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare” and “Charlotte’s Web” are some of the books we’ve read in the past 3 weeks.
I’ve posted about this in more depth, but we are currently working through the Proverbs very slowly with lots of discussion.
Our oldest 3 children stay up after the younger ones go to bed and Mark is reading and discussing John G. Paton’s autobiography with them.
Kids are always learning and we don’t stop teaching on weekends or on days that we don’t work on ‘school work’. The children don’t watch television, very rarely watch videos and don’t play video games. This leaves plenty of time for living life and taking dominion over creation.
Check out how the other moms put it all together:
I’d love to hear your ideas and plans for homeschooling big and little kids. How much will this change as our big kids get bigger?
What about adding another baby? How does your school change when you have a newborn?