31Oct

Two-for-One Homeschooling

Speaking of school stuff, I’ve got a new post up at Simple Homeschool today. I’m discussing the pitfalls and advantages of schooling twins and what it’s taught me about all of my children’s unique skills and learning styles. Come say hi, pretty please!!!

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  1. I just read your post at Simple Homeschool. I have two kids 18 months apart that I have been schooling together, because the younger one is pretty quick to pick things up and it works pretty well. I have two more kids that are 11 months apart. I was hoping to school them together – they would start kindergarten next year – but the older one is probably ready to start kindergarten now and the younger one could probably wait two years. And I’ll be having a baby in the spring. I have thought, at times, that I need to school them as individuals, not group them together, but I have no idea how to do it. I just can’t figure out how I could possibly fit 5 separate sets of lessons into one day. So since you have more kids than me, I was hoping for some tips, advice, wisdom that could help me out.
    I see from your other posts that you are having a rough time right now and if you don’t get around to responding to this, I will totally understand. Hope things even out for you soon.

  2. Sarah In the Woods – Thanks for your patience! I could write 80 posts about this, but my two key pieces of advice are: find a core curriculum (like for your lit., history, geography, etc.) that allows you to study the same thing with several levels. We use Tapestry of Grace, but I know some people combine Sonlight or Mystery of History. I find this keeps our general days all focused on the same basic topics. We can all discuss the same things at the dinner table, and we totally count some of those minutes as school. Everyone is seated, contained, and relatively quiet. So we use dinner time to review basic themes or ideas from our core curriculum.

    Second, train your kids toward a lot of self-sufficiency. As a mother of many close together, you will never be able to spend 4 hours a day with each child on individual subjects. it’s an impossibility. Instead, spend these early years training them to do stuff on their own, while things are still pretty simple. For example, I did kindergarten math sitting right beside my twins. For first grade, we switched to weekly math meetings (I do this for writing, geography and science, too.) I introduce the subject with a video, we practice together, and then they are responsible for doing their math worksheets on their own in the afternoon. I check their work throughout the week to make sure they really understand, but this cuts down on the amount of time I spend running between children over different problems. We also worked hard in kindergarten to train them to do their handwriting on their own. They didn’t do it alone at first, but that was my goal. Basically, that’s all I did for first grade was just work on self-sufficiency in simple subjects like math and handwriting. They do those things on their own in the afternoon – their workbook, busy work stuff. In the morning, we do our core curriculum together (lit, history, and geography). Then we have whatever weekly is scheduled for that day. And then I do phonics work with those who need it, plus we do All About Spelling.

    I hope that makes sense. Feel free to send along any other questions you have. And good luck!

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