When folks ask me how I do school at home with four kids, ages 1 through 8, my simple answer is that I ignore the inevitable messes made by the preschoolers. Oh, and I lock myself in my bedroom with soft music and a bubble bath.
So, here are some tips for making homeschooling work with multiple children (without scented soaps and Andrea Bocelli.)
- Always start with a clean room. Clean the schoolroom the night before.
- Assign organizational and filing tasks to older kids while setting younger ones up with activities.
- Make special activity sets and containers of educational goodies for the preschoolers, that come out specifically during school time.
- Work with one child while another is reading or writing independently.
- Let the little ones play at a shallow sink full of bubbly water in the bathroom.
- Make your own connect the dot sheets, depending on how many numbers the toddler knows, and make copies.
- Schedule snack times, and teach the little ones not to ask until that time.
- Invest in quality audio books and music. Audio Bibles for kids are also engaging...in another room for the little ones.
- Include the toddlers in chants, phonics, and jingles.
- Pray with your kids at the start of the day. Let them hear you pray for the right attitude in them and in yourself.
By no means is this a comprehensive list. So much could be said of how the Lord molds and shapes us as parents as we educate our children at home. Please share your tips and insights!