If you have a houseful of children at different ages and stages of development, you might be asking yourself how you can meet each of their educational needs. Here are a three tips for steering an age diverse classroom.
1. Start with something you can teach all your children, and then break off into individual one-on-one sessions.
Aim to begin these group lessons with something appropriate for all children involved. A good example of this would be to begin your teaching day with current events and allow time for each child to share how they feel about that event. Though younger children may not understand it all, it’s a great way to introduce them to the world at large. Afterwards you can branch off into individual instruction/learning time.
2. Make sure each child has something to work on independently, while you are working individually with one child.
A good goal is to have at least a basic structure to your day so other children do not completely tune out. Try to plan your lessons so that there are no moments when your child isn’t learning or practicing a new concept or skill. This mental activity gives an atmosphere of added mental energy that will help sustain the lesson until the end.
3. There are dozens of ways to teach the same concept.
Most homeschool moms realize that there is more than one way to teach a concept across various learning styles. Because your “class” size is on the smallish side, you also have the ability to either slow down or speed up the rate of instruction or redirect learning in a totally different style.
4. When faced with choices, always choose the one that is the most fun.
This point is straight forward. Your children will remember the fun far longer than that the right math book or colorful workbook. If you have the chance to take a special field trip or spend an impromptu afternoon at the library researching a special interest, but all means take it! You never know where these sorts of rabbit trails and memory makers will take your children!
The best part about homeschooling is that you have the opportunity to teach those you love and know best. Learning how to manage your own classroom of many with different interests and abilities can be a challenge, but it’s rewarding and a blessing in the end.