Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How to Homeschool with Five Children -- No More, No Less

Before I get started, I want to be clear that I do not feel like a homeschool expert.  Yes, I started homeschooling Sarah Beth six years ago, but she's only in the fifth grade now.  There are many people with tons more experience.  However, I am the most experienced homeschooling mother in our CC group; the other families either have younger children or have recently started homeschooling, and they ask my opinions sometimes.

I thought it might be helpful to write about what we do and why, in case you need a few ideas or some encouragement.
  1. Be as quick as possible.  Did you gasp when you read that?  :)  With a baby, however, I've got to get school done as quickly as possible or she explodes.  I absolutely cannot teach school while holding Hannah (if you've tried teaching while holding a baby, you understand), and I don't like her wandering around without supervision.  Right now, I put her in the exersaucer for school time, and if I keep us on track, we finish about when she's ready to get out.  Also, Rachel (7) and Mary (5) can't take too much school, and I'll be honest, I can't either.  :)
  2. Keep it simple.  I'll be honest with you, we don't do projects very often -- like never.  Often they're too messy especially with four children wanting to participate, and they always take more time than I feel like I have.  
  3. Do as much as possible with all the children.  Things like science, history, and geography can be done with all children no matter how old they are.  That's one of the many reasons I love Classical Conversations; we can do all of these subjects together as a family which means less prep work and time.  
  4. Don't waste time.  I feel like I'm on a time crunch, and we need to get done as much as possible in as little time as possible.  So we don't do worksheets.  I have to admit that when I heard a CC trainer say this, too, I felt justified and not alone anymore.  :)  When I extrapolate science and history, I just read excerpts from books to my children.  They don't fill in blanks on worksheets or write papers on it.  (Remember, my children are still fairly young.)  The big thing is that they memorize their CC grammar, and if they get that, I'm good.  They'll get explanations, etc., later in their schooling.
The biggest question I get, however, is how I keep the younger ones occupied while I teach the older ones.  I'll answer that question next week.  :)

What tips do you have for homeschooling five (or more -- or fewer) children?

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