How to Homeschool Multiple Kids at Once

Let’s be honest, homeschooling multiple kids can make you feel like you’re losing your mind. At least, that’s how I felt a lot of the time – and I suspect I’m not alone!

It’s challenging – you’re juggling multiple personalities, learning styles, subjects, and grades, and it seems that everyone always wants your attention at the same time. (Reliving some deeply buried stress from my homeschool days here…)

If you relate to this, take heart. With a little planning and a few helpful tips you can homeschool all your kids with a lot less stress.

How to homeschool more than one child without losing your mind

With some planning and thinking ahead you can do it. You just have to be organized, adjust your expectations, and take care of yourself along the way.

Let’s dive in to some practical tips:

Stick to the basics

Don’t do all the subjects for the earlier grades. Stick to math, reading, and language. Let the younger kids learn in a more relaxed way for the rest of the subjects. Once they can read and work more independently, then add structured learning for the content subjects like history and science.

Oh, and ditch comparison. Do what you can, not what you see everyone else doing.  

Encourage early independence for your older students

By grade 8 older kids can be in charge of their own day. If you have answer keys then let them check their own work. Aim for independence as soon as possible.  

Ask your kids for suggestions

When kids are involved with planning they will be on board and you’ll have to do less driving to make things happen.  

Get on top of your stuff

Use a planner, or create a checklist per child so you can keep track of what they each need to be doing.

Create a schedule. Organise your life. Keep your house neat and orderly – get the kids involved so you don’t have to do it all. Assign chores and make home care part of your daily routine.  

Related: 4 Steps to stress free homeschool planning

Organise your learning time

This can be split into three categories:

  • Group work – subjects like science, history or Bible can be taught together with different expectations for each grade level.  
  • Dependent learning (one on one with you) – while you are busy with one child, plan independent activities or schoolwork for the other children.
  • Independent learning (instruction and then working alone but allowed to ask for help) – this time can also include crafts, reading, journaling or chores. Anything that can be done without your constant supervision but with occasional checking.

Have a plan for the younger kids so when you get stuck with one child you have ideas to keep the others busy. My last born child was brilliant at disappearing while I worked with the older two and then when I was ready for him, I couldn’t find him! (So frustrating!)

Pray and stay positive

Homeschooling is challenging and you need all the strength you can get from above. Prayer will keep you calm and under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t forget to be thankful that you are able to homeschool your kids – even though it’s stressful.

Take care of yourself

Homeschooling is intense and you must plan ways to make it work for you. Burning out would defeat the whole purpose of homeschooling. Schedule time – just a few minutes a day – to be alone and pray, lie down, think, breathe, surrender.

Related: 29 Ways to practice self-care

Get older siblings to teach younger kids

This could take a lot of pressure off you and it will reinforce the learning for your older child, since we remember best what we teach. You could also get your older kids to check the younger children’s work.

Follow a more natural learning method

Use unit studies or a curriculum that is designed for multi-grade families like My Father’s World, Gather ‘Round or Classical Conversations

Read aloud

A lot. So much learning happens from reading and you can cover subjects like social studies and Bible while snuggling on the couch.   

The other benefits of reading aloud are building happy memories and strengthening your relationship with your kids.  

Get outside for breaks!

You all need the de-stressing benefits of fresh air, sunshine and exercise. Lots of learning can take place outdoors.

Maintain your relationship with each child

Don’t let school work destroy your family relationships. If you find there is no time to chat with your kids or listen to their stories then re-evaluate your schedule.

Your relationship with your kids is top priority.

Keep interruptions to a minimum

 As far as possible let people know that you are unavailable at certain times. People often think that because you’re homeschooling and at home, you’re automatically available for a phone call and chit chat.

Related: 4 Ways to take homeschooling seriously and stay focused

After all is said and done, remember to keep the main thing the main thing – your reason for homeschooling. If relationships and character growth are your main thing, then don’t let text books get in the way of that.

Homeschooling multiple kids is challenging, but not impossible when you have a plan.

How do you manage homeschooling multiple kids?

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer homeschooled all three of her kids-with no teaching qualification. Her kids are grown now but she is still passionate about homeschooling. She lives in South Africa.

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