View Full Version : Tips or suggestions for teaching multiples

07-26-2004, 12:05 AM
This is the first year that I will be teaching both of my kids at home. DD (5)went to a special Ed preschool last year and was gone all day so I was only teaching DS (7). But this year I will have both at home working at different levels. DD will be doing kind. and DS will be doing 1st with some 2nd.

Any tips or suggestions for working with kids of different grade levels?

07-26-2004, 07:09 AM
It took me about 2 weeks when I added the second child in to *figure out how to do it*. I think the key is patience and flexibility at first until you see what works for you.I thought I would be crazy at first :roll:

What works for me is after we have our morning Bible time together, is to let one do a game, connect the dots, etc. or something else while I explain math to my oldest. Math takes 30 to 40 minutes the older they get. So I find always starting with it first with the oldest, allows me to give 1:1 to the next on language arts. Because usually the second child's math is going to be easier,etc. Then flip it, and have the second child do something independent like math, while you give your oldest 1:1 on language arts.

Ideally :roll: this is how it works, but some days it won't happen like that. For you,and for me too, :wink: simply because of the fact that you and I both have young children. Young children need lots of moms time instructing them. So it can be draining mentally. This is the way it should be at first. They'll soon be able to do more w/out you, but not now. Especially the ages of yours will dictate lots of interaction by you.

Now, sounds easy, but its not at FIRST be it does get easier because several things happen. First, they both learn patience and see that they have to wait on you. Second, they learn to work independently for short periods of time at first, then longer as they grow older, which is a life long homeschooling goal. Third, the more you teach them together, the more subjects you see that you can do together. For example, science,history and art do not have to be taught separately. Reading,writing and math most of the time will have to always stay on each individual child's level.

Now, my second is 7 and he will patiently wait in the school room sitting beside his older brother as I explain the lessons to him. I see several benefits to this over the last two years because even though he is doing mazes,etc. he is still somewhat listening and retaining some of what I'm teaching. Same way for my oldest, 9. When he is doing math, he always has *one ear* listening in as I explain to the second child. Good review for my oldest.

I added in my third child, he is 4 now about a year ago and so much easier. This last year he played with his men and cars on the table as I taught his older two brothers. In the middle of the year, he decided he wanted to do school. So I do. Here again, I'm saved because his attention span is about 15 minutes or so at one time. That is manageable with the other two.

Anyway, long and short of is it works....just don't set your goals real high because you might get frusterated. But soon you will be *bopping* along with what works best for you.

I don't like the kid that is *off* watching tv..I usually like them to stay in the school room or at least close. So I bought educational *time fillers* like maze books, connect the dots, coloring books,file folder games, a spelling game that has slots for the letters that match up to the correct letter tile so they have to get it right. Even picture books to look through. Barring that, I way prefer them to play with toys than tv time. :roll: The key to getting or making these educational fillers is that they can do this independently of YOU. I didn't like water coloring, because they wanted me stop to get the glass of water, lay out newspaper or papertowels,etc. Yes its fun, but it still NEEDS MOM.. So the key is games,etc that they can do, set up and leave you alone while you teach the other.

I hope some of this helps!


07-26-2004, 08:58 AM
My kids are 4, 8, and 10. I would encourage you to do as much as you can together. Of course, things like math and reading needs to be more individualized, but when it comes to history, science, health, etc. both kids can take part in. If you want, you can expect more from the older child...give her reports to do on her "own", etc. Or the younger one can color pictures of whatever it is you're studying while the older is reading/being read to. So much is going into the younger one's brain! I also keep papers on hand for when my younger one decides to "do school". When my one child was two, she was marking the phonics paper along with her sister, without any idea which pictures started with the /m/. But Sissy colored the mop and milk, so that's what she scribbled on top of, too!

07-26-2004, 04:32 PM
Thanks for your input. One thing that is sure to help is that dh works second shift so he can help with lessons but I am going to try and do some things together. And I can take it easier with lessons with the youngest one because I didn't file the notice of intent with her I filed the kind. waiver so technically she's not considered a kind. child and I don't have to worry about living up to anyone standards, not that there is much in Arkansas.

Anyways thanks again.

07-26-2004, 10:12 PM
Ready? I have two in 7th, one in 5th, one in 4th, one in 3rd, one in 2nd and one starting kindergarten. This will be our third yr hsing. What works for us is for me to not get to uptight with our schedule. :? Like Jackie I try to do as much as I can with all of them together. Example, our history is done together. Mostly the little ones listen and might have a coloring page that reflects what we learned. While the older kidos will have a wkst or quiz or report on our studies. With the reading I have the little ones practice with the older ones. They like to feel like a teacher too!! I also have the older ones pick out books from time to time that the little ones will find interesting and have them read it out loud. My oldest daughter is reading Alice in Wonderland. The little ones love it. My 4th grader works very well with the 5 yr old. He makes up math problems with teddy bear counters. My 4th grader is also ADHD and this has helped keep him occupied at times. I have learned to give four spelling tests at a time. :shock: I change our routine from time to time if something doesnt seem to be working. The kids also goto a co-op and take some great classes there. It also gives them a little freedom from each other!
Good luck with your schooling!!

07-27-2004, 06:27 AM
Moondancer, even when you have to "officially" report your younger child, you can still teach some things together. I'm almost done with my paperwork for next year, and it's gotten to the place where I make just one list for my younger daughter, copy it for the older one, and then make a few changes. For example, my older one has "human development/sexuality" listed formally because she's at "that age". The younger one does not. But MOST topics/subjects are on BOTH lists. I also add a "disclaimer" at the bottom of my list: "This is a working outline only. It is not all-inclusive and is subject to change." That way if they come back to me and say, "WHY DIDN'T YOU TEACH *******? YOU HAD IT ON YOUR LIST!!!!", I feel I've covered my rear.