I have 3 children, all at different levels. My youngest child is in elementary school, then I have one in middle school and one in high school. It can often be a challenge to balance time, schedules and needs for kids at such varying levels in their academic lives. The good news is that it can be done! With a little extra planning and preparation you can successfully homeschool multiple levels – without ripping your hair out!
Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Levels
1. Do as much as you can all together.
I often group subjects together with at least two of my children. Science and history are easier subjects to do together as they are easily adaptable to multiple levels.
2. Have older siblings help the younger ones.
There are often times when one of the older kids can help out with the younger ones. They have been through the material before and can even offer a different perspective than yours. Not only is it great for giving you some time, but it is enriching for their sibling relationships and helps the older one solidify concepts in their minds by teaching them to someone else.
3. Take advantage of down/free times.
Keep constructive play toys, books on cd, just for fun books, coloring or crafting projects, etc to engage your younger child (or in my case my middle schooler too who often takes to reading).
4. Use programs that allow the child to be self-sufficient.
If you can find some programs or activities for one or more of your children that they can do independently, then your time will be freed up to work with the other children. You can set one or two to their independent work while you are working with one child who needs your help at that time.
5. It is ok stick to the basics.
Give yourself the grace and freedom to stick to the basics. Sometimes you just can’t do it all. Your kids don’t always have to have all the extras. If you are struggling for time, have younger kids, have sticky subjects for one or more children, or anything else that comes up in life, know that it is ok to strip it down to the basics.