Easy Homeschool Lesson Planning for Large Families
Homeschool lesson planning for large families does not need to be difficult. When you look at the size of your family, focus on how it is a joy and a blessing to be able to educate them at home. You have been blessed with these gifts so enjoy them! When you begin to look at homeschooling your family in this light, you will realize that this unique situation provides unique solutions. When public schools first came into play in early American history, the format was set up based on the needs of the classroom. Think about the one-room schoolhouse. In this situation, one teacher was responsible for teaching many students of varying ages and educational levels. Oftentimes the younger ones would be placed in the front, often doubled-up with another child close to their age. The older students would be in the back. Some lessons would be presented to the class as a whole. Other times older students would have to wait patiently while the teacher worked with the younger students and vice-versa.
Schools then grew. Multiple classrooms came into play simply because it was easier to have one teacher per grade. Then schools grew even more and you would have multiple teachers per grade. Teachers and school districts changed with the times over the years so why is it so hard for so many of us homeschooling parents to change our method when we bring our children home? Is it because we went to a multiple classroom school growing up and had a positive experience? Is it because we have fond memories of these times and we don’t want our children to miss out on similar ones? Or do we think that the current set-up is effective and if we don’t follow it then we will mess up our kids? Whatever the reason is, it is important to note that we need to look at our current situation and be willing to adapt to it. If we try to model our classroom after something that doesn’t meet the needs of our particular children then why bring them home in the first place?
Set Homeschool Goals
Let’s enjoy the freedom we have when it comes to homeschooling. The best way to start creating a healthy educational experience for large families is to set goals for each child. One year I made a huge chart and wrote the goals down for everyone to see. The list did not include a specific curriculum or textbooks to use but the end goals that I had for each child for that year. Some goals included having Bible verses memorized, having the times tables memorized, learning the states and their capitols, and others. I made the list challenging then doable. It was from this list that I crafted my curriculum. I would search how to teach children multiplication and use that to reach that goal for my child. I would find YouTube videos teaching about the states and capitols or look for apps that would help reinforce what they were learning. I would also print out free worksheets that I would find online on the topics that I wanted them to master. Once the goals were in place, the curriculum would easily follow.
Plan Your Daily Homeschool Schedule
Then I would set up a daily rhythm. Starting out around the kitchen table I would have all of my children preschooler through teenager. I would have a list of subjects that would take less than an hour to complete together. This would include Bible, memory work, and a read-aloud. I then would send my younger ones off to either play or watch an educational video while I worked with the older ones in a group setting. Then, the older ones would all split off and do their independent work. If it was work they needed help with they would do that last because for the first forty-five minutes I would be working closely with the younger ones. After that, if older ones needed my help I was ready to help them. It is a rhythm that works for us, you simply need to try things out and see what works best for you! Consider trying a different method of planning if what you are using is not working. If you do every subject every day and it seems to be too much, try splitting it up between days. If you feel like there are not enough hours in the day for your children to get all of their work done then consider loop scheduling.
Prioritize Your Homeschool Lessons
Finally, make sure you prioritize. Look at your goals. Which ones are the most important? Make sure your top goals are the ones you are focusing on the most in your homeschool. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Set goals, reach for those goals and if you get extras in then that is great! If not, be thankful for the goals your children have attained!