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The Homeschool Minute ~ Homeschooling Many–Preschoolers to High Schoolers

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The Homeschool Minute – Homeschooling Many–Preschoolers to High Schoolers



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Homeschooling Many–Preschoolers to High Schoolers 
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Gena Suarez

Man, at our house we know a lot about homeschooling (and life) with preschoolers and high schoolers, since our kids range in age from 2 to 25. Unfortunately knowing a lot about the topic and managing to make it all work smoothly 365/7 is another matter. If you’re like us and trying to homeschool many, here are some tips from our magazine writers:


Teaching Multiple Ages – Kristen Hamilton 

The Gift of Everyday Moments – Deborah Wuehler 


And here’s something to remember … 


A year from now, some of the “issues” you are dealing with your kids right now will be resolved. Last year my one-year-old was screeching randomly every four minutes, driving us completely insane. My husband said he literally sounded like a chimp at the zoo. It’s true. We live in a zoo. But this year he’s an active 2-year-old into a whole lot of other things and using his words. And I miss those screeches (sort of). 


Another year from now things will be a bit different and there will be a new stage and something else to miss (most likely).

Ten years from now, I’ll long to cuddle him in my arms again, like I am privileged to do every day right NOW. 


So for now, as I am tempted to get a babysitter and make a run to Starbucks to get away from my zoo for a few minutes, I’ll sit back and relax in the moment. It’s a loud, loud house, but it won’t always be this way. Someday, it will be too quiet. And I will miss my monkey days. I am sure of it.

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Diana Waring

Dear Friends, 


Since I homeschooled three, I’m not qualified to write about homeschooling many. However, what I would LOVE to chat with you about today is Homeschooling ANY. Whether you are teaching one or twenty, there are certain elements in helping kids love to learn that will transform your family’s experience.

It all begins with a view of education that’s relational. Regardless of your preferred theory of education (classical, unit study, traditional, Charlotte Mason, eclectic, unschooling), your relationship with your student is foundational to their being able to learn, and is one of the most significant predictors of educational success.

With that in mind, here are three practical, specific, and relational ways to help your kids love to learn:

1) Observe them

2) Engage them

3) Accommodate them

First, observe them. How do we do that? A great analogy is to learn about bird watchers, and how they observe birds. First of all, they like birds! That helps motivate them to do the work of learning about birds. Next, they have field guides to help them identify different birds. Then, they jot down notes on what they observe about these birds–colors, markings, habitat, flight, songs. So, to observe your kids, make a choice to do this work because you LIKE them. Then, find some books/websites/teaching to help you understand four learning styles, the eight intelligences, learning modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). And, armed with that information, start jotting down notes of what you observe about each of your kids. Do they LOVE to be outside? Jot it down. Do they LOVE music? Art? Legos? Baseball? Being with others? Write it down. These are clues to who your unique children are, and it will help you discover ways to help them love learning.

Second, engage them. Though you know the classroom model of sitting quietly while a teacher lectures or students quietly work with a workbook, you also recognize that for some students, that is spectacularly ineffective. So, how do we engage OUR kids? Open up your notes from the step above, and consider what makes their eyes light up, what makes them dance with joy. With that information, start considering how they might be able to learn what they need to learn with a bit of that added joy factored in.

Finally, accommodate them. Face it, they are not you. They are not robots. They are children. That means that you may have to slow down at times, or find a different curriculum, or take them out of the co-op. You may need to start school later, or make Fridays FUN-DAYS. You might need to read to your delayed reader, sit with your clingy child during math, or put off history for a year. If you are observant, if you are helping them to engage in their learning, then accommodating their needs becomes much easier.

So, armed with these three relational tools, you can homeschool ANY!

Remember, stay relational.

Diana
dianawaringpresents@gmail.com

P.S. For step one, I recommend these sites and products: www.celebratekids.com and Dr. Kathy Koch’s books, www.dianawaring.com and my books, Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant Life Homeschooling, and Reaping the Harvest. Also, to watch a fun and informative DVD on learning styles, 8 intelligences and learning modalities, I recommend my Not Just Your Average Genius DVD.

 

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FYI – We specialize in homeschooling many. And by specialize, I mean we stumble our way through. Homeschooling many is hard. Every year my wife spends time mapping out the delicately-choreographed dance of homeschooling a bunch of kids.

 

She’s tried all kind of aids and guides through the years. One had her schedule out her time in 15 minute increments … another suggested she use older children to help younger children. Our experience has been that it is ALL hard to carry out!!! There is no easy way to homeschool a bunch of children.

 

But I think my wife would say that the last few years have been … better. She has adopted the “do the next thing” method, based on a general order of things, rather than a precise time schedule. She has a schedule of subjects/tasks for each child to accomplish (the younger ones) and she coordinates these so that they are all doing a subject with mom or a subject independently or all together, simultaneously and then they move onto the NEXT thing. It still involves some juggling and some flexibility, but it seems to work.

 

The older kids are mostly on their own. My wife knows and picks (and let’s them help pick) what they’re going to cover each year and then she checks in to make sure they’re doing it. If they get stuck, then she works with them until they understand what they’re supposed to know and do.

 

But here’s the deal: homeschooling a bunch of children isn’t for cowards, but it is the best way to learn … surrounded by people you love, knowing the world doesn’t revolve around you. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

So, if you feel like giving up, take heart, you’re not alone, Thank God for the opportunity to homeschool your children and get back in the game.

 

Be real,

 

Todd

familyman@familymanweb.com

 

A couple of extras: 1) My daughter Katherine (18) just released book TWO (Amira’s Secret) in her Maidens of Malidone series. It’s a wholesome and edifying, medieval adventure series written for pre-teens and teens by a teen. These are books that your daughters will love and you won’t have to worry about the content. Get it here.

 

2) I’ve talked to three widows this week who have lost their husbands in the last few months. Carol Smith lost her husband in February as they were in the process of bringing home TWO children from Russia. Now she has seven children and no husband. She needs your advice and encouragement in family and homeschooling. Would you take a few minutes to read her email to me and give her a few thoughts of encouragement?

 

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I look forward to THM every Wednesday. I really enjoy Deborah’s articles. For some reason, it must be God, she always writes about what I am needing to hear. Her ability to put scripture and God in the middle of all her articles keeps me coming back. I recently have been enjoying the Youngs’ [articles] because I have a young man (10) in my house. The encouragement of the Youngs is fabulous. I thank God for parents like them that pave the way for parents like myself and my husband.”

 

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