Family Magazine

Guest Post - 4 Tips for Managing a Home Class with Kids of Different Ages and Abilities

By Upatdawn @lisakeva
Author Angelita Williams, a second generation homeschooler, shares about multi-level learning!
4 Tips for Managing a Home Class with Kids of Different Ages and Abilities

If you are a home school parent-cum-teacher extraordinaire, then it's likely that you are homeschooling multiple kids. Unless you happen to have triplets or quintuplets, it's probable that they are all in different stages of intellectual development. How, then, do you meet each of their educational needs when there may be a big age range among your children? Here are a few tips for managing such a diverse "classroom," based on my own experiences being homeschooled alongside a younger and older sibling:
1. Keep standards high throughout each lesson.
Even though my brother and I were two years apart, and my sister and I were four years apart, and even though some of us learned more slowly, my mother never brought academic standards down to accommodate one child. This is perhaps the greatest flaw in most traditional classrooms, because it requires a child with exceptional learning abilities to slow herself down. The best way is to constantly challenge all students by bringing them up to the level of the highest achiever and fastest learner.
2. Start with something that you can teach all children, and then break off into one-on-one groups. 

Of course, even though you may want to teach to the highest level, each child is in a different grade, meaning you will have to cover different lessons. My mother always began each lesson with at least one thing that was appropriate to teach to all of us, even if it wasn't in the lesson plan. For example, we often started our mornings by going over current events and how we felt about them. Even if you have very young children who may not have a full grasp of what's going on in the news, it's a great way to start them thinking about the world around them.
3. Ensure that each child has something to work on independently while you are working with one child. 

The most important part of a successful lesson is keeping every student's attention throughout. In a home school environment, where you'll have to spend one-on-one time with each child, it's important that other students don't completely tune out. Always plan your lessons such that there's never a moment when your child isn't learning or practicing a new concept or skill, unless they are taking a specified break. This constant doing gives the class an added energy that will sustain the lesson till its conclusion.
4. Teach to each child's learning style. 
One thing that many teachers and parents don't necessarily realize is that there are millions of ways to teach one concept, and individual students take more readily to one way of teaching than another. Since your classroom is likely relatively small—maybe seven or eight students at the most—you do have enough time to learn their strengths and weaknesses and teach them such that their strengths are exercised and their weaknesses minimized.
The best part about homeschooling is that you have the opportunity to teach the people you know best—your own kids. Learning how to manage a classroom with students of so many different interests is certainly a challenge, but it's a rewarding one in the end. Good luck!
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7
This post written and property of Homeschool Circus and can be found at: . If you are reading this from a source other than you are reading a scraped copy!

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