Friday, March 29, 2013

How Do You Have Time To Homeschool Three Children?

From time to time people ask me questions about homeschooling. I will gladly admit that we have only been a homeschool family for about 18 months. I was a teacher before we began homeschooling so I suppose I have more information that someone starting out, but I am really not as full of information as those who have been homeschooling for years and years.

The most frequent question I am asked is, "How Do You Have Time To Homeschool Three Children?" I often begin by reminding those who do not already know that my kindergarten class usually had 15-22 students depending on the year and state policies at the time. Not all children in the same grade are on the same level. So teaching my three children is not difficult at all compared to my previous job. Teaching many children with different abilities was a huge undertaking.

I have found that a calm "it will eventually be complete" attitude helps our days to run smoothly. My youngest is nearly three years old, so he often plays or reads the pictures in books when my older children need attention or instruction. When my youngest feels the need to interrupt or have attention I freely give attention, then help him find another activity. For example, he enjoys drawing letter shapes and pictures. He also wants to be like his sisters so is we are studying paleontology, I make sure to have materials that are on his level available. We recently made a timeline of the geologic time periods. He was allowed to draw on the timeline as well as make his own timeline. Sure, his timeline looked like scribbles, but he was able to describe his drawings to me and I labeled them.

Another huge part of successful homeschooling, in my experience, is doing research and planning. I trust my children to learn through their interests, but sometimes preparation helps. I research ahead of time even if my children choose a topic of study or field trip. I make sure we have library books, websites, field trip ideas, experiments to do, and other activities. Hands on learning works best for us. We still do things on the spur of the moment of course, but having knowledge and supplies help us to learn and have a starting point as we learn.

I do not think people have to homeschool children. I do think that no matter how many children you have, you can homeschool if you feel it will meet your children's needs. You do not need an education degree to do a great job. Just remember to be calm, take time to plan ahead, and try to be relaxed so that the children are able to really enjoy learning with you.

No comments:

Post a Comment