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Homeschooling brings so much to your family. There are many joys in seeing all the milestones your children move through both large and small. However, there are also many challenges!
If you have a large family it can sometimes feel like you’re trying to climb a mountain on a treadmill! There are many things that we can do to make our job easier, reduce stress and bring more joy to our days. These are 3 things I’ve found that really make my job easier over the years.
Planning or Scheduling Your Homeschool Day
I’m naturally drawn to unschooling learning methods, but with a larger family, it just doesn’t work well for us. We need some guidance. Not necessary a strict schedule, but a plan to help guide us through our day.
I’ve been using Homeschool Planet this past year to schedule my children’s core work and it’s been a huge success! You can use it online to work from or print off the lesson schedule.
Many of our children’s classes are online and this helps even my younger children to be somewhat independent and just work down the list I’ve made for them that day. Which brings me to another important step, independence.
I like to encourage my children to start working independently on projects as soon as possible. No, this doesn’t mean that I toss a workbook at them and walk away! (smile) I start with fun projects that get their creative minds going. It’s a slow process, at first, to start letting them have more and more free time in their work, but it really pays off in the end.
Starting with fun independent work like drawing or painting a narration instead of pages of math work helps your child to enjoy being allowed to work on their own. As their reading skills improve you won’t have to be sitting there reading all the questions in the book out loud to them, or scribing the narrations.
I know that it can seem very overwhelming when you have to help your child with every step of the process. This stage really doesn’t last that long, try to slow down and enjoy it! There will come a time when you wish you could just curl up on the couch and buddy read. It comes faster than you think…
Cut Out The Busywork!
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to simply cut out the busywork. Your day is going to be full enough without adding many extra subjects, lapbooks and a zillion art projects! These things are great, but if it adds stress to your day stop planning them.
If your child loves to create lapbooks then let them make them in their own free time. As your children get older and are working more independently they can take some control in their learning and spend the afternoon learning all of the extra subjects they are interested in.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing more about how I combine our children in subjects and use curriculum as a tool, not a slave.
What are your best tips for homeschooling a larger family?