Homeschooling can get pretty crazy, right? With more than one, two, three or more children in the mix, how do you find peace during a school week? In my first post about planning for peace, I talked about clearing the calendar with things we really don't need and re-evaluating our "have to's".
In my second post about planning for peace, I talked about planning around your quiet time. In this post, I'm going to talk about grouping. Grouping simplifies. I like simplicity, don't you?
Let's see how to make the most of the school day and plan for peace.
When there are several things happening at once, I get stressed pretty quickly and do not feel peaceful. And you know what? Neither do my children, but there are some ways you and I can minimize those occurrences.
By maximizing the subjects you can do together (with the most amount of children at one time), you can pack a punch and minimize the craziness. This is easy to this with some subjects, and not so efficient with others.
Grouping in ELA Blocks
The easiest subject to group your ELA (English Language Arts) block. You can do this by teaching from literature. Choose read alouds that are appropriate for at least two of your children close to the same ages. Ask reading comprehension questions while you have them together.
If age appropriate, for example, point out parts of speech in the books. Talk about nouns on each page, verbs, etc. ELA skills easily spread across several age ranges. For more details on how to teach from literature, you can read my post here.
Then allow them to work in a comprehension book that goes with their read alouds- if your curriculum calls for that. Children in 2nd and up should be able to answer written comprehension questions independently.
What about Science and Social Studies/History?
Reading trade books about science and social studies concepts together is great. Reading historical fiction to your children also helps develop a sense of a time period!
For the most part, math would have to be done separately unless you have primary age children. A calendar wall is a great way to tie their math time together. With calendar wall, you can work on skip counting, weather, days of the week, using a calendar, base tens, money values, and more!
Grouping with Looping
Sarah McKenzie talks about looping in her book, Teaching from Rest. Looping means you have a specific time(s) in the day you loop subjects you want to get to during the week. You may be able to group your children in some aspects of a loop.
For example, in our afternoon loop, we have memory work about 3 times a week, music theory once, art once, home economics and piano once. Since I have a preschooler and a first grader, that's a big spread, but I can still group them with art, music theory, memory work and home economics.
Look at who you can group when you loop. It'll help you manage the loop time more peacefully.
Take a look at your children's ages and see who you can group together. Reading and grammar cover many ages. Why not do it together? Look at math and see what basic skills you can work on with more than one child at a time. Check your loop to group!
Let's see if we can maximize efficient learning time and minimize the craziness! I'd love to hear from you. If you try groupings, let me know how it goes!
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