As a parent of a large homeschooling family you wonder if it's doable.
There's so much to consider, to worry about. It's overwhelming.
Here are two more tips -- tested and proven -- that will aide you in your noble quest for sanity, fun, and a fabulous education for your amazing family.
You've got so many things you're think about in a constant, steady stream. You've delegated jobs and responsibilities, but are concerned that after half a day it will all fizzle out to nothing more than a puddle of good intentions.
Take your list of delegated responsibilities (tip #9) and make them trackable for each person.
Make a checklist of daily tasks for each child, with a special place to keep it and a pen, marker, highlighter, sticker, or pencil set aside solely for this purpose. This is all the motivation my kids needed.
They are in charge of doing the task and marking it done.
[Tweet "Put your kids in charge of their daily tasks and they will take more ownership #homeschool #tip"]
Include tasks such as:
- Play with the baby
- Read to the toddler
- Go over skip counting with Jr.
Make their daily tasks required (schoolwork, chores, and misc) to be done before anything else. Rotate their responsibilities and switch it up.
Don't confine the children to a time, unless you really need it to be done at a specific time. If you allow them greater freedom by picking the order and the time they do things in, they will cooperate more and take better ownership of their checklists.
Perhaps if they do not do things correctly, or at all, or in a timely manner you could set a schedule for that list until they prove themselves otherwise. That's up to you.
Here are two resources for checklists and daily task sheets that I have used.
Free Accountability Printable -- Heather, over at OnlyPassionateCuriosity.com has so many wonderful printables. some free, some paid, but gosh, they are cheap and worth it! We used this checklist since I found it back in November 2014. Love it!
Betsy at Notebooking Nook has a bajillion amazing and awesome goodies. Check out this great student planner pack and assignment cards. We're going to give these a whirl this year!
You are homeschooling a lot of kids...at the same time. The kids all want your undivided attention...all at the same time. Foster independence in each child and have them rely on themselves more and more to learn.
This may hurt and you may want to punch me: let go of curriculum that is teacher-driven, teacher-led, teacher-powered, teacher teacher teacher. Aahhhhh!
Or come up with a great way to use it, but take out the heavy burden of doing it all always.
Your children may resist. In fact, they will.
I want my teacher back! I want you to give me the information! I don't want to do this by myself... I can't do this by myself.... MooooOOoommmmmm......!
Do not fall for it. Your children are brilliant. Even if they don't test high on the IQ, and in fact, you truly worry that they're really not that smart, they are. They are smart enough to do this. This is when it takes faith and trust from you to allow them this opportunity.
You're still there, you're still their teacher (or facilitator), you're just letting them take more control over their own education. This is a great way to teach choice and accountability, a great characteristic for us all.
[Tweet "Your kids may protest when you have them do more #homeschool work on their own. Don't fall for it."]
What do you do instead?
Switch to a child-led curriculum (Robinson Curriculum). Have them read more living, whole, rich books as their way of learning. Charlotte Mason method takes advantage of many living books. As do many Homeschooling methods.
Get your kids writing more. Write more papers, more poems, more journal entries. Have them start notebooking.
Give them individual work that can be done without mom hovering. I'm not saying give them busy work. I do not believe in busy work. In fact, that's one of the reasons I do not send my children to public school.
Here are some great resources for individual work for all ages:
- The Unworkbook (I want to use this myself)
- Fun Fact Cards
- 101 Independent Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Comic Books for Kids By Angela Newsom -- there are several different ones, some revolutionary, some religious.
See? There is TONS of goodness out there. You will need to do some prep work to get this all settled and ready to go. Take a bit of time one weekend, have someone help watch the kids, or have your husband take the kids out to the park while you stay home and just focus in on getting your stuff ready to go at a moment's notice.
If you don't get it all ready you'll never use it, or you'll get so stressed in the moment that you'll curse my name and wish you'd never read this stupid blog post.
#8 = checklists + daily tasks
#7 = independence + independent work (not busy work)
[Tweet "10 tips for #homeschooling large families. Can you guess what tips 8 and 7 are? "]
Tomorrow you'll get tips 6 & 5. I'll give you a hint: little.
Hey, if you have some great ideas to help with checklists and fostering independence, please tell me. I'm always on the hunt to add to my rotation.