You want to homeschool your large family, but how will you manage books, record keeping, and your sanity? What are the best methods for homeschooling the large family?
Choosing the right curriculum is vital, but where do you begin? Over the years, we’ve used a variety of curriculum that’s served us well during particular seasons.
3 methods for homeschooling the large family
1) Textbook Methods
Textbook methods are considered easiest to implement and keep organized. After learning to read, your children can work on each subject independently. Textbook methods are also great if you think your kids may transition into traditional schools.
In our family, traditional methods work great when we’ve had several children in therapies. Everyone can pick up where they left off, regardless of our crazy schedule.
Some of our favorite textbook methods:
My son on the autism spectrum seems to work best with traditional methods, and they provide the most order and structure for him.
Online traditional methods:
Depending on your child’s ability, both of these can be tweaked to be mostly independent.
2) Unit Studies
Combine your children by using unit studies. This usually means children learn history, Bible, and science together. After mom reads from a couple of books, each student completes an activity that fits his or her level.
Our hands-down favorite curriculum that enables us to combine everyone together:
The writers behind MFW have created a program in which I can teach all of my children, from preschoolers through 8th grade, within four hours. While my older children are enjoying “Book Basket,” I work one-on-one with my Kindergartener and Preschooler.
MFW has a workshop with ideas for working with our little ones and suggests giving them the first part of the school day. This means that I may spend half an hour with my preschooler first thing in the morning, begin working with my older children, and then work with my Ker. I love the lesson plan grid, the supply lists, and that it suits a variety of learning styles.
Focus on reading in the early years, and your children can work independently as soon as possible.
While this is similar to #1, it’s different in the sense that instead of a child having only textbooks, these families have their older, independent readers work with a variety of curriculum that suits their individual learning style.
During a difficult few months, allowing my oldest daughter to use a literature-rich curriculum that she could use independently was fantastic. Fortunately, she’s an active reader and thrives on independent work.
Several of the options in #1 can be used independently.
As a mom, I think my sweetest memories are from the years we’ve used My Father’s World; I love learning together and knowing what my children are reading. But from my children’s perspective, several said they loved the independent work. They liked not having to wait on me to begin school and following as many rabbit trails as possible. If they wanted to delve deeper into a topic, no problem there either.
Have you followed any of these approaches in your homeschool? What are your thoughts?
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