Because Lynette is a mother of five, we have much to gain from her wisdom on teaching multiple ages at home! She makes excellent points concerning what education is and what it is not, and encourages us to develop our own philosophy for why we homeschool.
1.) What did your days look like when you were trying to give instruction to the older children with the little ones constantly needing attention? What were some favorite ways to keep younger children occupied while you taught your older children?
"I would say 'what to to with the little ones' is probably the most common difficulty homeschoolers may face. Manageable but difficult. We always had 'charges' where an older one was assigned to a younger child. The older was taught designated preschool activities like stroller time, backyard time, singing time, high chair cheerios time, Scripture memorization when they could talk, play dough time (the all time best pre school activity), interaction with educational toys, etc. This I 'recorded' as Early Childhood Education that I put on all their high school transcripts. Take advantage of that mid-morning baby/toddler nap to get lots done.
We did not have a 'rigid sit at a desk for hours' type home schooling, so younger ones could fit in easier."
2.) How did you handle the distracted child who had an, “I don’t want to do schoolwork” attitude?"
"If a child is complaining a lot about doing schoolwork maybe you have communicated a 'school as drudgery' attitude? Education is lighting a fire, not filling a bucket. We home schooled out of a Deut. 6:6,7 motivation, where it was more of a discipleship all day long vs home school for a few hours mentality. We did limited seat work, with much hands on, going on field trips, experiencing nature, library story time, lots of service and work and chores, and tons of reading out loud. Maybe you need to change your home school philosophy. Make sure to spend time educating yourself (more than you educate your child) about home schooling, education, early childhood, parenting, etc... It takes time to develop your philosophy and what the Lord is calling you to as a family. Spend lots of time seeking God for what this looks like for you....then experience His grace!!!"
In case you've missed past Q&A's, click below to hear from the other veteran homeschool mothers: