Homeschooling challenges

Homeschooling challenges

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Homeschooling challenges exist for everyone, but homeschooling with multiple grade levels with toddlers interrupting can amp the stress levels. Yet, it can be done. You manage somehow. You’ll get through it, and one day, when you look back, you’ll be glad you persevered.

A homeschool mom with multiple grade levels to teach with or without babies or toddlers needs detailed lesson plans, good organization, and plenty of grace.

Homeschooling multiple grades

How I handled homeschooling challenges

Two to three to five years space my children apart. When my youngest was a newborn, my oldest began eighth grade. So, I had a newborn, a toddler, and three in homeschool that year. If memory serves me right, I taught a second grader, a fifth grader and an eighth grader. Yes, the eighth grader, with direction, can work on his schoolwork alone, but a second grader still needs one on one interaction. The fifth grader falls in between.

Mom gets tired, and sometimes patience wears thin. Occasionally, I shortened lessons or pushed them to another day. Sometimes your school day is just long. Most days we completed all the lessons for the day, but ending times varied. I remember finishing near supper-time more than once. We all preferred not to do that. Homeschooling revolved around life. Days look different. That’s okay.

I carried my babies with me or held them on my lap sometimes or set them in a swing or bouncy seat for them to observe the action. As babies grew, I included little songs and actions with their own little moments of interaction, so they were learning too. You just learn to go with the flow.

Homeschooling challenges require grace

Going with the flow may be difficult for some. I like to stick to a schedule so whenever the schedules got wonky—which was more often than not—I felt my insides grow anxious. Don’t do that. It results in everybody getting stressed. Instead, take a breath, take a break, walk away for a few minutes—whatever—but don’t get so serious like I did. It doesn’t really matter if you stick to the schedule.

One thing I learned over the years is that everything gets done and works out somehow in the end, and that is all that matters.

I busied my toddlers with coloring books, blocks, those sewing cards, and even an educational, half-hour movie or Veggie Tales movie. (And yes, sometimes movies only entertained, but I limited television time for everyone. I prefer my children be active and outside not inside by the TV.) While students studied, I read a story with the younger children. I sprayed shaving cream on a part of the kitchen table or on their chunky play table and let them draw pictures in the foam. I brought out the play dough or paints or puzzles.

Our living room and kitchen stretch into one big room where I can keep an eye on everyone. Older kids could do lessons in their rooms and report back to me if they had questions or were ready for assignments to be checked. Younger kids worked at different spots on the kitchen table.

Experiment to find what works

Working with different grade levels meant figuring out which subjects I could get the older kids working on that would give me time to work with the younger student. For example, I could have the older kids work on their math while I listened to the younger child read.

Children learned to wait if I was busy with a sibling. Older kids took the initiative to look at the lesson plans and see what they could do next. Younger kids could work on their penmanship and spelling if I was busy with an older sibling.

It’s a balancing act that each mom juggles and adjusts. Every day is different.

If someone gets sick, the schedule gets altered or thrown out the window.

Learning opportunities exist everywhere

Older kids sometimes help younger kids. Everything provides learning opportunities and character building.

Please don’t stress over it though. You will figure out what works for your family.

Other homeschool moms, please share your tips and stories with our new homeschooling moms about your homeschooling challenges and how you overcame them.

In the end, our kids learn. The greatest lesson may just be learning to work with each other.

God bless you as you prepare for another school year.

What works for you?

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash.

2 Replies to “Homeschooling challenges”

  1. This is so encouraging! I’m in the thick of this trying to figure out how to make this work. It feels so chaotic with 2 little ones wanting to perpetually interrupt! Currently nothing works. Ha! So just soaking up this advice.

    1. I’m glad to encourage you. It may feel like nothing is working, but more is working than you might see. Hang in there! A house full of little ones does get chaotic. What a blessing these days are because they really do fly by, although it doesn’t seem like it at the time! LOL It’s normal. Praying for you.

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