Now that I’m officially homeschooling two and have three more that are sort of ‘tagging’ along, I’ve been making major revisions and evaluating my previous schedule to try and include more of my children in more of the activities. Mind you, it’s not that I feel my younger three need to homeschool. . .but they really want to do something more formal than what we’ve been doing and so a compromise of sorts has been born.
One aspect of this new ‘compromised’ schedule is the first day of the month. The first day of every month, I’ve decided to set aside to do activities that can include everyone on some level. Art is a given because we can do that all at once but here are a few other ideas:
This year for Christmas, we bought each of our children a calendar that included some type of activities and/or learning information. For the younger ones, their calendars need to be colored so we set aside some time on this first day to do some coloring, and I sneak in some calendar work as well. Going over things like the date, the months of the year and the days of the week can all be done easily when you go over them quickly every day. It’s also great counting practice. For example. . .how many days until we go to Great Wolf Lodge? Or how many days until grandma’s birthday.
One thing I wanted my children to start working on was setting goals. For my two older children who receive a regular allowance, we set a goal of choosing something to buy at the end of the month. Then we plotted out exactly what was needed to get to that goal. The added advantage is that they now have a ‘chore list’ and at least for now. . .I’m not reminding them of their chores. For my 4 year old, this will have to be more of a weekly activity.
I’m starting to tie art more in with their history. Regardless of what we’re doing. . .everyone can participate. For the older children, I’ve focused on one or two artists or ideas and then on the first day of the month, we take time to engage in a ‘bigger’ project. This month, since the older children were studying Ancient cultures, we talked about some of the sculptures of Greek gods and goddesses that adorn the halls of our beloved Met. For art, we then went on to do our own sculptures. . .with the younger ones using play dough.
Teaching several ages can be a challenge. . .especially when you’re trying to fit in all those extras that make education fun! Taking one or two days per month might just be your solution!