I get asked one question often. How do I homeschool so many kids of different ages without burning out? I’ll give you the quick run down: A great routine, lots of patience, deep breaths, proper perspective, and pouring my heart out to God in prayer.
I want to share with you a little secret. I’m not a patient person and I very rarely keep the proper perspective. This school year I recognized that I couldn’t do it all and I needed wisdom. I love what James says, in the Bible, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5
So, in the weeks before starting our school year, and completely frustrating myself with a schedule that wouldn’t work, I asked God for wisdom. And yes, God answered.
I realized that I needed to remember why I’m teaching them.
I could clearly see that by being impatient I would just frustrate the kids.
I learned to take a deep breath if my patience was wearing thin.
I saw that by placing too much on my schedule I WOULD burn out and so with the kids.
We started school at the very beginning of August and now, being 8 weeks in, I know we have gotten off to a great start. This year we have been using our finished basement as a kind of home base of homeschooling. We have a big open space with desks and a smaller room where we keep our bins and books for this school year, along with other supplies.
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This year we have children in:
plus a toddler
Our 10th grader is in a school for special needs at this point. So that leaves me with 4 kids in K-8th.
It took a little bit of tweaking and lot of praying (for wisdom) to get our schedule to work. It flows pretty seamlessly now.
We school 5 days a week (Monday-Friday except for co-op days which means we finish in the afternoon) and we start our day around 6:30am with reading of the Bible.
My 8th grade son and I are reading through a Bible in a Year (Chronological Version) which we are making our way through. We typically read 1 or 2 days worth in a day (the Chronological Bible is using a 7 day Reading Schedule instead of 5).
My 6th, 8th, and any of the Youngers who want are awake then read one days reading of The 10 Minute Bible Journey (published by Master’s Books) and also available on Amazon with my affiliate link:
After our Bible readings we eat breakfast with all the kids and we do art history or music history during this time.
We are currently studying Bach and Leonardo DaVinci. Affiliate link:
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We read or listen to music during breakfast.
After breakfast, we break up into our own independent studies. The middle schoolers have their own work to do on their own in the morning and the Kindergartener and 2nd grader work with me sometimes together and sometimes separately. Our preschooler and toddler play together nearby (our downstairs is made up of a series of rooms which are all attached with open doorways) and they join us for story time mid morning.
The younger kids do art/music, math, phonics, social studies and reading every day. We do science twice a week.
We meet back up for lunch and the littles take a nap at this time. During nap time is when I do read aloud to the older kids, teach science to my 8th grader, and cover any questions the middle schoolers have about assignments. If time allows we also drag out a few board games before nap time is over. We also get out and play in nature during our afternoons. If the day is too dreary we play some PE/Gym games at home in our basement. More on that later.
In my next blog post, I’ll share the curriculum we are using and loving this school year!