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How Different Is It Teaching More Children Than Usual?

How Different Is It Teaching More Children Than Usual

How Different Is It Teaching More Children Than Usual

It has been our 4th month in homeschooling 3 sons with three different ages and levels. My eldest is now 13 years old, my second is now 12 years old, and my youngest is now 8 years old. Before this year, we only had 2 sons with 1 year difference in age and level for 4 years. It is a struggle for me to get my youngest homeschooled. I have done a lot of preparation before he was in the elementary level, but it was canceled as my hubby disagreed. Therefore, I was very surprised when my hubby wanted him being homeschooled as well. I prepared a lot to give the best for three of my sons. We have a huge responsibility for our sons with the choice we make.

Well, I was a teacher in a private elementary school. However, It is very different to handle somebody else’s children from my own sons. The students in my classes had different family background and I was only responsible more to their academic development than their personal characters. Being a teacher at school is a profession that give me income while being a homeschooling mom is a lifetime investment for my children. Although I was a teacher, teaching 1 more son daily give me some difference. How different is it teaching more children than usual?

Problems Might Occur

  1. More crowded space
    The “classroom” where you have will automatically more crowded than usual.Although we only have one more child join in the room to study, the crowdedness can be felt. The crowded space will potentially give more problem as children become less comfortable than usual.
  2. Divided concentration
    The “risk” of divided concentration is increased for most children who have just got new situation. They need more time for adaptation. The more number of personal added up to our “schooling time” also give some distraction to my elder children, but it didn’t take a long time for them to adapt.
  3. Limited attention
    Homeschooling more child giving me the ability to give less attention to the “old” participants. Both of the elder children are demanded to be more independent in the academic learning due to the new comer who needs more attention in the beginning. I feel that there is a benefit from this point. The older kids become more mature than before.
  4. The high need of being tolerant
    Tolerance among children is built naturally when a new comer joins to our group. It might not happen automatically, but it raises gradually as they feel the high need to respect each other to make themselves feel better. They start to accept one each other as they know each other better.
  5. The risk of feeling left out
    When you have another child joins your homeschooling study time, you might feel too excited or nervous. Unfortunately, you might also underestimate the other children (usually the older one) so that any of your children will be left out in terms of academic or personal attention. If you feel that you have already included them all, you need to check with them. They might feel different from what you think.

Anticipation to The Problems

Anticipating the complicated problems that possibly happen, I found that the tips below very useful helping myself in managing the children with different background

Be Strategic with Position

The problem related with space often appears although it might not be too obvious. The less space is not the only problem. The sitting position will usually a problem. One child might not be comfortable and suitable to sit with certain child. This problem often happens in the school classroom, but I am sure that children will be able to get more with a better physical environment.

Being a homeschooling mom, you should be better than a classroom teacher at school since you know your “student” better than the teacher does. Based on their characters and learning styles, you should be able to match their position so they get the most comfortable position.

You should also think about your position. Get the best spot where you can handle them more easily.

Prioritize Kids That Can Work Independently

Another thing that you might need to think is your strategy in giving all of them fair attention. It is quite difficult to decide which child that you want to prioritize in giving instruction and helping.

I have made a lot of mistakes in this area. Honestly, I neglected my older children a little when I started this year with my youngest child. I don’t want you to make the same mistake. What I learn from the mistake, I should have given priority to children that can work independently first. Once they can run, I can go on with the ones who need more attention personally. At the same time, I will give a break time to the one who needs more approach. When there is more than one child that need priority, I will usually let the other have some break time so that he won’t be distracting. Arranging the break time is usually helpful for us.

Being Alerted Anytime

Controlling more children needs practice also. Giving attention to certain child needs to be accompanied by being alerted to the others. Being watchful with your senses is very important. Have you ever heard a teacher with 3 eyes? That is what I try to explain. 2 eyes should be to one child and the others should be to others. Your ears will also be helpful to your eyes as well.

Being alerted will prevent further “accident” or any misbehavior. Misbehavior or any distraction from kids usually don’t happen at once. Like a disease, it usually has symptoms that trigger.

Being alerted will be also helpful for you to know the problems other children have while you are working with the other child. The easiest way to know my children thought and intentions is by looking at their eyes. Eyes is like a mirror.

Respect Each Other

Being respectful is really hard to train to children. The respect should happen between the homeschooling mom and children. We need to respect our children and children should respect you, both as a mom and a teacher in this caase. Besides, they should also respect each other as well. The point is how to get everyone respect each other? Teaching children how to put themselves on other’s shoes is one way to make respect as a habit.

Alway remind children and ask what they will feel when they are treated the same thing as what other do. If they want to be treated positively, then they need to treat others positively, including respect others. Thus, all of you will be able to control yourselves.

Don’t Forget to Praise Them Positively

Giving an expectation toward children is much easier rather than telling them not to do something. It also happens when you praise one child with more exposure, other children will usually follow the expectation our of the praise you give to other children.

Always being expected to do what parents want is also frustration when there isn’t any reward. A praise is a special reward for children who have done and behaved well.

You should also give everyone praise when you find everyone in the group has done something positive so that they will know your standard and expectation in the group.

What are your stories in homeschooling more children than usual?

Here are some wonderful homeschooling books to help you more:

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