Jump to content


Question about what order you teach your kids in?


Recommended Posts

I have 2 kids doing different grades. I am having a really tough time teaching them both at once. I don't know what to do! We have some subjects that we do together, but once we get the the subjects that are at their specific grade level, I am overwhelmed by both of them asking me things at once and I can't keep bouncing back and forth. I'll have 3 in a couple of years so I need to get this sorted out now.


Do you teach at different times? All together? How do you do it????:confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine are 9, 7, and 5, (plus a disruptive toddler). Last year, I had to set up something to be more effective with my teaching, b/c dc were constantly interrupting me while I was working with someone else.


First take into consideration the temperaments of your dc. My 7yo does not like to start school first thing in the morning, my 5yo will pull me out of bed to do school, and my 9yo has to work consistently all morning and into the early afternoon to get her work done.


I set up workboxes, so that I have the order of their work already set, and they don't need to ask me what comes next. My 9yo starts her day with her independent work while I work with the 5yo. During this time, my 7yo is playing and doing his best to keep the baby off the table. :001_smile:


When my 5yo is almost done with his work, I call in the 7yo to start his independent work (he only has about 1/2 hour of independent work). I put the baby down for her morning nap, send the 5yo off to play, then I work with my 9yo. She will usually have a couple of subjects (like math) where I need to get her started, then let her finish on her own. During that time, I call the 7yo in to work with me. When they are both done with mom-directed, individual work, I do combined subjects like history, science and read-alouds.


HTH. Let me know if I'm not being clear. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do both. It is hard, especially when they aren't very easy going kiddos;). Mine get on each others nerves a lot...well, and mine. I start off with some togetherness, doing handwriting and maybe some reading or memorization...like last year we worked on the books of the Bible together. This year I had intended on doing the states...but I haven't started that yet. I then go into rotating them. When they were younger, I included educational tv in the rotation. I'll have my oldest start on one thing at the table, while my other two are doing something easy. Spread out your subjects, so the ones that require more of mom with one child are set at the same time when another child is taking a break, reading, or doing something independent. There were times when mine were younger, that there just wasn't that many independent things they could do without me...so I went for simple. I worked on the basics, but not much more. I didn't start spelling until phonics was well on the way (my 7 yr old still hasnt' started spelling, I'll begin sometime later in the year with her). I also didn't start grammar until later, say 3rd grade. Here's an idea of what we are doing now, although things sometimes get flip flopped. Mine are 11, 9, and 7. Keep in mind, this is if we had a perfect day...we never have those. I have not done a history project yet, I just haven't redone my schedule to show this. Also, my son's storytime is usually at night before bed, because school this year is really dragging all day for us. And when you see T4L, that's when we are supplementing with http://www.time4learning.com. I use it as independent school time while I work one on one with the other kids. I've used computer games quite a bit as an educational filler time to give me an opportunity to help another. I hope this helps...it takes me several weeks to rotate, flip flop, then finally figure out what works best for us...and this changes every year with their development, and our curriculum.


1) Vocabulary Cartoons or memorization


2) Handwriting


3) Carson - math

Adison - science, Bible, Pathway reading

Molly - T4L & math facts


4) Carson - Bible Quiet Time

Adison - math

Molly - phonics and WWE


5) Carson - English

Adison - T4L, math facts, typing, piano

Molly - piano & typing


6) Carson - science and poetry

Adison - English

Molly - math & science


7) Carson - Typing, history, independent history

Adison & Molly - MFW subjects


8) Carson - Bible study or Geography with mom


9) Carson - storytime and narraration, history project, poetry, etc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We begin our day together with the Bible, then I spend the rest of the morning working with each of my boys. I find that staggering subjects works well for us.


For example, oldest ds does handwriting independently while I introduce the spelling list/lesson to my younger ds. Then, they switch. While younger ds begins handwriting, I introduce the spelling lesson to my older.


I do the same type of thing with math and grammar. One boy will work independently on math flashcards or a portion of his assignment that he already understands. Meanwhile, I do the grammar lesson with my younger. Then, we switch.


I also stagger independent reading and Writing. One boy reads, the other does IEW Writing with me.


At the beginning of each school year, I make myself a schedule and try to stick with a regular daily plan. I keep things on hand that they can do I need "filler" time. For example: memorization work, vocab flash cards, math facts, Latin conjugations or declension charts, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 5 students and shuffle through 4 every day. (My oldest 2 take turns with me)


I divide the school work load into 2 categories. Things they can do alone and things they need to do with me.


I spend between 1-2 hours with each child starting with the youngest. My other children are working through their independent list while waiting for their turn which I decided works better to be a TIME than whenever I get to you. 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 3:00 are the times.


There are some subjects that fit in both categories...alone and with me. In those cases I will teach the lesson during our "meeting" and assign homework for independent work.


They are not allowed to interrupt me and I am not in an area that is convenient for being interrupted. If something is causing them difficulty they are to set it aside until our "meeting." Now sometimes they will pop in and ask a very quick question with a very quick answer and I am O.K. with that but it did take a while before they understood what was acceptable and what was not. I don't understand this math problem...not. Where was that new history book I'm supposed to be reading?...O.K. If they pop in with an unacceptable question I tell them to save it. But they are interrupting less and less. It helps that I am not easily accessible.


It did also take a bit of training to get them to stay on task without my presence. I think it helps knowing that at 10:30, for example, is accountability time. XYZ, better be done because I'm meeting with mom and she will check it.


I do have a "class" with my elementary students after lunch. We do history, science, and read-alouds together for an hour to an hour and a half.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well...right now I am working with my 1st grader for about an hour. Then I do some all together stuff (everyone listens to me read and we discuss). Then I work with my 3rd grader. My goal is to get everything done by lunch, but it depends on how the baby is doing.


Later, if it works with the baby, I may read aloud more. My read alouds are for religion, science, and history. We rarely do projects in those subjects. It's mostly reading and discussion, and I don't stress if we don't get to them.


The other kids play or hang with me while I'm working one-on-one. I'm too lazy and cheap to have filler activities for them. I would get far too stressed with trying to make the timing work out perfectly if I was bouncing back and forth. Next year will have to be different, though, since I'll be adding another dc to the rotation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have twin girls (grade 5) and brother (grade 6), I put them together in Grammar/History/Science/writing(Write Reflections) and that helps-these are subjects I am involved in the teaching, hands on!

The do independently, word wise, Spanish, typing,

The twins do Spelling together, while I work with Brother on AAS. (he is a struggling speller)

Math! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

I have them all in MuS, but my son pulled away triumphantly! So just today I had this marvelous idea! I will try it out tomorrow, to see it's actual feasibility. (thank you for this thread, as it actually came to me as I was typing all the a's in ah!)

We do two Math curriculum, I have AleK on computer which is very independent. I just switched out the time my son usually does AleK to be his MuS time! This means, my walk (me exercise goes back 45 min)...lol

then I will only be working with my twins with MuS in the AM while my son is independent on AleK(computer math)

woo hoo!!


I once again feel like Gumby-always flexible! lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do "content" together and "skills" separately. We start our morning with Circle Time together (memory work, some read alouds, etc.) Then, I work with N-boy for 30-45 minutes (phonics & math). Next we're back together for Geography. Then, I play with R-girl for 30 minutes (puzzles, preschool songs/books, projects). Back together for Spanish. Then I work with M-girl for an hour or so (grammar, phonics, math, logic). The children have either independent things when I'm working with their sibling, or they're excused to play. We do science and/or art (in theory) after lunch.


This was our past years' schedule. I need to look at our 2011 schedule soon :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I teach as many subjects as I can together (like bible, history, science, art, music, and read alouds). I require a little more from my older child. I do teach phonics, spelling, writing, grammar, and math seperately. It is harder to teach this subjects together. While I am working with one child, the other does handwriting, copy work, or plays blocks with the toddler and then we switch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have my kids doing as many online programs as possible. For example, my middle schooler is doing Park City Independent so he does EVERYTHING online. I also use Math Whizz for my 9 year old and Dreambox for my younger kids. That way I can work one on one with one of my kids while the rest use computers. Time4Learning is also a good choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I adopted a "tutoring time" method years ago (got the idea from Manager's of Their Homes). Early on I spend about 30 minutes with each child. We go over anything we need to from the previous days' work and any special instructions for today's work.


I use workboxes, so I organize my kids' day so that one has independent work while I am doing mom-time with the other. I choose subjects that usually don't have questions for the independent work at this time.


Our rule for mom-time is that you may not interrupt except for emergencies (blood, broken bones, imminent danger...). If you have a question and can't do your assignment, you are to do everything else that you can first and then come back to that question. If you still can't figure it out, go to the next independent subject and ask me when mom-time with your sibling is done.


I teach together subjects first (for us that's Bible and History), then I do mom-time with my oldest while my youngest does 30 minutes of reading. Then I do mom-time with my youngest, and then her spelling, while my son does math or science. Then I do another one on one subject with my son. After that, they have few questions.


Sometimes kids really just need to read the instructions--so I always have my kids read them to me if they have a question. About 75% of the time, just that answers their question, LOL! Next I have them tell me what it means. Sometimes it clicks for them during that. The times it doesn't, then I explain and/or demonstrate.


HTH some! When they are young, they often need lots of one on one--and I just alternated back and forth all day but having the "no interrupting" rule really helped each one (and me!) to concentrate! Merry :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've never stuck with a specific plan but most days it's I work with one on their math lesson while the other older one does something independent like a copywork page, then I switch and continue like this for each subject we don't do together as a group. If they have nothing idependent left,one of the olders will play one of our educational games with my youngest ( I love this because it helps the older one reinforce things like math facts while teaching the youngest his) I always do all of the work with my youngest once the olders are done for the day.


Today we switched things up a bit and they really liked it. I started with my youngest and we did all his K work while the olders finished up some chores and did some reading. Then my oldest came in and I worked with him on grammar, spelling and math while my middle daughter and youngest watched a netflix show. Then we took a lunch break and after lunch the oldest and middle did science with me, then the oldest played board games with the youngest while middle daughter and I worked through her phonics/reading and math.


We may keep things like this because they love having me all to themselves. I just took my Kindle in the school room and read while they worked after presenting the lesson. That way I was right there if they needed me, but wasn't bored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I start with my youngest school aged child with math, LA and reading/phonics while the others start their independent work. When he is done he can go to play while I start with the next youngest who has already done math and independent assigned reading by this time. I work my way upwards in this way. Most of my children are very independent in their work which helps.


Then, after lunch I have read-aloud with ds6 while the others do chores then we read aloud all together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually starting a new schedule tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. My plan is to work a solid hour with my k'er (she's capable of this and might even finish all her work in that time) while my olders are working. Next I'll work an hour with my 3rd grader. We'll go over math, do grammar and writing (might not need an hour for all that). Then I'll do the same with my 5th grader.


My older two have plenty that they can do independently, but now, instead of waiting until they're finished with math, cle reading, spelling, poetry memorization, logic, and piano to work with them one on one, I'm going to pull them as soon as I'm ready for them. That may mean that my 3rd grader has to put reading aside while we work together for an hour and then go back to finish it when we're done. We'll see how it works. Today I was trying to teach Saxon math to k'er while the other two were asking me questions. :tongue_smilie:


After lunch we do history, Bible, science, and read-aloud together. I may have to move Latin to after lunch too with this new schedule, not sure yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do bible, history, science together, so it's just LA & math that we do separately. When I'm helping one with math, I will have the other do silent reading in the other room, and then switch. When I'm helping one with LA, I usually have the other do a CLE workbook (love these!).


I have them do read alouds to me later in the day, so one is usually drawing or something, and then they switch. It's worked pretty well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started out this year with 5th grade and K (although two months into it we decided to put a stop to K for the time being and try again next year). I basically focused more on my oldest with the things she DID need help with or that I liked doing together with her, and then when she was doing something that she could do independently, I'd work with my younger. Or sometimes I totally finished school with her first and then moved on to him, but that worked okay for me since we don't spend as much time on our school day as some of you guys do to begin with :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My days are going like this:


1 hour with my ds7 - other 2 are playing


1 hour with my dd5 - other 2 are playing


All 3 together for an hour - read alouds/games/projects


1 hour with ds4 - other 2 playing (he doesn't do much "schoolish" work, but still wants the mommy-time;))




1 hour with ds7 - other 2 are playing


Kids are outside to play and I pass out.:lol:


We do more reading in the afternoons & evenings unless we are running errands or going to the zoo...


It's much easier for *me* to compartmentalize the time by child (even if I don't watch the time to the minute), partly b/c my dc better understand when NOT to interrupt a lesson. At their ages, I don't expect any of them to do work outside of their allotted time though they do a lot of writing for fun, listening to audiobooks and playing with math manipulatives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well...right now I am working with my 1st grader for about an hour. Then I do some all together stuff (everyone listens to me read and we discuss). Then I work with my 3rd grader. My goal is to get everything done by lunch, but it depends on how the baby is doing.


This is how we do things, as well. My 1st grader (middle daughter) happens to wake up earlier than her older sister, so it makes sense to me to work with her first. Her work only takes about an hour, also. My 3rd grader is a slow worker so we don't often finish before lunch, unfortunately, but I try hard to meet that goal of being completely done with table work by 1pm/lunch.


The girl who is not doing schoolwork plays with the baby, but on occasion, the baby will sit at the table with us and color or paint. She says she is doing "baby school". :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 2 and we have tried it a variety of ways. What has been working for us for the last year and a 1/2 has been working with my oldest first and then while she does her independent work, I work with my youngest. They both finish up around the same time.


If we are doing a read aloud, we sometimes do it at bedtime or while they are eating breakfast.:001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After several years of trial and error, here is what we do. One of my dc was born on an odd day and one was born on an even day. We begin each day doing any subjects that both dc are working on together (science, history, poetry, vocabulary, music, art, etc.) Then we do one on one work. On the odd days, the child that was born on an odd day goes first and works with mom on any subjects where they need me for, then they go and work independently while I work with the other child. On the even days, it works the same way with the other child. We use a modified workbox system so the kids know what they need to work on on their own. We started this towards the end of last year and so far it's been working great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Take this with a grain of salt, though! ;) I find bouncing back and forth to be exhausting for ME, and it doesn't really seem productive for the children, either. As much as possible, I try not to bounce. :D


We begin with prayer. That seems to get us all, me included, in the right frame of mind to be teachable, cooperative, and humble. (5 minutes)


Next, I set my oldest (S) to work on something independent (like copying her spelling words into her "dictionary"). I spend time with the twins (H & M), doing some fun (for them) activity that is VERY teacher-intensive, such as handwriting. (5 minutes)


Then I leave H & M with something independent, instruct them that I am going to "teach S, so don't interrupt that," and then go teach S something teacher-intensive, such as grammar. (5-10 minutes)


I leave S with some work (math worksheet? copywork? handwriting?) and get back to H & M (conversation? counting? a game?). Usually, if it's a game, S will work quickly and then join us for another round of Bug Bingo! ;)


Then I send S into another room with H or M. She is a great reader, so she either reads to her little sister or the little sister reads to her from Cobweb the Cat. They really enjoy this, and usually don't fight too much. While this is going on, I do a reading lesson with the remaining four year old. I can only stay awake for one of these a day, :sleep: so we switch off the twins the next day.


Then the twins have Mat Time. They spread out their little quilts on the floor (on opposite ends of the room), choose a toy/bin from the shelves, and play on their mats. We have only Two Rules: (1) they may not get up; and (2) they must play quietly. This has been a wonderful way for them to get some time "apart" from each other. They do enjoy this, and it gives me time to work with S on her math, narration, spelling, and so on.


After about 15 minutes of Mat Time, the twins switch mats! :D And, voila! I have about 10 more minutes to work with S before the monkeys want a snack.


Then we break for snack. Sometimes, I'll get it ready, set M & H to eat it, and hold S back until she finishes one thing (this tends to motivate her to not poke with it).


After snack, the littles go play in their bedroom, usually with music on. Then I might do some phonics or reading practice with S.


Sometimes, I send S into my bedroom to listen to math fact songs with headphones (she loves this), to work on her memory work in front of the mirror (so fun to spy on her admiring her pretty self), or to simply read her chapter book. She does like having some time in my room, but I try not to isolate her all the time! A little bit goes a long way.


Then they play outside, come in and get washed up, eat lunch, and we have a Read Aloud. I aim for 45 to 90 minutes each day -- that's the goal, anyway.


Then we all have Nap/Quiet Time. The girls all sleep for two hours, and still have no trouble sleeping 12 hours each night. Nap is wonderful.


After nap, they play, do crafts, eat supper, and we might read a bit more -- the twins with Daddy, and S with Mommy. That's our basic routine.


For your two year old, you might want to set up some toys in bins on shelves, and also set aside a "mat" for Mat Time. At first, I had all three girls do Mat Time together, playing for about 7 minutes, then switching. They have all built up to being able to play with the same set of toys for about 20-30 minutes, but I rarely stretch it out that long. Usually, 15 minutes for Round A, and 10 minutes for Round B. If you teach your toddler now to enjoy playing in this way for a part of each school day, you will eventually get about 25 minutes to work with your older student.


FWIW, though, I think this only works (for me) if I have spent time with the little ones first. HTH.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think all these responses are great, too! I'm taking notes! I also have a 5 year old & a 7 year old (and will be 'full-time' homeschooling my third child in a few years). I can very much relate to how difficult it is to give individual instruction at these young ages.


What is working right now for us is staggering when they do their handwriting, math, and workbooks, so that I can give each son a little one-on-one instruction. And by little I mean 10 - 15 minutes of mostly uninterrupted time. :) I also purchased some of the Kumon workbooks to help pad that time a little. My kids love the connect-the-dots and maze ones. If set my 5 year old up with his MCP Phonics worksheets and he finishes before his brother and I are done, then he works on his Kumon book. It also helps that they don't think of those books as "school" so they view it as having fun, free time - even though they are reinforcing their numbers, and such. :)


Anyway, that's my experience with try to balance teaching two. Hope it's helpful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, I have a 3rd grader, 2nd grader, K-er and a 3 yro.


I threw my hands up in the air this year and completely combined the 3rd grader and 2nd grader.


I work with the K-er separately, but NOW I have the 3 yro sit in on the K-er's classes. I've even been making copies of the K-er's work and giving it to the 3 yro to "do school". Otherwise, the 3 yro is rolling all over the floor, asking the K-er to "come and play Barbies" while I try to do MFW K. :glare:


When possible, I include the K-er with the 3rd and 2nd grader. For example, we are starting a Unit Study on Farmer Boy. I'm assuming this will take up most of our school day until it's over. I'm having all 4 kids sit through this class. This week, we're going on a "Tree Identification Hike", I've got a coloring book about what purpose trees serve in nature, they'll have copywork, some mapwork, we're going to make food that goes along with the chapter...you get the idea. It's easy for me to include EVERY kid when we do something like this. And, yes, I know that Farmer Boy Unit Study is NOT classical ed...:blush: But, hey...we do Prima Latina and WWE! :thumbup1:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...