Many times when people ask me this question, they want to know how I have time during my day to school all of my children.
First of all, I imagine they are thinking of “school” in the traditional sense, with rows of desks filled with students who are all in the same grade, looking at a teacher writing on a chalkboard in the front of the classroom.
That isn’t the only way to teach, though, and fortunately, there are many other ways to learn.
Our schooling takes place at the kitchen table, or on the couch, or all piled on Mommy and Daddy’s big bed together. Basically, whatever works for the situation works for us.
Obviously, if writing is required, the kitchen table works best, as it did when I was reviewing the Bill of Rights and each child was taking notes as I read.
If Mom is reading aloud and the children are taking turns giving an oral narration, or retelling, then the couch or bed is perfectly suitable for that.
Those are examples of times when all of the children can learn from the same lesson, albeit at different levels.
For example, my schedule allows for 30 minutes of history and/or science each day. I gather all of the children together and we read and discuss and experiment and create together, each according to his or her ability.
This same group method works well for Bible and Literature, but, obviously, subjects like math and spelling require more individualized instruction.
For those subjects, I have carved out time slots to be with each child individually, and, this part is key, each of the other children is assigned to a certain task, so that each person in the house knows what is to be taking place at that time. That way, there is no one wandering around with nothing to do but get into mischief.
For instance, while I am doing math with the eighth grader, the boy is reading aloud to the littles while the third grader is helping the first grader with her writing. There are few interruptions because everyone has a task to accomplish and knows what that task is.
Our day is mapped out in 30 minute increments, so if things go according to plan, each child gets the individual help they need and we have have tackled all of our school subjects.
Please, come back for the most important part of this series: Part 3 – Relying on God.