I thought it wouldn’t be a terribly painful adjustment in teaching my two little ladies (3rd and 1st grade) regardless of the two preschoolers (age 2 and 1) running around in the background. I knew there’d be a bit of controlled chaos going on and an adjustment period in figuring out how to do a multi-age classroom. And, after all, it is day 2 of homeschooling so let’s not get too crazy into thinking the adjustment period isn’t going to continue on for a few more days and/or weeks.
But I am absolutely certain that change is blowing in the wind [regarding my lesson execution]. Today wasn’t a failure but I wouldn’t label it a success either. I know myself all too well and juggling back and forth between reading levels, skill abilities, and subject matters wasn’t the most effective or efficient. I saw the oldest waiting for her next steps while my youngest finished the same task 5 minutes after her sister completed it in a nano second.
I’m using an integrated curriculum (calendar, bible, history, science), but my kids are really not working on things at the same speed or skill level for me to keep them together in all things…. so why am I keeping them together for the rest of their subjects?! Duh right?!
LIGHT BULB MOMENT
Let them work independently of me and each other.
I just read an article about independent/self -instruction homeschooling. This type of schooling by no means alleviates the parent from teaching but it does allow the students to work independently and teach themselves to a certain extent. For example, I give my oldest her assigned chapter book reading, vocabulary, and math to do independently while I work on reading instruction and writing with my 1st grader. Then Miss 1st Grader gets her math, handwriting, and phonics to do independently while I work with the 3rd grader on writing composition, grammar, etc. The girls come together in a joint history lesson as well as bible (not in that order) and I save science for my hubby to do with them on Friday.
Sounds like something I need to try!
SHOUT-OUT TO MY CURRICULUM
In all fairness to my curriculum, I do have separate lessons for reading and math to meet skill levels. It’s a great program and by no means does it say it’s a mutli-age success package. It’s integrated- which is different than multi-age.
All the same, it’d be kinda nice for them to include a segment in the HUGE ‘how-to teach this curriculum’ section about meeting the needs of more than one student/grade level. After all, if I’m executing bible, science and history as a multi-age classroom why wouldn’t I try to keep them doing reading and math simultaneously?
TODAY LOOKED LIKE THIS
I worked so hard to keep both girls on target with Reading. Then waited until everyone had it done, then moved to math, waited, then moved to XYZ, waited— that I found myself working up a sweat! Plus, I don’t think I really focused on what each child needed as best I could. Though my youngest student knew what a noun was, my oldest could rattle off dozens of nouns as my youngest painstakingly connected the dots in her head from definition to actual word/noun. I cannot allow for one to be bored beyond belief while the other develops a headache from thinking so hard!
Tomorrow is a new day. Someone asked me if I had a schedule for the day. I know it’s essential at some point but I think for now I’m just going to try to figure out learning styles, speed, true ability levels and then hone in on a schedule later.
***Any multi-age classroom lesson execution or scheduling suggestions welcome… 🙂