Monday Madness: How I Get Through Our Multi-Grade Homeschooling Day

I debated the term “Get Through” in the title.  Makes it sound like schooling the kids is rough.

I delete.


I retype.

I figured the controlled chaos of schooling 2 little ladies and caring for 2 even littler munchkins is in fact really challenging.  “Get through” is probably the best translation of the process.

But many have asked how it’s been going. How do I feel now that I have a “full time job”?  (ha, like being a stay at home mom of 4 wasn’t already full time- now I have another full time job added to the list of many full time jobs that encapsulate a mother’s definition).

So I thought about how I get through it.  And after the first day, where I begged for the bus to take them to school (figuratively speaking), I have a bit of perspective and somewhat of a system.

Here’s what we utilize on an independent level:

Both girls have the same of:

  1. My Calendar Notebook (ingeniously created by another blogger who then inspired many others but you can check out the printable pdf files  here and a previous post about this here)
  2. Handwriting Without Tears
  3. Explode the Code
  4. Singapore Math
  5. reading book

My oldest has (in addition to the list above):

  1. Wordly Wise 3000

Essentially, I have the assignments circled in each book and the girls sit down and begin working independently while I get my lessons for history, bible and  any anything else I need to work on with them independently (grammar, reading skills with my first grader, comprehension with my 3rd grader,  writing/creative expression, crafts, etc.).  This process takes about 35 minutes or so and it gives me sanity.  I can also set up busy bags and other activities for my itsy bitsy’s.

The other thing I do to “get through” it is to add an incentive system.

I wish everything could be intrinsically rewarded but sometimes those tangible extrinsic things are so super motivating.  Since my oldest is uber competitive and her sister is the class clown and a homeschool environment doesn’t really allow them to exercise those characteristics, the extrinsic incentive marble jar (baby food jar) has made its way into our classroom.

They get marbles for completing their work: (must do all three to get one marble)

  • in a timely fashion
  • neatly
  • without complaining or being difficult

Here’s the thing, they each have their own jar.  This fulfills my oldest’s competitive nature and it keeps my youngest’s silly style in check (because she is either secretly competitive or she just doesn’t want to be left out of the ‘prizes’).

When they fill their jar, they pick a prize.  Not rocket science, but it’s my sanity science 🙂

How do you  get through the day  in a multi-grade homeschool classroom?



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