Traditional teachers may have a large classroom of students, but they are all about the same age, in the same grade and focused on the same subject. For homeschoolers, this dynamic is very different when there are multiple siblings involved where everyone is at a different age, not in the same grade and not studying the same lessons in the core subjects. Parents who take the full responsibility of teaching have to find a way to make this work not only for the education portion but also in balancing the typical relationships of brothers and sisters working together.
One way to make this easier is to partner with an accredited home school program where each student uses their own electronic device to work on their assignments through the portal. They can be connected to the experienced teachers attached to the school program which allows more of a self-study approach instead of the parent trying to teach everyone at the same time. Another benefit of this method is that kids can spend time working on their own in a bedroom, outside or other part of the house so they can have their own private study area. This creates some degree of separation which helps students focus more on their work and allows them to personalize their study environment.
However, there are advantages to homeschooling multiple children that parents can leverage to create thought-provoking discussions, field trips and fun projects. Siblings know each other and they can bring out the best and worst in one another which means that PE activities can be tailored to the group’s dynamic in the form of games, races or events that work for the age range. Set aside time for the group to talk about what they are studying in history, science and the different subjects since older students will be able to share more information and younger students can learn from this which helps prepare them in their studies.
Siblings have their own opinion and creating opportunities for discussion in a homeschool environment, teaches them how to share their views, debate differing points and learn from one another. An accredited home school program will utilize the same curriculum for all grades so students will be learning the same concepts from the same online curriculum. The benefit is older students can help tutor the younger ones where they have difficulty thereby solidifying the concept for the one tutoring and giving the student being tutored a safe environment.
Successful homeschooling is all about creating balance between relationships, time spent together and apart, as well as differences between school time and family time. Siblings are students when schoolwork is being done but then after the day is finished, they should be treated as brothers and sisters with the typical issues that every family will see. Homeschooling can make these relationships stronger when balanced by the parent with right attitudes, resources and extracurricular activities. Parents are trying to create a feeling of both independence and dependence with brothers and sisters and knowing where the lines are is important and enormously rewarding. Talk to other homeschool families with similar situations and utilize an online homeschool program to help keep each student organized and focused.
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