Right out of the gate, your school schedule can sink you if it’s not realistic. Here are some scheduling things that worked for me:
Schedule built-in breaks by alternating lessons that don’t require your direct teaching. For our first year of home school, this was enough. I scheduled a 20 minute break every hour or so to meet the toddler’s needs. I would do this by alternating lessons that required me to teach with lessons like copy work (handwriting) and the foreign language lesson (which was on a CD.) My students also had a 15 minute recess in the morning. These times were my “break” to pay attention to the babies while the girls worked independently or had recess.
Sometimes you have to make changes. Our first year of home school, we had a lovely long morning together time. In fact, our entire school day was mostly together time. This year I had to shorten morning time to just Bible, a hymn or folk song, and maybe a poem. I tried to get this 20-minute together time while the twins were eating breakfast in their high chairs.
Sometimes you just have to be very clever with timing. I figured out in year one that I need to work individually with my children on math every day.
My friend who has a logical brain helped me work out this awesome math routine. I put the kids in a line-up from oldest to youngest. This is simple and genius.
First Twenty Minutes: I did a math lesson with #1 (oldest) while #2 (next oldest) played with the babies.
Second Twenty Minutes: #1 worked independently on math homework while I did a math lesson with #2 , and #3 played with babies.
Third Twenty Minutes: #1 and #2 worked independently on homework while I did a math lesson with #3 , and #4 played with the babies.
Fourth Twenty Minutes: #1 has now had 60 minutes of Math. She plays with the babies while #2 & #3 work on their Homework, and I do a math lesson with #4. Twenty minutes is all #4 needs for math, and we are done with math for the day in one hour and 20 minutes. Every student got adequate working time and only had to babysit for twenty minutes. **It is important that you order the children oldest to youngest so that your older kids get the most possible homework time.
|10:00||Math Lesson with 1||2 babysits|
|10:20||Math Lesson with 2||3 babysits|
|10:40||Math Lesson with 3||4 babysits|
|11:00||Math Lesson with 4||1 babysits|
I told you it was genius.
Splitting your schedule can help. For awhile, I split our schedule and would school the two younger girls for two hours while the older girls played with the babies, and then I would swap them and school the older girls while the younger girls played with the babies. This worked well for subjects like history and science that they did together.
Series: Part 3, Home Schooling with Multiple Toddlers