It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken a joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Homeschooling children who are on multiple grade levels can be a lot like juggling watermelons on a tight rope while balancing a ball on your nose….very difficult! Especially when your trying to do hands-on activities. The thing is, there are only so many hours in a day and everyone and everything needs attention. Homeschooling, unlike public school, takes place at home. The home is where everyday life happens and it doesn’t stop so that you can teach algebra. Phones and doorbells ring, little babies need their diapers changing, toddlers run a muck seeking mischief and attention, meals have to be prepared, errands need to be ran, and on and on and on. It doesn’t stop, so we have to roll with it and find creative ways to make teaching a little easier. Having schedules and being at least somewhat organized helps, but inevitably there will be interruptions and hiccups throughout our day. This can make it difficult to cover all the subjects we would like. One way to help fit in math and make it fun is to combine it with snack time. This works well when teaching multiplication, division, addition, subtraction and fractions. You don’t have to do this every snack time; I know you use that time to have yourself a little break too. Just do it once or twice a week. You may be surprised to see little Ahmed divide his snack into thirds all by himself! Kids are like that. You point them in the right direction and they just take off! Here are some examples of how math during snack time looks like at our house:
Here are a few more tips from other moms on homeschooling multiple age groups, taken from my book, “The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling“.
- If your toddlers or younger children are going to be working on projects, prepare everything the day before.
- Keep a few special boxes of toys that only come out for an hour or two a day when you work with older children. If you rotate them so they are not playing with the same box all the time, the toys will feel like something new and exciting every time they play with them.
- Provide a special rug for your child to take a nap on every day at the same time. Even if they don‟t go to sleep, have them lay on their rug and rest. This may be a good time to do any experiments or projects. Or just get as much work done as you can.
- Give your toddler some “schoolwork” to do, too. I give my two year old an old workbook that we don‟t use anymore and he loves it. He loves pretending to do work like his big brothers and sisters. This keeps him occupied for at least fifteen minutes.
Do you integrated math into your snack time? What are some of the activities you’ve done? If so let us know all about it in the comment box below. Thanks for stopping by!
-Jamila Alqarnain, The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling