Teaching with more than one age....

A good way to drive yourself crazy is to try to teach many different subjects at different levels at one time. RELAX. With the exception of math, you can teach the same topic to all of your children – be they 6 or 12! The trick is to have different expectations depending on the age of the child. Teaching American History? Your 6-year old will love reading books at his level about Paul Revere and other historical figures. He can draw pictures, tell you about what he has learned, and more. Your 12-year old, of course, can be expected to put more time and effort into researching, presenting, and sharing. Teaching writing? You can give the same assignment -- just have different expectations. What about language – grammar, spelling, punctuation? These are taught over and over throughout our school years – you will be surprised how this fits in.
Schooling with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers around
So you have a 6-month old demanding your attention . . . a 2-year old raising a ruckus . . . a 4-year old wanting to play . . . Can you still homeschool and keep your sanity? The answer, of course, is yes. It will be challenging, require flexibility on your part and that of your school-age child, but you will soon adapt.
You may want to adjust your schedule around a younger child’s naps. Arrange subjects that can be done more or less independently for the baby’s active time. Schedule subjects that require more direct interaction for baby’s sleep time. Use your weekends or evenings for some subjects and either have your husband help with the teaching, or have him take care of the younger children while you focus on your school-ager. Advance planning will really help here.
For older toddlers and preschoolers, provide them with their own “school” toys and a special place to play while you work with your older child. Alternate active teaching and child independent work so that you can interact frequently with the younger child. If available, ask for occasional help from family or friends.

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