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How easy is it to home ed mixed age groups?

(5 Posts)
hanreeoak Tue 16-Apr-13 06:20:52

Hi i posted on here a few weeks ago about home educating my four year old and was given lots of advice. Thank you. I have since been reading anything and everything I can about home education and I do think it would be a positive route for him.

Our year two daughter ( age 7) is being bullied at the moment and we have had many weeks of her coming home from school and exhibiting terrible behaviour. Over the holidays however she was back to her lovely self. We have spoken to the school but the situation does not seem to of changed. There are no other suitable schools close by and I wondered from other people experienced in home education how hard is it to work with different age groups.
Thank you.

Twinklecin Tue 16-Apr-13 21:53:40

Hi, I don't know if I can help much in your situation, because I was wondering the same myself. But my younger two are 5 and 6, and will be coming out of different years at school, but with those I was going to go kind of child led learning, where I was going to set out what we were going to do each day, but let the children take it to their levels. This way I think my youngest will learn from my 6 year old as well as myself, and he will be challenging himself more by helping his little sister. I hope this makes sense to you. I know theres a bigger age gap for you, but you can teach them through specific topics which would suit both of them and you could just adapt the lessons to suit the childrens needs as to how in depth you go with the subject. Hope it helps.

I'm just slightly concerned about my eldest who is 11 and due to start secondary school in September and I wasn't sure whether I could take this approach with her as well, or whether I had to pursue other avenues instead to ready her for her GCSE's in a few years time. Thanks.

RealityQuake Tue 16-Apr-13 23:41:48

Depends on how you want to do things, the one I've seen quite a lot and works for us is having family work, one on one work, and independent work/play that can be done while the other gets the one on one, and review and change as needed.

So, for example, my 6 and 8 year old have done maths together previously as 8yo needed a confidence boost and both enjoyed it but now 8yo wants to do more maths so it's gone one on one with him doing more a day while the 6yo remains at the normal pace as it already stretches her and if anything, she enjoys it more as we can take our time with it more.

Music we do together, usually with the 3yo. Reading aloud can be done as a family as well, all curled up together, and the kids' reading they can do themselves, as a family listening to them, or they can read to the 3yo while I work with the other. A lot of things can be done together, particularly at primary age, as long as you add extra support for younger ones and extra stretch for the older ones. Nature walks: the 3yo tells me what she can find and we talk about it, the 6yo has a drawing pad where she draws things she finds and talks, the 8yo draws and writes about it while talking. And nothing better for virtuous zoning out that watching a documentary together on a topic of interest for them.

It takes planning and always being up to review and adjust the situation to fit all the personalities, needs, energy limits, and time constraints, but it's very manageable and just becomes part of the rhythm once you find your own system together.

Hope this helps, feel free to PM me if you want more in-depth information on planning it all out.

maggi Wed 17-Apr-13 10:27:23

Home ed is a big scary move and will fill you with worries. Once you relax ito it (this can take months) you will find it very easy to include all the family at an appropriate level to move them forward in their learning. You can do seperate one to ones, group work of everyone doing the same or group work of everyone doing different tasks, you can do team and individual work. You can include their interests all at once or seperately.
The best bet is to spend the first months learning how your children learn. Are they keen in the morning and then awkward after lunch. Are they auditory learners who like things read/said them. Are they kinaesthetic learners who have to handle or do everything. Do they have their own ideas of how and what they wish to learn. Will they engage with an online course. Will they prefer workbooks. Will they want to stick to term times or prefer to take a short break between topics. During this period, don't expect them to do more than trial the different methods for you. Once this is over you will have formed a plan of how you want to work as a family (and this may turn out to be in a chaotic fashion or very rigid) so that you can then begin your learning together. In other words you dont need a plan before you commit to HE. The plan (or method) will develop.

musicposy Fri 19-Apr-13 09:14:51

There's almost 4 years between my two children. Both used to do the same thing, but DD2 used to access it at a lower level. I found it amazing how easy it was to do the same thing with both girls, given their age difference. I really used to plan activities for DD1 and then make it easier if I had to for DD2. It was amazing how well DD2 rose to the challenge - they take on board so much more than you think they can!

I say "used to" as DD1 is now at college and I only have DD2 at home. Surprisingly, I don't find it any less work. They used to bounce ideas off of each other a bit, and now DD2 only has me to talk to I have to do all the talking! So it's not necessarily any harder than educating one child. smile

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