Mothering Forum banner

homeschooling ages 6 and 4 plus 2 babies!

734 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  mummy2jess
We recently moved and have not so far been able to get a place at a suitable school for our oldest child. We will be on a waiting list but obviously that could be for a while and so we need to make alternative arrangements. Our two options are 1. put her in a school alot further away (that we really dont like!) or 2. teach her at home.

We have theree other children a boy who will be nearly 4 ( we are thinking to start mid September) a daughter of 19 months and a baby who will then be around 6 weeks).

I have been searching around copies of the UK national curriculum and the early years targets for the oldest two and I am happy to follow that but not sure how to plan activities etc !

Also with 4 children organizing the day is going to be -* interesting* - I think!

Can anyone point me in the direction of any (non religion based) activities or ideas for planning, as far as I understand I will be asked to show lesson planning and examples of work in a few months so need to get this sorted.

Also - if you have multiple children can you give me some idea of how you organize your time! this is the part that is worrying me!
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
My first four children were exactly your children's ages when we began homeschooling. The difference I see is that I live in a state with no oversight and it sounds like you may have to provide evidence of doing school work.

My approach for several months was to do absolutely nothing. We frequently went to the library and read lots of books. We'd watch educational television shows. But I didn't do any official school book instruction or kept any records.

If possible, make life as easy on yourself as you can. For me a successful day was 1. Clean a bathroom 2. Keep everyone fed 3. Read some story books. The next day would be 1. Mop kitchen floor 2. Keep everyone fed 3. Go for a walk.

I'm a big believer that six year olds don't need academic work yet. They learn so much at that age just by observing all that goes on. Helping in the kitchen is a lesson in math and science. Dusting the living room is a lesson in cause and effect. Reading a book to a younger sibling (even if it's not actual reading but just making up the story) is a lesson in literature and kindness.

Good luck to you!!
See less See more
I have four children also. My children range from 18months to 8 years old. Here is how our day currently goes.

Before our days begins, everyone has to be dressed, hair done, beds made, and teeth brushed. Then we head downstairs for breakfast. While the kids are eating, I read them a chapter for a read aloud or bible stories. Then we all head to the school room to adjust our calendar. We practice the days of the week, sing a song about the months of the year, and say the Pledge of Allegiance. Then we get something for my 18month old to do. I place him in the highchair next to our school table. He likes to color or do puzzles while we do our bible study. He will last about 1/2 hr in the highchair. Then we have a quick snack. While they are eating, the watch an education video from the library on a submit that we are studying. Then the baby goes down for a nap and we get a good 2 hrs of school work done.

I try to encourage my 8 and 6 year old to help with the 4 year old. While I get LA or Math done with the 8 year old, the 6 year old is helping the 4 year old learning his letters and their sound with flash cards, workbooks, magnet boards, board games, ect. Then we switch. My older girls have independent reading time and I then also work with the 4 year old.

Right now my 18month old still takes 2 naps, so we get our core subjects done while he is napping. I know it will get harder when he moves to one nap a day, but we will make it work. I will just have to find more things to keep him busy for 20 minutes at a time.
See less See more
This will be us two months from now. We will have a six year old, a four year old, a one year old, and a new baby. We will have been homeschooling for a year and a half at that point.

My best advice is to try and relax about schedules. When we started I tried to keep a schedule and plan out activates, lessons, trips, etc. and then became flustered as my well thought out plans didn't work out. Now we've settled into a daily rhythm where most things get done. I also plan out lessons and projects but without specific dates attached to them. I keep a list of ideas for field trips going as well.

At this age the 'book work' part of the day lasts, at most, an hour and the majority of that is just with the one doing first grade work. Right now we use nap time to accomplish most of this but I'm not sure it will keep working with another baby, although newborns sleep all the time and can be fed while sitting at the table so it should get us through for awhile. It's not until they start grabbing at everything and getting bored while sitting still that you have to change your routine.
See less See more
Last year I taught with a baby in a sling (that was the most important thing I owned) and a toddler along. I found that having some activities for the toddler to do at the kitchen table near me while I worked with my oldest was very important- playdough, Legos, his train set, coloring and painting were all good for him, and my oldest could take a break and do them with him after her short lesson.

As far as lessons go, I think it depends on your own style and what you want to teach as to where to start. I used Handwriting without Tears and spent just a few minutes a day working on writing - having a workbook like that is easy to show your progress in. I also used Miquon math the orange book for our first math book. I enjoyed doing story extender activities with my kids when they were little- I used some of the Five in a Row stuff- it is Christian based, but not so much it was a problem for me, we just skipped anything I didn't care for. There are other books with Story extenders though- the idea is you read a book with the kids, then do a craft, trip, game or whatever to extend the learning- I would think that would work well for your multiple ages.

Good luck, homeschooling can be a ton of fun!
See less See more
OP, if you are in the UK you don't have to show plans, lessons, or anything.

Your legal duty is to provide an efficient and suitable education for the age and aptitude of your child-most people do this by sending their kids to school, some don't. Unschooling-kind of learning through living, where no "bookwork" necessarily occurs, and where a curriculum and schedule would often not be in place-is not only legal but really common among UK HErs.(in the UK we often refer to it as automous education, but I think it is along the same lines)

Loads more info here =>

Also, are you on the MuddlePuddle yahoo list, and your local yahoo list (you will have one-could this be of help in finding it? . They will have info about what your LEA is actually like, some are more concerned about our kids than others.

Re HEing lots of kids at the same time, we don't do any formal work round here til 7 (I think-my oldest is not quite 7!), so I am not speaking from actual experience, but I do think a lot comes down to organising and simplifying and so on so the structures and materials are to hand. For me, to be honest, though I am at heart an unschooler, I think I will be instigating times for specific subjects/activities, music practice and so forth at set times, just so everyone gets it done .

Sorry if there is loads of stuff you already know there!
See less See more
Mine are 6yo (7yo this fall), 4yo, 2yo and 6mo.
So far, we do some reading out loud during the day while they twitch around the living room floor (my kids can't sit still to save their lives), some activities like measuring/counting with beans and containers, coloring, some cooking or baking if I have the patience (and enough clean dishes to do so). Then after I get the 6mo nursed down and 2yo and 4yo in bed, the 6yo and I stay up a for an extra 10-30 minutes depending on the time and do "school" - aka, reading the books on the instructor guide schedule and going from there. I just don't have the fortitude right now to do our own curriculum of any sort, so I'm just playing follow the leader so to speak.

This is our first "official" year of hs'ing though, so that's my warning. I'm still working on finding our groove and my own system of organization (a house in upheaval from cleaning/decluttering/packing to move does that), so we're entirely still a work in progress.

My day is pretty much all about keeping kids fed, busy with whatever toys/activities/playdates, diapers, attempting to almost keep up with the house, feed them some more, see if I can drink more than one sip of water throughout the day, etc. It's brutal (but my hubby's not at home, work is a state/continent away for the last 8 months).

I think first you need to see what your local schools require. I'm not sure how the school systems work abroad or if there's specific requirements or paperwork you need to have filled out to homeschool.

As for making up your own curriculum, I'd say browse through Sonlight's website and see what reading materials they use for whatever age would work for your child, and also go browse Ambleside Online for another groovy list of books to read to kids around various ages. And go from there.
See less See more
If your main concern is record keeping (or your own peace of mind), it might be interesting to post to the unschooler thread so you can get some help "translating" daily activities into schoolish language. Then I would make sure to have a good range of interesting stuff around for your kids to pick and choose from. I posted about this last year and felt like the responses were really helpful You've got a lot on your plate and anything you can do to make life flow more smoothly for all of you is probably for the best. While I sort of hate to admit it, having some decent videos and a few good web pages as part of what my son can pick and choose from has been a lifesaver (I work from home and we have an almost 2yo too) and he's actually learned quite a bit from watching things like Magic School Bus and surfing around the games on PBS kids. Stuff that he sees that he gets excited about I follow up on by taking books out of the library to read together later if he chooses and/or we look stuff up on the internet.
See less See more
Fillyjonk I am in the UK I made some basic enquiries with the LEA when they told us about the problem with the schools and I was left with the impression I would have to have someone come and look at the work we were doing, its great to know this isnt the case although I dont have any real problem with that.
I am off to look at those links now!

I think we will have to take things very slowly but I have been looking into some really great things going on near us in museums etc (mostly weekends as I suppose this is when people are around).

My littlest baby is in a sling and getting the hang on feeding with the sling to hopefully we will be a bit more hands free in a few weeks than we are now
(first breastfed baby all the other were formula fed so we are a little clumsy with it still lol)
See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.