How do You Teach Multiple Ages? – Thursday Topics

May 14, 2009

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 puzzle

“Mom, what does this mean?”

“Mom, can you check my spelling?”

“Mom, I need help.”

“Waaaahhh!”

I know we could all use a couple clones to get everything done, and teaching multiple ages of children is often challenging.

How do you do it?  Would you share some of your best ideas with us?  Comment below or feel free to post a link to your website or blog if you’ve discussed this issue there.

Here are some of my ideas:

  1. Puzzles – These seem to keep the youngest busy for a decent stretch so you can concentrate on helping an older child.  It’s also easy to sit and ‘help’ with a puzzle while helping a second child on the other side of you with their current project.
  2. Read to each other!  Having an older child read to a younger one is a simple yet awesome idea.  The older children work on their reading skills, oration skills, and patience.  While the younger child reaps all the benefits of storytime.  Even better, they are building better relationships with each other.
  3. Projects and unit studies – Many times a project or unit study can involve all the kids on some level.  The older kids may be doing the research and documentation, while the younger help shape the volcano out of plaster of paris.
  4. Set aside individual time – I often feel like I’m running around all day with not a ton to show by the end.  Somehow I’ve spent all day with my kids and yet don’t feel like I’ve really connected with them.  Just a few weeks ago, I decided to try and spend 10 minutes a day with each child – only them.  The kids love it and really enjoy it being their time that the other kids have to respect.
  5. Delegate to the kids – Put kids in charge of their own work as much as possible and have them come give you reports on their work, instead of micromanaging it.  They can plan out their schedule, choose their projects, decide on topics.  Sure, you can help guide them, but the more they do, the more invested they are in their learning.

How do you do it?  I could use some more ideas!!!

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2 Comments so far

  1. Misty June 7, 2009 10:30 pm

    Great idea Daniel – I’ll have to try that with my daughter who sings all day!

  2. Daniel June 7, 2009 9:23 pm

    When i was still tutoring my son, he came up with a way to easily study. He loved to sing. Hence, he would replace the lyrics of his lesson to the rhythm of his favorite song! We will both sing it and after a number of minutes, he already got it, effortless. He was enjoying and learning.

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