How do I make homeschooling work in a large family?
It’s like asking how do I “do it all?”
I mean we do get our schooling done, but I don’t do it all and there really is no easy answer for how to get it done.
On any given day the potential for total chaos to reign is lurking.
Some people work great with a schedule, some work better with a routine. I’m somewhere in the middle. I like to make a schedule, but we morph into a routine and then something changes and I change the schedule again, etc.
I actually think THAT is the key. Doing what works best for you and your family, not what someone else says your day should look like. If your kids work best in their pjs – go for it. If you want everyone dressed and ready to go by 9:00am (like me!) then feel free to do that too.
It’s often hard to shake the concept of how “school” is supposed to look.
When we first started our homeschool journey, that was what I craved to know most. What does a day look like in your house? People would say “everyone’s day looks different”. Frankly that drove me crazy! It’s the truth though. If you are determined to make your day look like your neighbor – you are setting yourself up for failure.
I liked having a plan as a reference, but the plan was/is not the boss of our homeschool. For instance, this week we are having brunch with friends. Our friends have a little mini farm with chickens and pigs. My kids will adore that outing and I get to spend time chatting with friends. It’s a win/win. I won’t say no to those types of adventures.
They can’t always be planned out in advance.
However, we need some balance and we could learn to say no to a few activities.
Practical Large Family Homeschooling Ideas
I like to do as much family style learning as possible. We do that with science and history. I would go crazy trying to do six different science lessons and six different history lessons. No thank you! I like that we can sit down as a family and work together. Each child working as his or her own level, but all on the same topic.
Although we used to do this more when the kids were younger (now quiet time seems to be pool time) we always had a quiet time in the afternoon. It was always a good way to reset everyone for the afternoon. If you have young ones still taking long naps, you could do quiet time for part of nap time and then get some schooling done before nap time is over.
We also do something called a Homeschool Power Hour that I will blog more about in the future. It kicks off our mornings! (update: we also use it at different times of the day!)
Thinking Outside the Homeschooling Box
Sometimes I will take advantage of a couple of kids being gone in the evening with my husband and do a bit of extra school work. Â We work on a reading lesson or a math lesson with one of the younger kids.
I know of some families that use Sunday as a day to work on religion studies. While I like the idea of that a great deal, so far I’ve never been able to implement it.
We listen to audio books in the car. We are going to be using Story of the World in the fall and I’m already planning to purchase the audio CD’s.
We enjoy the Catholic School HouseÂ CD’s and like listening to them in the car too.
These are a few of the ways we making homeschooling work for our family. It’s not perfect, it’s real life in the trenches with a big family.
Homeschooling in a Large FamilyÂ – Pinterest Board
See what a real day is like for other homeschooling moms like you!
What My Schedule Really Looks Like