RE: I have two kids in different grade levels – how can I homeschool them when they don’t want to cooperate?
I’m feeling very overwhelmed and super stressed. I have 2 children in different grade levels – 4th and 5th grades. I have a couple of things that I can do with them both like reading/discussions, going on nature walks, watching educational videos on youtube, arts & crafts, etc. When they are together doing these things, they are learning and asking questions, figuring things out – it’s great! But they are very unmotivated to try to learn things separately or on their own. I have tried to sit them down to do different level work but when both of them need me at the same time, it gets difficult to teach one and have the other do quiet time work simply because while I’m working with one child, the other child sees it as a way to run off and play on the Xbox or watch tv. I’ve tried punishment by taking away the electronics & tv but that doesn’t last very long. I have also tried assigning something fun like doing arts and crafts but one kid just isn’t into it. Any suggestions you can give are truly appreciated beyond words. Thank you for reading.
I feel you, Mama! I had three schooling this year (I will have four next year) and my oldest has attention issues. It was almost impossible to keep them focused. My suggestions are these:
1) Combine as many subjects as possible. We put ourselves on a chronological history rotation and we all do history together. Last year we studied ancients. Next year we will study medieval culture. For science, we all study together as well. Only math and reading are separate.
2) Do other subjects in a central location. For instance, everyone sits together at the table for math. The older ones get started on what they can do independently. I work with the youngest child first and work my way up to the oldest. If the older ones have questions, they write them down for when I get to them. When the little ones are finished, they’re free to read or draw or whatever while I work with the older ones. We have budgeted one hour for each subject so we do math from 9-10. If the older ones don’t finish their assigned work by 10, it’s homework (which means that it’s done in the afternoon after we are finished with our regular morning work). This keeps me from spending too much time waiting for one kid to finish a subject thereby giving the other kids a chance to wander off and get distracted.
3) We have a rewards system set up for electronics use. The kids get “bucks” for chore completion and timely completion of schoolwork. They get to trade in those “bucks” for actual money or for time on the play station. That way it gives them motivation to get their work done during the day.
We always try making a schedule at the beginning of the year and it doesn’t take long for us to throw it out and try something different, but one thing that has consistently worked for us is to make a checklist of what needs to be accomplished that day and require that it be finished before any electronics. I get a notebook and write each day’s tasks on a page. They can mark our tasks when they are accomplished and tear the page out and throw it away when everything is done. I don’t know the age of your kids but this is especially good for older kids or motivated workers. Because when they get finished with a task, they can look and see what else they have to do that day and go ahead and get started on it. My oldest will always choose to do math first (because he dislikes it and wants to get it out of the way) and then will save the reading for after lunch so he can do it while he lies in his bed resting.
Hope these ideas help. ❤️