teach one another

How to homeschool multiple learning levels at the same time

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

One of the most powerful ways to learn is to teach somebody else. Researchers call this the protege effect. When a child is teaching others, their attention is completely engaged as they break down and simplify concepts, which helps them to retain the information.

Our youngest started her first year of official schooling this year, although she has been learning with her siblings from the very start. She has sat through every lesson since our very first homeschool day, 5 years ago. She has begged for projects to do, so she could be just like her brother and sister. I often get questions about how I have time to homeschool three different learning levels. The answer is layered, but I love getting to talk about this!

One way we handle it is by working on the same subject at the same time, each child at their own level. Our time is split by subject, we usually start our morning with copywork, which is a time for children to hand write poetry, hymns, or a passage from a book. It’s great for penmanship, memorization, spelling, and patience. During this time in our house, miss 9 will work on copying in cursive while mister 7 works in print, and miss 5 copies letters from the alphabet. In earlier years, miss 5 would color printed pictures of letters during this time.

For subjects like history and literature, we simply all work together. The littles do sculpting while I read out loud, and then they each narrate, or tell me what they heard. We also love doing what I call “illustration narration” where they draw or sculpt the things they remember from what I read, and we share with each other.

Some subjects require a one-on-one approach. For reading, miss 9 will read out loud to miss 5 while mister 7 reads to me. When miss 5 needs my attention, mister 7 and miss 9 will work on math together. They teach each other, and have become confident and independent learners.

Miss 9 reads books about foraging and herbs, and she teaches the rest of us how to identify and use the plants that grow wild on our property.

A lot of our schooling is done through cooking, building, gardening, and playing.

My point in all of this is that we are constantly learning TOGETHER and teaching one another. Having multiple ages or levels doesn’t take more time.

We’re each being given a beautifully unique opportunity to identify our natural strengths, and use them to lift each other. Where one of us lacks, another is abundant. And they have quickly been able to learn that differences are not weaknesses. It’s ok to struggle with something that comes easily to somebody else. And they’re learning how to rely on one another to grow, learn, and become the best they can be.

Watch the video here:

my favorite products featured in this video:

pruning shears

flower trug

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