Some children thrive on being with others when they learn. They are social learners or they get inspired by the idea that other kids are doing the same thing they are. It really depends on your child. Today, I tried mixing it up a little by asking my sister-in-law, Jenny, if she would like to do homeschooling together in her house. Our kids love to be together so I thought we might try doing a group homeschooling session.
She agreed and the kids were all excited. Between the two of us, we have seven kids so it was fun to have a sort of “school-room” feel with all of them around us. We started at 10 AM with Bible story-telling. The kids were seated around me and I read a very short story and asked them questions. Next, I read them a character story on honesty. Our toddlers were playing while I read but that was fine because it kept them preoccupied.
Afterwards, Jenny asked Caleb (5 years old) to recite his bible verse – Ephesians 2:8-9 – with actions. I thought that was great! My kids watched and took it all in. They also recited their memory verse for the week after, which was Proverbs 1:7. But, we didn’t have actions. I think I need to include that next time.
We proceeded to their individual lessons in Science, Language, and Math. Jenny worked with Caleb and Alana (3 years old), and I worked with Elijah and Edan. The six of us were seated around a table. At first, there was a little bit of dialogue and interaction before they started focusing on their work. However, after a few minutes, everyone started doing their assignments. They also knew that if they focused and finished, they would get to play so they were motivated. We ended after about 2 hours. And the kids said they wanted to homeschool together everyday!
While we were homeschooling our older kids, our younger ones were playing. Titus was building towers and Ethan (Jenny’s youngest) was with him. They may not have been doing lessons, but they were practicing sharing and cooperating with one another (which they have gotten much better at over the year!).
Jenny and I are thinking of doing this on a more predictable basis every Monday. I enjoyed hanging out with Jenny and our kids did their work FAST! Homeschooling today didn’t feel quite as a long and it was nice sharing the responsibility with her. We got to learn from one another, too!
If you have a homeschooling family that lives near you, try homeschooling together once in a while. I think it is a burn-out buster!