Homeschooling four kids can be tiring from time to time so I enlist the support of my older children to create an atmosphere of cooperative learning in our home. I ask Elijah and Edan to be my “teacher assistants” which results in the following benefits:
1. It builds my kids’ confidence when they are entrusted with the task of teaching their siblings. They appreciate the responsibility and derive a sense of satisfaction when they help others.
2. My kids re-learn content and have to use their knowledge in new and practical ways. They have to explain ideas or how to do a task in a way that their younger sibling must be able to grasp.
3. Coming to the aide of a sibling strengthens their relational bond because they look out for each other’s needs and seek to meet them. Valuable character traits like patience, perseverance, deference, and understanding are practiced and applied.
4. Learning also becomes a shared experience, which keeps younger siblings from feeling left-out when I am doing one-on-one teaching. Everyone can stay preoccupied with purposeful activities.
5. My younger kids, who look up to their older brothers, are motivated to achieve the same level of skill or knowledge that their older siblings have and they develop an interest in being homeschooled, too!
So, when people ask me, “Is it hard to homeschool several kids?”, the answer is yes and no. It is challenging to manage time between all of them but cooperative learning makes it easier and fun. This is helpful strategy parents can use when homeschooling more than one child.