Group Teaching Multiple Grades
Can I Use My Homeschool For Combining Homeschool Grades?
Scheduling is always easier if you are only having to plan for one child. However, the reality of homeschooling is that many of us have to juggle quite a few children. With each year you get better at this but in my experience, it’s never perfectly streamlined.
One of the best ways to get a good routine going, that won’t run you ragged, is to combine lessons whenever possible.
Many subjects are suitable for combining homeschool grades. Read alouds, nature study, history, art, narration and geography can all be done as a group.
Lessons in maths and English may need separate instruction.
We have divided our Weekly Planner into group work and work alone.
If you are teaching a few children we recommend you only use the group study/family time for one grade.
For example, if you have a Year 4 and Year 6 child doing My Homeschool, then we suggest you only follow the Year 6 scheduled group work, or the Year 4 group work. Don’t do both. Alternatively you can set some of the Year 6 work as independent work and continue with the Year 4 group work.
Scheduling For More Than One Child
Not all components of our courses are interchangeable. However, you will find mixing and matching some of our resources won’t affect your curriculum registration requirements. How have we achieved this?
- We have been mindful to keep Australian literature and history components across the curriculum.
- English and math can be kept at ability level.
- All strands of science are covered every two years.
- Our science and geography content are more comprehensive than the Australian curriculum.
- We have used our world history as part of our literature component, so it doesn’t matter what period you are covering, as far as registration is concerned, because world history is not required in the Australian Curriculum primary grades.
Will Combining Homeschool Grades Still Match the Australian Curriculum?
Yes! The Australian Curriculum is set out in broad stages. Within these stages there is flexibility to teach content at different times. For those in NSW, you can register as a ‘primary school’ student rather than set a grade.
However, Without knowing the exact details of your registration application, I’ll make these general comments...The assessor of your application will be expecting to see documentation for each child, so do be sure to have prepared a plan for each grades.
For example, the My Homeschool Scope and Sequence for Year 2, is written for Year 2, so do consider how you want to approach it for your children outside these grades. Remember, the planning is there to help you, not just for the AP’s visit, so think of how you will set things up to work for your family, particularly if you are combining subjects across multiple grades.
Making One Grade Work For Two Children?
If you want to make one grade do double duty (or triple), then you will need to do a little tweaking to make it work. Of course this won’t be a perfect fit and you may find you need to make little adjustments here and there to make a lesson more or less challenging but generally we expect it to still be a pretty good fit.
Here are the steps I recommend.
Choose a base grade. Look through the course outlines to work out what grade you want to follow . Buy that grade as a base and all the resources. Follow that grade’s yearly planner but substitute English and Math.
Supplement and Tweak
The key is to supplement and tweek the curriculum for the grades not provided. This planning for grades not purchased is up to you, and is not service provided by My Homeschool. However, here are a few tips to make the planning easier.
Purchase an additional English resources for the grades that are not covered by the base course. We have deliberately made Primary Language Lessons interchangeable so you can do this.
If your child hasn’t learned to read yet then you will need to teach reading. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is good for this.
Purchase your separate Primary Language Lessons and Copywork from Homeschooling Downunder. Each grade comes with a scope and sequence that you can add to your documentation.
- Year 1 Primary Language Lessons
- Year 2 Primary Language Lessons
- Year 3 Primary Language Lessons
- Year 4 Primary Language Lessons
- Year 5 Primary Language Lessons
- Year 6 Primary Language Lessons
Note: You will still need to add the recommended copywork that comes with each of the Primary Language Lessons ebooks. These are not an exact match to the My Homeschool resources but will substitute well.
Add an age appropriate math resource from the suggested resources just pick an additional grade for the other child.
From Kindergarten to Grade 3 you can just use the base grade’s science recommendation for all the years. From Grade 4 to 6 you can also use the same science resource.