This episode is an excerpt from a video workshop Mystie recorded with Amy Roberts in 2016. You can register for the entire replay, with bonus support material, by clicking the button below.
- Amy's blog, Raising Arrows
- Amy's Instagram, Amy Raising Arrows
- Large Family Homeschooling eBook
- Schedules for Homeschooling Year Round
Mystie: So in your large family how do you group your kids for instruction time?
Amy: I have natural sections of kids. There is almost a four year gap between what I call my "big kids" and "middle kids" and then there's a gap between my "middle kids" and "small kids" because we lost a daughter eight years ago. So there's a natural gap.
I always start with my littles. I get my big kids started with their individual work which is pretty auto-pilot for them. My two oldest don't require much from me at all anymore. My middles still require some instruction, but they have things like handwriting and copyworb they can do without me.
I've said this a million times on the blog: it does not take as long as you think it does to teach little people. It takes 30 minutes. That's it.
Mystie: So true! Until they're about eight, we do a little phonics and a little math. But not even every day for those early years. If they're resistant or stubborn, it's better at those younger ages to have them on board when you are working with them rather than push them or turn school into a fight.
We want school to be this thing we do together. We need to pay attention to the atmosphere and dynamic that we're having together and if that gets off track it's better to just not do anything than to get into the habit of fighting over it in the morning.
Amy: I want my kids to love learning, and I want them to see it as a lifelong thing, so there are always lots of toys and hands-on things that they can be doing. The can be outside exploring and you're doing science. I want them to love learning.
Mystie: And you're only doing 30 minutes a day with your 5 & 7 year olds?
Amy: That's right! That's all it takes. The rest of the time is exploring outside, talking about things, reading books. I don't count readalouds as school work. I'm talking 30 minutes seat work. That's all those little people can handle.