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3 Ways a Great Curriculum Helps You Teach Multiple Kids

3 Ways a Great Curriculum Helps You Teach Multiple Kids

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We are 200 Fingers & Toes because we are homeschooling that many here at our house. You did read that right and if you are any good at math you have figured out that we have 10 kids.

Now you are asking, How do we homeschool 10 without outsourcing everything?

We have been homeschooling for the last 13 years so we know what it is like to have many grades going at one time. I always knew I wanted a big family so I searched for a curriculum that would fit our future family from the first homeschool convention 20 years ago, as just newlyweds. We needed a curriculum we could reuse with every kid. One that would felt enough to fit multiple kids in our grade to save time and make schooling a large family streamlined but still hands on. I did not want to throw my kids in front of a computer and leave the schooling to someone else. I wanted to be the leader in their education journey.

 

Here are 3 reasons why I chose Sonlight for my huge, multi-grade family

1. I Need a Clone and the Sonlight Binder is a Second Mom in the Room

Regardless of how you got there, if you have more than two kids you will be tempted to hope for cloning in the future. With two of you, you can answer that math question AND sit on the couch and get through that chapter with your second grader. That chapter is SOOOOO long when the brother is standing there with his workbook two inches from your face the whole time “patiently” waiting his turn.

The binder is the next best thing to a clone. It keeps us moving forward every day by keeping us on task with simple, clear and extremely satisfying to check off boxes for every subject. The whole day is laid out on one page for us to reference through out the day. On the go, we just pull out the schedule page and the notes for the week and throw our books in my amazing Sonlight book bag and off we go. Whenever the older kids need to know what to read next they simply look in the binder, and boom, I am out of the loop. How awesome is that.

 

What if everything could be in one place for anyone to look at
This binder has seen us through three classes of kids and hundreds of read-aloud books.

 

2. I Like Help. With Sonlight My Husband Can Jump in and Help Anytime

The other problem I was running into was that my husbands schedule fluctuates a great deal. He would be unavailable to be home for long stretches and then home for a week, willing to help, but I didn’t know what to throw his way. With Sonlight he can jump into the schedule on any given day. We check off tasks in our schedule binder when we complete them, so he can see at a glance where we need catching up or he can read through the whole week in a book and save me some time. Either way, I love that he can always jump in to help me.

 

3. Planning Fabulous Unit Studies Sounds Great but I Know Myself, I Need Structure

I am not a planner. I love my giant binder. Don’t let her looks fool you. She is not intimidating at all. In fact I call her my “Mom” because this binder tells me what to do every day.

With 10 kids asking what is next, I could loose my mind before lunch on any given day. Knowing where to look quickly helps me keep kids moving forward during the day. Every day is neatly laid out with Reading, History, Bible, Language Arts and Read-Aloud titles. Just check down the list as you read and you are done.

This translates into kids working independently earlier. By the seventh grade, my older kids were in charge of their own binder and I would check in with them. Through all of high school they have worked through their studies as a group with little direction from me on what to do. I still have to hound them about completing their Math every day and turning in science sheets on time, but they know what to do from their binder. Getting them to complete it in a timely manner still falls on us as the parents, but half a job is still better than everything. Right?

Combine tasks and grade levels for a successful day
Reading out loud is a great way to incorporate the whole family in History and Social Studies, geography and Literature

All of these helped us homeschool multiple grade level successfully

My older kids began their independent work just as the next group really needed more guidance. Sonlight was again a great fit because many of the readers covered the subject matter both groups were learning. We could still all meet in the morning for bible time and then break into our smaller groups.

Flexibility has always been a key factor in schooling a large family. Click To Tweet

We scrap a lot of plans. We are a house in constant flux. With a bunch of kids, you are too. The baby becomes a toddler, the kids read at different rates, some kids are auditory while others are hands on. We shift perpetually to fit the needs of this year, but Sonlight shifts right with us to give us the structure we need to be successful.

 

Sonlight Curriculum

 

If you like structure, in fact you are craving it, Sonlight will be a great fit for you. If you love reading, or if like me, you hated reading and want your kids to love it, choose Sonlight. My kids are practically putting in the new book order at the library these days. If your husband desperately wants to help you, or grandma, a teen helper or the paper boy, the Sonlight binder lets anyone jump into the fray.

 

Maybe you don’t have multiple children but you need to streamline your school without compromising learning for another reason

Are you excepting a baby, experiencing a prolonged sickness or have a child with a health condition? Sonlight has been a great fit for many families in your same position. They could pull the week’s schedule page and throw the reading books in a bag and be all set for day is a great relief.

Right now you can get $5 back on $50 worth of materials by using my rewards code. Click on over and have a look HERE

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6 Comments
  • Michelle says:

    We love Sonlight, too! We started with SL our very first year of homeschooling and it gave me a wonderful idea of what a school day should look like. We’ve used all the cores up through Core 100 in our homeschool over the last 12 years, but with only 6 children. I LOVED having the IG to tell me what to do each day. I was a total box checker, haha! Though I loved being able to work horizontally as much as vertically throughout the week. I color coded my children instead of using a symbol, but the same idea! I date stamped it later on so I would have a record of when we used what guide. Such wonderful memories. ♥

    After several years of homeschooling, I felt more comfortable to tweak the schedule and I became a box slasher instead of box checker. I loved using the IG as just that – a guide, but the BOOKS! So many wonderful books we never would have even picked up if it wasn’t for Sonlight.

    My husband and I take turns reading, too – I’m reading Little Britches this time because he read it last (but he tried to fight me for it, haha!) 🙂

    Loved your post!

  • Kym Thorpe says:

    I’ve long been fascinated by Sonlight, but it’s not a good fit for our family. Glad it works for you – knowing what you need as a homeschool mom is so important in finding the right curriculum!

  • Giving me a boss would make me frown, so glad that it works for you. 🙂

    • Knowing your personality is so key for picking the right curriculum. That is why I point that out. My friend who introduced me to Sonlight ended up hating it for the very same reason. I am just glad she shared it with me during her curriculum honeymoon. Thanks so much for reading. Have a great day.

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