How Do You Homeschool Multiple Grades at the Same Time?

How Do You Homeschool Multiple Grades at the Same Time?

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We are 200 Fingers & Toes because we are homeschooling that many here at our house. You did read that right. We have 10 kids. We aren’t hoping for a reality show, we aren’t Mormon or Catholic and we do have a TV. I have never even owned a denim jumper dress, but we have a huge family anyway. With multiple grades, homeschooling could be a grading pile-up. Read about how we have negotiated grade levels and made curriculum choices to make schooling a more streamlined process. If you want to get out from under all of the paper and want learning to be enjoyable again, keep reading.

This year at a glance; some people wonder what our school set up looks like.

This is us…

Tips, encouragement and joy you can borrow
Leave your worries at the door. If I can homeschool this mad brood I know you can.

The three oldest (Sr. 17, Jr. 16, Soph. 15) who we have called the “Bigs”

Are using their 5th high school core (400) and are graduating this year. The two youngest will have one summer credit of math to complete yet, but are set to continue with advanced and college classes next fall. This was a stretch of the “advised” age span. All I can say is do what works. The youngest was a very bright girl who was writing at four and would not be shaken from her brothers school time. We tried to ditch her. She was so fiercely competitive when she was younger that she forced herself to keep us. Her strong writing and language skills are to be credited for completing 5 high school cores.


We used Sonlight Core 200 and 300 last year because I did not want to skip church (200) history. It was a massive workload, hours and hours of reading, but we are all glad it is behind us and their reward is a mountain of high school credits that they earned.

My 8th grader (14) was not a great fit for Sonlight

There always is that one kids that makes you did deeper, work a little harder, and maybe cry more in the shower. Rest your heart if you in those years right now. We all experience them. We found our way and we still use the readers as assigned reading for him. He is my computer kid. He has been in love with the beeps and flash of a screen since he was a little guy.

This year we ordered KidCoder from Sonlight so he can get some real hands on computer knowledge and for the rest of his day we are using a combination of on line classes from DiscoveryK-12 and These have been an actual life saver. I was really desperate to get this kid to love learning, and this year he is digging back in and telling me all about it.

My next Group (7th-12, 5th-11, 4th-9) the “Middle-Littles”

Are using Core E, we are taking our time doing it and might stretch it over a year and a half. There is a ton here to do. Plenty to keep an older kid very busy independently. We used the original with the World Book online and I liked that a lot more than reading the fact out of the new book. We are jumping into the computer a bit more to search for facts.
They are also exploring some elective classes on to supplement their afternoons when I am checking out the older kids.

When the younger group reads the older kids usually stop to listen
Sometimes I forget that one of the main reasons I chose to homeschool was that I wanted my kids education to look different.

Then the “Littles” are K-5, 1st-6 and 3rd-7

Again this is a group that will probably use some adjusting down the road, but while the majority of the reading is on me, we are going to keep my groups down to a minimum. The truth is that no matter what the recommended age on the box is, you have to make the curriculum work for your family. If you love your curriculum, make it fit you. That is what we have done here. They are using Core B and everyone is finishing Teach You Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

I have taught every child how to read using that same book, so it is by far the best $25 I ever spent. I just bought a replacement copy for $2 at the half price book store, you would have thought they were passing out free cappuccino. We do a little reading and book work in the morning. They copy their reading lessons, a little math and then we do life together. They learn a ton just being around everyone else learning and reading.


For Other Grade Level Work

For Math in the upper grades were use Teaching TextBooks because seriously, who could grade all of that and still even be a human! We are trying Life of Fred for the first time but we are horribly inconsistent so far.

We do use workbooks for LA because I like to keep people busy when I am working with others. A couple of work books fill the time when I am reading to either of the younger groups. We loved Keys to Good Language and Grammar Ace from Sonlight as well as Spectrum Series LA books. We just received a copy of Apologia’s Writer in Residence and can’t wait to try it as well.

Lastly, God Bless my Mother who has taught Science for the last two years. It has been an awesome burden lifted from my back to have one class off of my responsibilities. I order everything from Sonlight because they are pure genius wth their full-year kits. Before them, if a science book said we need a button battery and I don’t have one in the house…science is over. I am that kind of person. These kits were made with people like me in mind.

Where is that little light bulb?
Sonlight Science kits are the Hot Mess Momma’s dream come true

It will make you look genius, and your kids will actually get to do the science experiment in the book instead of you saying, “we just read it, what more do you need?” Because really, who has a red balloon laying around and what even are “brads” in the first place?


This is long but with multiple kids that is unavoidable.

The fact is there is no limitation to keep you from schooling your family if that is what you feel led to do. It is overwhelming at times but so is any other job. This morning as I was working in the office I heard at shuffle. I popped my head out to see one of my “littles” wrapped up in a blanket wide eyed from a bad dream. As I scooped her up, tucked the blankets around her. As we snuggled on the couch I was reminded why I am so thankful that I get to do this. I get to be here with my kids. I get to teach them, read with them and live life with them every day.

It is an awesome privilege, one we have willingly made many sacrifices for, and one I will continue to help support with any wisdom I can share for readers like you and your friends.

What is the limiting fear that makes you think you CAN NOT homeschool? I would love to hear from you. Could you share this tweet so I can hear from others as well. I might write about it next.

What is the limiting fear that makes you think you CAN NOT homeschool?Click To Tweet




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