Homeschooling Kids Together
Who doesn’t love an all inclusive family vacation?
Have you stayed in an all inclusive resort or taken a Disney Cruise?
It’s a nice and easy vacation with everything included for your entire family. Your schedule, food, lodging, including entertainment details are planned to spoil you all day and night.
Every single detail is orchestrated so that every member of your family, no matter their age or ability can enjoy the experience together.
Christian Homeschooling can be all inclusive for your family too!
Okay…. maybe no one will bring you moist towels or prepare your meals for you.
By all inclusive we mean you don’t have to spend a lot of money on multiple curriculums to teach multiple ages, levels or subjects and separate your kids. Homeschool your family together in an all inclusive homeschool.
Teaching kids together brings new perspectives
You don’t have to homeschool each child separately by grade level and theme studied as we were taught in school.
In our elementary school grades, 4th grade was Alabama History, while 6th grade was Ancient History and Greek Mythology.
Following that school model, you would need two separate Historical periods to school your 4th and 6th graders. That’s just one subject not including English, Spelling, Grammar, Math, Science, etc. You get the idea.
Who has time for that?
We do love History, Science and Literature. It rarely changes no matter what age of learning you are, except maybe for Pluto being a planet.
Homeschool lesson plans can be based on a theme of study rather than individual subjects.
Plan your Christian homeschool lessons for the year to include everything you need,. Plan your Bible study and every subject, every level around one theme or Historical period of time.
Teach all levels and ages of kids together including field trips, vacations, food, lodging and entertainment! It may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s actually fun!
Having an all inclusive homeschool will change not only your children’s desire to learn, but fill in gaps in your own learning too!
The approach to an all inclusive homeschool became an amazing adventure for our families! We were able to spend more time together, less time on “busy” school work and learn more than we ever could with just a curriculum for each subject!
Our 5 tips to an all inclusive Christian homeschool.
1. Homeschool with a History in Chronological approach!
As a kid in school, I (Carrie) remember February was a month packed full of people, places and events.
My elementary teachers had beautifully decorated bulletin boards with an array of colorful displays. Valentine’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr, Black History, Presidents Day, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and a scared little ground hog… were just some of the elements we studied that month.
But with her learning style, she struggled to understand that all those people, and events were not at the same time! The only thing they had in common was the month of February.
Visual learners, find this approach confusing.
Understanding learning styles is important in Christian homeschooling
Through the years, Carrie struggled understanding world events in History and how they related. Once she discovered learning History through chronological order and traveling through a time line things began to make sense. Educational gaps were filled of decisions made over time and how they relate today.
Our homeschool was taught in a chronological History based plan. We divided our timeline into sections in a 4 year rotation.
Creation to the Fall of Rome was year one.
The next year we picked up with what happens after the Fall of Rome through the Medieval period.
Year three was the Renaissance to the Civil War.
The fourth year was after the war through current events.
History begins at Creation
In Genesis 1, along with John 1, Job 38-39, Psalm 8, and Psalm 148. Those verses would just get you started in the details of God and Creation.
Beginning with creation in the Bible, where time began for the world, you then move forward incorporating civilizations as they were built, invaded, destroyed and new ones began.
Add the events in History as they happen and the people who made decisions that affect us still today.
Use an illustrated timeline for your lesson plans as your guide.
Timelines are a great way to visualize the order of History.
Create your own timeline or visit Homeschoolinginthewoods.com for their amazing illustrated people, places and events.
Use those illustrations to cut and make a timeline for your wall or a notebook.
The world and everything in it belongs to God. History is His-story! So begin in the beginning.
2. Incorporate other subjects into your chronological order!
In the example above Bible chapters for creation, you could pull books and resources in Archeology, Physical Science, Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Marine Life, Anatomy, not to mention Geography, Literature and Biblical living.
Create ways to incorporate Math and Spelling, but those subjects will need more attention at each child’s level of learning.
Rabbit trails in learning
You have the ability to take “rabbit trails” by reading books on plants, animals, wars, weapons, costumes, foods, or galaxies discovered.
Arts and crafts could be making or recreating anything you desire…. from drawing animals and plants to cookie dough maps and painting the solar system!
Make and taste the foods from another culture.
Travel to museums or events with exhibits of what you are learning.
Make costumes from another time.
Analyze the wars, weapons and armor used and visit a battlefield.
Incorporate writing from any of the rabbit trails, sciences, wars or events you discover!
Immerse yourself in your time period by eating, drinking, dressing and discovering all you can.
3. Take it on the road...van school field trips!
We know we said visit museums, and exhibits but we also mean go see what you can! If it’s a festival, traveling exhibit, church drama or demonstration, research and go see it!
Places to visit
Museum of natural history are great places to begin.
Plan a vacation to the area you study.
If you can’t travel to the Holy Lands or the Nile River (neither have we!), visit the Holy Land Experience in Orlando for a day and still see Disney World the rest of the week.
Look at architecture of city buildings for column styles, reasons for a culture’s home styles….the list is endless!
Lessons on the road.
Some days it felt like our home school should have been called VAN SCHOOL because we were on the road more than home. Car rides to and from a site are great places to read, listen to books on tape or watch a movie. Organize your resources with our free the theme of your study printable.
All of these ideas can be combined with various ages of children and all learning styles. Which brings us to number 4.
4. Combine your students rather than dividing them by grade level.
Try a “one room schoolhouse” approach to teaching. Every age, level and ability has something to bring to the table of learning.
Readers can read to the non readers.
An older or more skilled artist can produce a piece of artwork that amazes a younger student while the younger students approach art with such enthusiasm. Younger kids are not weighed down with the amount of insecurities in their abilities nor do they over think as much as older students.
Inspiration begins when there is something to be inspired by!
Inspire one another!
Combining grade and ability levels does not mean older students are reading the same beginning reading books that younger kids are reading. It means you are finding books in your theme of study that are each child’s level, reading ability and interest.
The best way to do this is raid your library! Research books in the Historical culture, foods, weapons, dress, beliefs, animals of the region, plants, events …etc.
Order books from your library.
Bring those books home and stack them on the coffee table for all the kids to explore!
You will need to teach Math and Grammar as their level or ability allows. But your spelling words, definitions, and vocabulary can come from your reading and writing.
Ask questions and allow for each student’s learning style to be presented! Everyone will sponge from the other’s knowledge!
All inclusive Christian homeschooling allows family members to help one another.
Before homeschooling, I (Nina) noticed an apathy in my children when they came home from school.
Questions like, “What did you do today?” rendered no response, a shrugged shoulder or nothing at all. I remember the first week of homeschool when we jumped into Egypt.
We painted scarabs on rocks, dug the Nile River in the sand box, made pyramids out of sugar cubes and dug through stacks of picture books on ancient Egypt.
My children became interested… like a fire was lit under them. They enjoyed each other and played together.
These didn’t happen before because they were too tired when they came home from school.
When my husband came in the door from work, they would mow him over to tell him about what they had learned that day. Bless his heart, he was even rolled in toilet paper…daddy became a mummy.
5. You don't need to spend a lot of money to Christian homeschool... many resources are free!
Your library is loaded with free resources, books, internet, movies and maybe even activities! If your local library doesn’t have what you need ask if they are in a system where you can order and have it transferred.
Another library can help if your county library services are lacking. Most city libraries have a small annual fee for families not in their county or city, but the cost is worth it!
Grab all the books you find in your time period covering multiple areas of study. Take them home and pile them on the floor or coffee table.When resources are in abundance and available to kids they become intrigued and read on their own.
Most Bibles are free! (smile) You will be amazed at all the subjects for your Christian homeschool that you can teach from your Bible.
Most museums have educational materials available for download as does many educational websites.
Pursue the classes available through your local art museum, zoo, museum of science, museum of natural history, museum of flight… you get the picture!
Any museum near you will offer something that is educational. Check out family memberships because those allow you to go in more often and are tax deductible.
Books to purchase:
They have online links inside their books to help visual learners discover new areas in a safe place online! If you question your own creativity.
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! But be careful. You can pull more information than you will actually use so give yourself grace to pick and choose.
Togetherness in homeschool
Learning together brings many learning styles and abilities that help one another grasp the concepts. Sometimes kids teach each other better than we do!
What makes the best memories in a Disney all inclusive vacation?
Time spent together where the stress was reduced, everyone was happy and you had fun!
We encourage you to make your homeschool all inclusive! This plan changed our families, the way we interacted together and the way we as moms approached lesson planning.
Homeschool should be enjoyable for everyone. Unfortunately, unlike a Disney’s all inclusive vacation, you still have to cook dinner and do the laundry!
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