When I first started homeschooling ds1 he was in 4th grade and ds2 was a preschooler. They each had their own curriculum and I never really had many problems teaching both at the same time. Then along came ds3. And 4 years later ds4. One year I found myself teaching ds2 middle school, ds3 elementary and ds4 preschool. I discovered just how hard it is to keep track of three separate complete curriculums in three different levels. Things had to change.
Around this time I discovered lapbooks, and began using them as a kind of unit study for subjects like literature, science and history. And I also discovered that all three boys could work on the same study, just at their own level. They would all learn about the Olympics, for example, just that ds2 would write a report, ds3 would make a graph of the countries involved, and ds4 would color some medals and make a wreath. I would actually teach them all the same material at once and they would do individual projects at their own level. Wow, my life got way less stressful lol!
Today I implore much the same strategy with ds3 (now 4th grade) and ds4 (now 1st grade.) They both have the same history, geography, science, art, and nature curriculum but their individual activities in these subjects are based on their grade level. For history it’s SOTW. I so love this series! I read the text out loud to them both each week. They both explore the Usborne internet links for each chapter. Then ds3 will complete the map work and ds4 will do the coloring sheet. Usually the extra activities are suitable for both of them as well. This multi-level learning approach is such a time and sanity saver for me and I know that my boys enjoy learning the same things together as well.
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