Large Family Homeschooling: Fitting in the “Extras”
This post is sponsored by TakeLessons.com. I was compensated for my time writing this post. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.
As a homeschooling mom of seven, I can totally relate to the challenges of large family homeschooling. Teaching every subject from chemistry to phonics in one short day can require almost superhuman efforts. Still, the benefits of teaching my children at home far outweigh the challenges of a typical homeschool day.
Because there are only so many hours in a day, I’ve learned to simplify my homeschool planning by focusing on core subjects, fitting in the “extras” whenever possible. But lately I have realized that so many of these “extras” are things in which my children are very interested or gifted, which means that they are essential to the optimal development of each child’s skills and talents.
For example, my daughter is highly interested in music and art, two things that have been almost afterthoughts in our homeschool. One of my teenage boys is eager to learn a foreign language, preferably either Spanish or German.
In addition, if any of my children decide to pursue higher science courses, I’m quite certain that I’ll need outside help with anything more advanced than chemistry.
So how is a homeschool mom of a large family supposed to find time to fit in the “extras,” such as music, art, or foreign languages? And what about those advanced subjects that the children wish to learn?
Three Ways to Fit in the Homeschool “Extras”
1. Find a course that utilizes DVD instruction.
I determined that this year I would finally get my daughter the art instruction that she has been longing for. I was thrilled to find several excellent art courses with lessons presented by gifted art teachers via DVD. My daughter is anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first DVD, and one of the younger boys is planning to get in on the lessons, too.
Using a course that utilizes DVD instruction involves almost no time commitment from mom: no planning, no teaching, no stress. DVD lessons make it possible for me to provide my children with a high-quality instruction in those “extra” subjects without sacrificing my teaching time with other children.
2. Consider online classes.
Online classes are available in a surprisingly wide variety of subject areas. From core courses to specialized classes, you can find an online class for almost any subject area.
During the last year, my children have participated in several online classes, including one focused on Imperial China and one covering static electricity. These online courses offered a unique classroom-type learning experience that my children really enjoyed.
In the future we will consider online classes for some of those subjects that are outside my experience or training, such as foreign languages or advanced science courses.
3. Find a reputable online teacher or tutor.
Online teachers and tutors can be an excellent resource for quality instruction in subjects that a busy homeschool mom of many just cannot find the time to teach.
TakeLessons.com can help you find a safe, pre-qualified music teacher, art instructor, or academic tutor for your child. Since its beginning in 2006, TakeLessons has worked with over 30,000 students across the United States. Every instructor completes an extensive interview, training, and an annual criminal background check, making this a worry-free choice for supplementing your homeschool.
TakeLessons provides in-home and in-studio lessons, as well as online lessons, which are easily accessible via a computer with a webcam, a Skype account, and a good internet connection. The convenience of online lessons is very appealing to me as a busy homeschool mom of many.
There are over thirty lesson types available, including guitar, singing, piano, drums, violin, acting, and academic tutoring. Qualified teachers are available for all ages and all experience levels. TakeLessons also offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee–if you’re not satisfied with your first lesson, they will find you another teacher or refund all of your original purchase price, including the first lesson.
Online lessons would be the simplest solution for getting my daughter started with piano lessons–no travel time, no waiting time, no overtired little ones fussing in the car. This “Quick Guide to Getting Started with Music Lessons”, a FREE ebook from TakeLessons, offers an excellent starting point for families that are planning to start music lessons soon.
As a special bonus, TakeLessons is offering 20% off music lesson or tutoring packages when you use promo code CONTENTED at checkout! This offer is valid through July 6, 2013. Please note that you must use the promo code in order to receive the discount.
Find out more about music lessons or academic tutoring by visiting the website or by calling 619-618-7479 to speak with a TakeLessons Student Counselor.
What are your solutions for fitting in the “extras” in your homeschool?
We have done core subjects 4 days a week and the extras are on one day.
https://www.duolingo.com/ was very useful for us last year when our new special needs baby entered our family and things had to be cut. My oldest had to become more independent and found his interest in foreign language!