The key to homeschooling multiple ages is to know your learning priorities. If you are homeschooling multiple ages, get your older children started on math, then you can work with your youngest child. This means getting children in 3rd grade and up started, then work one-on-one with children in 2nd grade and below.
How long should homeschooling take?
Teaching your children lessons in the home takes LESS time than if children were at a regular “school”. So forget the “school” mentality and focus on the qualities that make your own children and your own homeschool special. One great advantage of homeschooling is that you can tailor your educational activities to your own style and your unique children. Students in 1st-3rd grade usually homeschool for a total of 2 hours a day, with no work -or sometimes just math- on Friday. Use Fridays for visits to parks, museums, play dates, and to go to Mass! We really prioritize this flexibility for younger children at Regina Caeli Academy.
Students in 4th-6th grade usually homeschool 3 hours per day, with limited work on Fridays. At Regina Caeli, students in 4th-6th grade typically just have Math and History on Fridays.
In 7th grade and above, homeschooling takes about 5 hours per day, and the students need to be sure to read every day. I always say the Classical Student should read their literature books every day, including on weekends. This forms good intellectual habits into adulthood. At Regina Caeli, our curriculum includes readings from St. Therese of Liseaux, St. Louis de Montfort, Pope Pius XI, and the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen… so their spiritual life will benefit too!
Active Supervision is Important for Young Children
For children in PK4 through 1st grade you will need to do every subject with them. Keep in mind, though, that play is VERY important in PK4 and K. You have LOTS of flexibility at this age, and children actually learn through play. Think of little girls playing house or young boys playing explorer, or making their own swords!! Strengthen their imaginations by reading beautiful children’s literature — SOME OF MY FAVORITES ARE the Yellow Fairy Book and the Orange Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. Rapunzel and Rumplestiltskin by Paul Zelinsky, and Cinderella by K.Y. Craft have beautiful illustrations which fill the child’s imagination with beautiful images.
SO READ BEAUTIFUL LITERATURE, GET LOTS OF OUTDOOR PLAY, and PRAY together. This combination will ensure they have rich and true images in their imaginations which will inform their play at this age. As far as lessons, know the priorities. At 4 years old, a child will still be ready for Kindergarten if they learn their prayers, practice poetry and you read aloud to them often. In Kindergarten, the child will be ready for 1st grade if you make sure they learn to
- Write their letters and numbers 1-100
- Write their first name
- Sound out basic 3-letter words
The Regina Caeli curriculum will give them more skills than this with memory work, vocabulary, and early reading. However, you have LOTS of flexibility. Contact your curriculum provider and determine the Learning Priorities specific to the curriculum you are using, such as these Learning Priorities: Homeschooling with Regina Caeli Academy.
Children in 2nd and 3rd grade, you definitely need to do religion and math with them, but they have times when they are writing in their workbook and you can get them started and switch to help another child if needed. They don’t know how to ask questions when they need help at this age, so you need to…
Model asking questions for them…. “Mom or Dad, will you help me read the instructions?” “Mom or Dad, can you help me with this problem?”
Children who are daydreaming often don’t know what to do, but they don’t know how to ask for help… so… MODEL asking good questions.!
In 4th and 5th grades, children using the Regina Caeli curriculum are learning to work more independently. Always do religion with your child and check their math work yourself at this age. They will benefit from lots of parent involvement and hands-on guidance. Remember, that at Regina Caeli, in 1st-6th grade you as the parent can determine when the work is done. If your child just does the even problems in math, you can INITIAL the work to indicate it’s complete.
But keep in mind –some problems in the assignment must be completed for you to initial the work. The goal should always be to work towards completing ALL the problems, especially in Saxon math. However, we are homeschoolers and you do have this flexibility at Regina Caeli Academy.
To learn more about Regina Caeli Academy, visit our website! RCAHYBRID.ORG Regina Caeli has locations all over the United States and in the UK, so check out our website, to see if there is a Regina Caeli Academy in your area!
The breakdown in this document helps the parent determine which skills to focus on at each grade level. Click to print.