I’ve entered a new era in my homeschooling experience. It’s called: more than one child. While most of you would laugh at my naiveté, I am both excited and scared. I’ve been homeschooling my son for all of about two years (at least officially). Now my niece has moved in part-time, and her schooling has become my responsibility. I get to teach another child to read! I’m so happy! Yet, I’ve only ever had to manage one child at a time, so I’m a little nervous as well. How will I find time for everything?
Sometimes I feel a little guilty when I think of all the homeschooling mothers who focus solely on ministering to their families. I feel that I’ve put my own educational, musical, and writing goals ahead of my duties as wife and teacher. In an effort to “do better this time,” I’ve majorly cut back on my piano and voice students to make things easier. I’ve decided to write only when I have all of my other duties taken care of. Nobody told me I had to write; it’s just something I enjoy. But I don’t want to have any regrets when it comes to spending time with the children and teaching them to the best of my abilities.
I do have some advantages this year: my son is reading well enough to be able to follow instructions in his math and language books. And when he reads aloud to me, he doesn’t take an hour like he did last year. I’m thrilled at how much his reading skills have developed over the last couple of months. In addition to all that, my niece absolutely loves her schoolwork! She’s been looking forward to the day when she would begin schooling for quite some time now, so it’s a simple task to motivate her. I’m thinking I can teach Bible, art, home economics, science, and history together, and maybe have my son read a lesson aloud to my niece every once in a while.
I never imagined myself teaching more than one child, so I’m quite unprepared and open to any suggestions you all may have for me! One thing I’ve decided: I’m not going to push so hard with this one. My son loved reading – until I pushed him further than he could comprehend. He’s hated it ever since about the middle of kindergarten. He’s just now beginning to read for pleasure again. So with my niece, I’m going to make sure she completely understands everything each step of the way. If she has trouble with a new math or phonics concept, I think we’ll just keep redoing mastered things until she is mentally capable of understanding the new material.