Homeschooling one child can be a challenge for even the most organized of parents, but with every additional child, the difficulty increases. We want to give out children the attention they need, but also develop independent learning skills that will benefit them in their years of homeschooling as well as throughout life.
So how much one-on-one time with each child is needed when homeschooling?
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that will guarantee everyone’s happiness and success, but we can consider some overriding principles that will help create a fruitful and joyful homeschool.
Yes, a certain amount of one-on-one time will be needed, but that is an amount of time that changes from year to year, and sometimes even day by day.
So what factors guide us in where to spend our time?
How Many Children Are Vying For Your Time?
Most of us start our lives as parents with the bests of intentions. Everything will be equal, and we’ll share our time and resources equitably between our children. However, we soon realize that idea may be a lofty, yet unrealizable dream.
We’re shocked to find that all of our children are different and need different things from us as parents. It isn’t as simple as dividing our time amongst the number of children, though that is an excellent place to start.
How many children are we homeschooling? This number will affect the amount of time we can give each child, but it is just one factor to consider.
Considering Strengths and Weaknesses
Since we’ve now come to realize that there is more to consider when deciding how to divvy up our one-on-one time with our children, we can contemplate the needs of each child. Some children simply require more of our time, for any number of reasons.
- A dyslexic child will need more help when learning to read.
- A child with ADHD will require more assistance in staying engaged and finishing assignments.
- A child who struggles with math will need more time to memorize their multiplication tables.
But even this can change from day-to-day. Perhaps a child is ill and requires all your attention one day, yet another needs to be driven to tutoring or lessons some other day. So how do we manage the competing needs of our family, children, and homeschool?
Get Organized With Our Time
There are several ways we can organize our family and homeschool time. The first would be to identify what children will need one-on-one assistance and how much.
Our youngest children who are just starting their educational journey will need more time with a parent to complete some of their work; fortunately, their work is still fairly minimal.
We then need to consider what tasks our children can complete themselves and what areas they will require assistance. With this in mind, we can develop a schedule or rotation that will allow each child to receive the help and attention they need.
Remember to Remain Flexible
However, we also need to remain flexible. Yes, our schedule may tell us it’s time for math with a child, but there may be a pressing need that requires our immediate attention. Be flexible and know you can get to the math at a later time if needed.
Homeschool is not a hierarchical institution that stays on schedule no matter the circumstances.
We can skip the math lesson for the doctor’s appointment, or to take the field trip and finish the read aloud another day. Don’t be afraid to bend when needed. The schedule is a guide, not the law.
Use Time Saving Resources
Homeschooling parents can’t be in two places at once, no matter how hard we try. So be open to using time-saving resources in your homeschool that will help you and your children accomplish more in less time
Online classes can help a child receive the individual instruction they need even if a parent isn’t available at that very moment. Find resources that will help your child and lighten your load.
One-on-One Time is Relative and Changing
Don’t let the fear of not having enough one-on-one time with your children be a deterrent to your dreams of homeschooling. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and there are many ways to meet the learning needs of your children.
Know that this is an area that will require thought and discernment from you as a parent and look for ways to use your time as wisely as possible while enjoying the journey of homeschooling.