Need help getting a plan in place for your large family homeschooling routine? We’ve got 5 can’t-miss planning tips especially for multi-age homeschool families.
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When you have lots of kids, homeschool planning can seem a bit daunting.
I mean, think about it. One kid (or two) needs to learn how to read and count. The next kid is great at reading but has the reading comprehension of a leaf. A third kid is the worst speller you’ve ever seen. And the last kid needs to figure out this essay and research paper thing so she’s ready for college.
That’s a lot of things to keep track of when there’s only one you! And that’s just reading. Don’t even get me started on math. I mean, there’s counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, geometry, and trigonometry that all need to be studied in a single school day.
You get the idea.
Seems pretty overwhelming, right? But it doesn’t have to be!
Top Tips for Multi-Age Homeschool Planning
I have been (wo)manning a seven-kid homeschool for more than 10 years now. And today, I’m here to share with you my top tips for homeschooling multiple ages of busy and happy kids.
At a glance, my top tips for a multi-age homeschool are as follows:
- Begin with the end in mind
- Invest in all-in-one curriculum (family school style)
- Be willing to change things up
- Go on regular learning adventures (field trips)
- Forget about expectations and just be YOU!
Now let’s dive in!
1. Begin with the End in Mind.
The most important thing to consider when homeschooling a lot of kids is your goal.
At the beginning of your homeschool journey, ask yourself these questions. And then ask them again regularly so you can reevaluate and make sure your homeschool is still on track.
What is your goal? Where is your homeschool headed? What do you want your kids to be able to accomplish when they ‘graduate’ from their home education.
In our family, the goal is to raise entrepreneurial-minded kids. We want all of our kids to be able to ‘graduate’ from our homeschool with a successful business (proportionate to their ages and financial needs).
So our homeschooling journey follows a path that leads to this goal. Every subject, every lesson, every project, takes us a little bit closer to this vision.
Other families have different goals for their homeschool, and that’s okay! Maybe you want your kids to be able to get into an ivy league college and graduate with honors?
Or perhaps your goals have nothing to do with anything scholarly and instead, you want your kids to make a world-changing impact on those around them?
Every family will have a different vision and therefore a different journey. As a family, talk about your goals and decide what you want to accomplish, and then go from there.
2. Invest in an All-In-One Curriculum (Family School Style)
Now that you have decided on your homeschool’s vision, it is time to pick a curriculum.
There are SO MANY curriculum options out there, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Honestly, there are almost as many curriculum options as there are homeschooling families.
Knowing the goal of your homeschooling journey can narrow these down a bit, but there are still is so many options.
My biggest tip for choosing a curriculum for a multi-aged homeschool? Choose an all-in-one curriculum.
Trust me on this. When you are educating multiple kids the last thing you want to worry about is curriculums that make you purchase multiple grade levels. That gets chaotic and just plain expensive!
Find an all-in-one family-style curriculum that works for your family and your goals. School days will be a lot more enjoyable for everybody if you only have to teach one lesson to everybody.
Bonus – this style of homeschooling is also good for nurturing sibling relationships!
Need a place to map out your multi-age homeschool plans? We love and recommend Homeschool Planet!
3. Be Willing to Change Things Up in Your Multi-Age Homeschool
As any large family mother knows, there is always one kid who doesn’t want to cooperate. And somedays, nobody wants to cooperate.
You can’t let this get you down, mama! If you wait to only homeschool on the ‘good’ days, you’re only going to be teaching lessons a handful of days a year!
If you’re into the unschooling or the lifeschooling method of homeschooling, then that’s just fine. But for everybody else, that just isn’t going to cut it.
If too many people are having a rough day, be willing to let your plans fall by the wayside. Instead of structured lessons, play some educational games or watch some documentaries.
If your younger kids need a break, send your older kids off for some independent study and have some fun with your littles!
Or throw all thoughts of schooling out the window and just have some fun! It’ll be okay, I promise.
The best way to manage large family homeschool is to allow for a lot of flexibility.
4. Go on Regular Adventures (Field Trips)
Another great insider’s tip to homeschooling multiple ages is regular field trips.
Field trips are great because you can adapt them to fit many different ages. Each child will naturally absorb concepts and ideas that are more on their level, without any extra work from you!
And if you want your field trips to be more structured, bring a couple of worksheets along or have the older kids write a research paper on the field trip after you get home.
Even if you think you’ve exhausted all of your local field trip options, think again! There are so many amazing field trip options out there, if only you’re willing to think a bit outside the box!
5. Forget About Expectations and Just Be YOU!
This tip might actually be the most important tip on this list.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Your homeschool is not like your neighbor’s homeschool or your favorite blogger’s homeschool.
In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say your homeschool is probably unlike anybody else’s homeschool in the whole entire world!
Yes, there might be families who are similar to you. But there is nobody like you.
Unless you live in an area that has some pretty strict requirements, there is nobody in charge of your child’s home education but you. And even then, if you’re creative enough, I daresay you can work around those strict requirements in a way that meets your family’s needs.
The best way to ensure a successful large family homeschool is to forget about everybody else’s expectations and just do what works for you. Keep your original homeschool goals and visions in mind and forge your own path.
Then, and only then, will you have a successful large family homeschool.
And if anybody gives you grief, throw a funny homeschooling meme at them! At the very least, you’ll get a laugh out of the ordeal.
Charlene Hess spent many years teaching kids before she had her own kids. She now has 7 kids of her own, whom she has been homeschooling for the last 10 years. Charlene still teaches other children outside of her home but finds great joy in exploring the world with her family.
Charlene has participated in many leadership trainings with John C. Maxwell. Charlene and her husband blog about their homeschooling and parenting adventures at
Need more help with homeschool planning?
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