My ages and grade of my kids will be 6th, 4th and 1st. I am really wanting curriculum that is student taught for the most part PLUS that I can teach them all together. I am very scared and really don’t know what I am doing in regards to switching things up from a DVD set program to teaching on my own. Any help or suggestions I would really love….I have heard that the Apologia is a great curriculum to teach multiple grades at one time!!!! So again anything you have I would love to hear.
The good news is, teaching your children doesn’t have to be overwhelming!
Our curriculum bundles are designed to encourage students to become independent learners, though obviously that will be more true for your 4th and 6th graders than your 1st grader. The older ones particularly should be able to do much of their work independently, with you monitoring their work and inputting where necessary, while the youngest obviously will need more of your involvement as the “teacher.”
One of the things that will help, as you mentioned, is having them work together where they can — which will probably be science and history. With the age range of your children that should work pretty well with a couple of them at least, though it may stretch a bit far for all three of them.
Apologia science is a great program to have children from multiple ages work together. This is the one where you can probably even stretch it for all three to do. You can pick just one of the available topics in their Young Explorer Series, for example the Zoology 1. You can read as a family, or they can do the reading together, which would help the youngest along in that respect, then you can get the standard Notebooking Journals for the older children and the Junior Notebooking Journal for the youngest, allowing them each to do the journal work at their own levels. If you opt to do science with all three children together, your best options are:
Zoology 1 (ideally done before jumping ahead to Zoology 2 or 3)
Exploring Creation with Astronomy
or Exploring Creation with Botany,
although you could also consider Anatomy and Physiology or Chemistry and Physics.
History is a little more of a stretch all the way from 1st to 6th, although it can be done. If you wanted to do all three together I would lean toward Mystery of History. Although it’s written for 4th grade or higher, it can be used for younger grades with some additional explanation (vocabulary and sentence structure aren’t aimed at a 1st grader), particularly if they do the reading together. There are suggested activities and questions and such at the end of each section, and you can adjust your expectations there for each child based on their ages.
The other alternative for history would be to break it up so that you have the 1st grader doing Story of the World volume 1, then have the 4th and 6th graders work together in either America the Beautiful (US history) or in Mystery of History (world history).
Math, language arts, and thinking skills are generally done independently by each student at his own level, although occasionally you may have students at two different grade levels who are close enough to work together in one of these subjects as well.
Hopefully that answers some of your questions, and gives you a little more to think about. Please let us know what questions you still have or what we can better clarify for you. You can email us, or feel free to give us a call, whichever works best for you.