If you were to compare the characteristics of a typical public school classroom to a homeschool educational setting, you would find a few similarities but mostly differences.
One difference that I find to be very beneficial is tailoring the learning materials and environment to meet the needs of students of all ages. Yes, you can use the same curriculum across multiple age groups in a one-room classroom setting.
There are many advantages to using the same subjects and curriculum for multiple ages:
- It is financially beneficial
- Preparation is more streamlined
- Students work together with older siblings helping younger ones
- Most of all, it’s fun!
With those advantages in mind, here are three ways to start your own one-room classroom.
1. Start Young Creating the Classroom Setting
Choosing a curriculum designed for younger or middle school students is one way to set the starting point for your multi-level classroom.
Supplement the activities with more difficult assignments like research papers, digital projects and literature. You can also ask older students to prepare a portion of the lesson for the younger students by giving them one of the week’s topics and allowing them to create a presentation for the end of the week.
Many times, retelling a topic in detailed, simple terms is a great way to ensure students master the material.
2. Begin at an Older Student’s Level
Begin with the requirements for your oldest student. You can do this by purchasing or preparing curriculum that satisfies the needs of his or her grade level.
After the class structure is established for the older student, you can identify key topics for the purpose of teaching a younger student or students. Age appropriate books, art projects, writing assignments and documentaries are all ways to maximize the fun while teaching the facts.
Again, by having your older student tell his or her younger sibling more about what was learned, they are verbalizing confirmation of their understanding.
3. Choose Multi-Aged Curriculum for the One-Room Classroom
Curriculum suppliers see an advantage providing materials that can be used in multiple grades. Many times you will find a set of lesson plans, workbooks or printables sold together for elementary, middle and high school.
Purchasing these types of materials saves preparation time. It also allows your family to share the same lesson from the same material, but with the students working at their grade appropriate level.
Finding ways to be creative, efficient, frugal and all-encompassing is very important when teaching different ages.
Are you nervous about starting your own one-room classroom? Just give it a try with one subject—history or geography are good subjects to start with. Once you make that decision, grab an interactive curriculum set and map out your lessons today!
Not sure what curriculum to purchase? A variety of curriculum will be available for purchase at The Woodlands Convention, July 20-22. Come join us and turn your next curriculum purchase into one the whole family can enjoy!
To learn more about ways THSC supports your family, consider joining THSC today and immediately start taking advantage of your member benefits as THSC continues Keeping Texas Families Free.
Your Turn: Do you have experience with a one-room classroom? Share your success stories, challenges and obstacles with other homeschool families in the Comments Section below.