Let me preface this post with the disclaimer that I only homeschool 3 children. This is what works for our family. It may or may not work in your homeschool but I suspect it will since the simplest ideas are always the best, right?
In the Rogers Academy, we have 1 high schooler and 2 late elementary children. We join together for Bible, history, science, Latin, Spanish, Nature , Shakespeare, and language aka grammar and writing. The last one is due to Logan’s autism. He is still working on motor planning issues. To make him feel competent and to stretch him just a bit in order to grow, I have him and Madison at the same level. This is an exception to the rule though.
Here’s my brilliant idea. Are you sitting down? It’s revolutionary. I teach to the oldest child’s level and let the younger children join in as they can. For us, this means that I teach at Logan’s level and Madison & JoJo join in with us. So, we are teaching those lessons mentioned above at a high school level . Is Madison able to successfully complete the entire course?. Of course not. She does enough to learn something but feel competent at the same time.
Want to see what that looks like in our homeschool? Latin is a great place to start. Madison listens to the cd, learns the words and their roots, memorizes the prayers and songs and pretty much does everything Logan does at a slower pace. What she is not required to do is the review tests at the end of a section. It was way too intimidating for her. She joins in history discussions with us adding facts from the books she read. She listens to the science text being read aloud, does some of the labs and reads books about it just not as many as Logan.
JoJo does the exact same thing as Madison just a bit less. There are 2 reasons for this. One is that he is a year behind her. The second and probably most important is that he has recently been pulled from public school. He is great at regurgitating facts but not great at actually thinking. That is a far more important skill than academics at the moment.
Madison learns far more than I usually give her credit for. If she doesn’t quite get it then that’s ok too. The beauty of this method is that she gets to go over it all again when she’s in high school. Then she will be required to do all the work but she will have a leg up on it as she is already familiar with it and has some prior knowledge. The same for JoJo. He will have heard it before and learned how to think too. That is what I call a successful homeschooled child.