Books and Products to Consider
These are fun to use for times you're busy with one child and need the other to work alone. They are also great to pack for schooling at the doctor's office.
The first time I homeschooled, I only had one child stay home. The others went to their traditional school. There were some unexpected challenges to cope with because of this. Here is a list of some of the problems you might face:
1. School or homeschool parties and field trips: We didn't have a homeschool group, so the school kids were having parties and the homeschooler was not. If you join a group, this problem will be solved because the group will have holiday parties. If you don't join a group, plan something special that day to make up for it or have a small party at home with close friends. Plan a field trip the day your other children are going on field trips. If you're taking your homeschooler to a party or field trip the other children aren't going on, decide how to handle things. Presumably all your children don't have field trips the same day anyway, so just make sure there are an equal number or nearly so.
2. Jealousy over attention: My one and only homeschooler had me all to herself all day. While she might not always have enjoyed this, the other kids didn't think it was fair. Be prepared to spend extra time with them in the evenings and weekends. Plan one-on-ones with the other children regularly. Help them understand most of that attention involves teaching, not playing and shopping together.
3. Extra privileges: Sometimes when my homeschooler and I were out, we picked up lunch along the way. That was seen as not fair. My homeschooler and I just agreed not to mention it. We didn't lie--we just didn't brag about it to the others.
4. More free time for the homeschooler: If you have an intellectually stimulating homelife, you can do all your homeschooling in fifteen hours a week. This creates a problem for the others, who are in school much longer and then still have homework to deal with. Save some of the boring paperwork for your homeschooler to do while the others are ploughing through dull homework. Keep your homeschooler busy during the school day, even if you don't really need that much time. Include things like journaling, building a model, researching, or memorizing. When your kids are talking about what they did all day, the days should sound reasonably comparable. While this isn't how I'd do it if I had all my children home, it's the most stress-free for duel situations.
To make homeschooling only some children more effective, try to make the homeschooled and traditional schooled process somewhat similar in terms of structure and privilege. Make sure all your children get some of your time--the homeschooled child needs non-educational time and the other children need social time with you as well as educational time. Help each set see the advantages of their way of life, while not feeling superior about it. They are just two different ways of getting an education. The link to the next article is under the Mega-Fun suggestion.)
The advantage of using games to teach in a part-homeschooling family is the traditionally-schooled kids can play these with the homeschooled child, letting everyone learn in your afterschool hours.
Go back to How to Homeschool