My criteria when selecting our homeschool classes this fall included making sure that there would be plenty of fun things for my two little guys to do while my oldest participated in her own programs. I wanted to avoid a scenario of dropping-off my daughter at her class and waiting around in the lobby of some building with two squirmy siblings, so when I discovered some wonderful homeschool programs sponsored by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, it was a win-win for all of us.
My older daughter enjoys two hours of weekly nature exploration and related projects with two instructors and a small class of eight homeschooled children roughly her age, including some of her good friends, while the little ones and I--along with some of my homeschool-mom friends--spend those two hours exploring the same woods and enjoying our connection with nature. This particular wildlife sanctuary, not too far from the city, is a place we visit as a family often and so it is especially nice to see weekly, seasonal changes in this space throughout autumn.
Juggling the dynamic needs and interests of young children while making sure that our time together is fully maximized can take some doing. Urban homeschoolers are particularly fortunate to have many class options and resources available to make this balancing act a bit easier. Homeschool classes at local museums, for example, can offer drop-off opportunities for older siblings while the other children explore the exhibits. Classes near vibrant urban centers provide time to explore local libraries, bookstores, universities, open spaces, and historic and cultural resources. Outdoor and nature exploration classes enable time in nature to be shared while meeting the needs of each sibling. With some research and planning, there can be many ways to craft optimal learning experiences for younger siblings while the older ones spread their wings.
For those of you homeschooling with children of different ages and interests, how do you manage your time with your other children while a sibling is off at a class?