Being a parent is a monumental task all on its own. When you add in being the primary teacher, it’s no surprise that sometimes you feel your life needs a little bit more breathing room.
What is one tool that homeschooling moms could use with great benefit for their family of multiple children?
It's sibling delegation.
What might sibling delegation look like in your homeschool? Here are some ideas for letting your children work together to learn and to reduce your workload:
- Assign your most avid reader to read the day’s Read-Aloud to their siblings.
- Ask your second grader to play a phonics game with your kindergartner.
- Have siblings pair up to give each other spelling tests.
- Have children check each other’s written translation work for foreign language lessons.
- Allow your high schooler to lead a science experiment with younger brothers and sisters.
What are the Benefits of Sibling Delegation for Homeschooled Kids?
There's an old principle which claims you only understand a concept well when you are able to teach it to someone else.
When an older sibling tutors a younger sibling, it's an excellent chance for the older child to review. Having to break down a concept or skill in digestible steps for a younger brother or sister is wonderful critical thinking practice, too.
Sibling delegation in the homeschool is a low-stakes environment to stretch their teaching muscles and to practice learned concepts in a different context as they assume the teacher role.
Another benefit is the opportunity for relationship building. Many of us choose homeschooling because we want our children to spend more of their childhood years together. Working together to learn about a topic gives them a further chance to bond over the shared learning experience.
While playing together is an important aspect of relationship-building for children, working together and accomplishing tasks worth being proud of can be even more powerful in cementing positive relationships.
What are the Benefits of Sibling Delegation for Moms?
Every homeschool mom needs a brain break at times. There will be moments when the busyness of life itself has been so incessant and you’ve been needed with such intensity that you feel like you simply can’t play another round of sight word bingo. This is where building a family culture of delegation comes in handy.
In this homeschool culture, mom isn’t needed for every school activity at all times because children help each other learn. Delegation of homeschool tasks isn't a chore or a threat but a natural aspect of your homeschool.
When Shouldn’t Sibling Delegation Be Used?
You know your own children. For certain subjects and particular stages in maturity and in individual sibling relationships, delegation isn’t appropriate.
- If your older child struggles to be patient, and your younger child struggles to pay attention, don’t pair them up for a challenging activity.
- Avoid delegating the very first introduction of foundational concepts. Sibling delegation is best used for review and practice while Mom remains the primary teacher for new concepts.
- If you know that a child particularly dislikes a certain subject, avoid asking them to lead homeschool tasks related to that subject. There’s no need to add further aggravation.
Sibling delegation is a helpful strategy for managing the rigors of homeschool life. It's most effective when children are paired in a thoughtful way. Consider how you could apply sibling delegation to get more done without doing it all yourself.
Teaching multiple children at different ages can sometimes feel difficult to manage. Sonlight makes it easier by dividing our curriculum into two types of subjects: Couch and Table Subjects. LEARN MORE HERE.