Are you feeling blown away while trying to keep up with teaching multiple grade levels at once? Most school teachers only teach one grade level and they still find themselves overwhelmed (which could be because they also teach as many as 30 students). So, why wouldn’t you feel a bit thrown off with multiple grades to cover? If this describes you, consider doing multi-level teaching for at least a few subjects!
What Is Multi-Level Teaching?
Multi-level teaching involves teaching students of multiple grade levels at once. In schools, this is often referred to as “differentiation” and involves teaching the same objectives to various learners at different levels. It’s basically teaching the same concepts at various learning levels. At the same time, you’ll be providing grade-specific content at levels suitable to your students.
What Are the Advantages of Multi-Level Teaching?
For one thing, multi-level teaching takes less time! Instead of teaching three different levels of history, for instance, you’ll only teach it once and will provide your learners with what they each need to absorb the material. Younger students benefit from learning from older students and older students benefit from being able to “teach” the younger students. YOU benefit from only having to teach once. Win-win!
Another advantage to multi-level teaching comes in the money you’ll save. Instead of buying “complete packages” for separate grade levels, you’ll really only need one main textbook you can use as a read-aloud. If you want your students to each have a copy, by all means, make that happen. But, you don’t have to.
Finally, a third advantage to multi-level teaching is the overall headache you’ll save. Since your students are all studying the same topics in your grouped subjects, your older students can help check work the younger students do. Even very young students can absorb content at levels you probably don’t realize which means you can include everyone in those studies. It truly is a blessing to teach in this way!
Which Subjects Can We Do Together?
With all of the advantages to multi-level teaching, you’re probably eager to find out exactly which subjects you can combine. It’s easier to list the subjects you shouldn’t combine: math and language arts. All students should have math and language arts at their level to ensure continued progress toward graduation. But virtually everything else can be combined – science, geography, Bible, history, art, civics, economics, fitness/PE, etc.
What About Credit, Grades, and Transcripts?
You’ll probably find multi-level teaching makes these things much easier to track. Instead of counting tests and tracking everything your child completes, think in terms of “credit earned” especially for high school students. Of course, you can still record test grades if you’d like but what’s important is that your high school students earn the credits they’ll need to graduate. When you keep track of grades, you’re creating a transcript inadvertently so anything you track can go on your student’s homeschool transcript.
There’s no doubt about it: multi-level teaching will take your homeschool to the next level! There are many advantages to this style of homeschooling. If you feel weighed down keeping up with multiple grade levels in your homeschool, consider multi-level teaching next school year.