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Working with multi age groups

Help!  How do I cope with multi age groups?

This is a common question for teachers at SIDE.

It is difficult teaching different age groups where  needs of the students vary hugely.

Younger children need constant supervision but what happens when older children need help?

Then, there are the siblings who are not at school, not to mention the day to day chores associated with having a family and travelling.

PHEW! That is almost enough to put anyone off BUT it can and is done successfully by many families.

Some tips …

  • Draw up a timetable together and discuss with your children how you will manage to work with them so they all get the attention they want. Provide individual instruction time for each student.
  • Provide easily managed activities your child can go on with whilst waiting for help from you e.g. reading a book, finishing work, drawing, researching or using a computer. Before you begin work for the day, ensure that each child has the equipment or materials needed for independent work time.
  • Do the same activity together but expect different outcomes for different age groups.  This is ideal for SIDE families.  Discuss this with your class teacher if you want more information about how to make it work for you.
  • Use an older sibling to explain things to and support younger children. This gives older siblings responsibility and they generally love reading to or working with their younger brothers and sisters.
  • If your children distract each other try a partition or seat children so they cannot annoy each other (where space permits).
  • Use the red dot, green dot system so you know when one of your children needs help, the red dot facing up means I need your help, the green dot facing up means, I am okay. This is a simple but effective strategy.

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