Frequently Asked Questions
I have a 6 and an 8 year old. Can I teach them together, or do they each need their own level?
The answer to this question will vary for each family.
As a general rule, children who are three or more years apart may be at such varying academic levels that it may not work to group them together. This is especially true for language arts, because children's reading levels may be far apart.
It is feasible to group together children who differ in age only one or two years. Because many activities have two options, the older child can be given the more difficult assignment and the younger child the simpler one.
Ideally, students will be reading all literature independently, but you can occasionally utilize a more challenging chapter book as a read-aloud with a younger child.
It is more feasible to group a 7 and 9 year old together than a 5 and 7 year old. There usually is a much wider gap between the abilities of a 5 and 7 year old than between a 7 and 9 year old in terms of comprehension, reading skills, writing skills, and attention span.
It may also be more feasible to group children of different ages together for science and social studies than for language arts or math. Our literature units target a certain reading level. The text will not always be possible for younger siblings to decode or comprehend. Some parents choose to group their children together for the science and social studies units and then implement different language arts and math levels for each child.
Moving Beyond the Page is designed to meet the needs of a specific age range. Some curricula claim that it is possible to group kids of a broad age range together for a common education. For example, they may say that you can group your 5 and 9 year old together. This approach runs the risk of not meeting the needs of at least one of the children involved. It does not mean that younger children cannot join in conversations or share in the book readings with older siblings, but each child needs a curriculum that is targeted to her level to meet her specific academic needs.