Teaching reading to multiple kids homeschool how to

Teaching Reading to Multiple Kids

I have three kids less than two years apart. That means I was teaching three kids how to read at the same time. Reading is very much of a one on one lesson, as everyone progressed at different stages, so I found was to teach reading to multiple kids at once while homeschooling, and keeping the other kids busy.

Teaching Reading to Multiple Kids at once

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Despite the fact that my boys are twins, my kids are at three different levels in reading.  Superman is almost done with All About Reading 2 {affiliate link}, and his brother and sister are at different spots in that same one.

The first step is to have your reading program organized.  I wrote a thorough explanation of my All About Reading organization earlier, but here are a few things I’ve figured out since then.

marking progress in book

First, I’ve got these super official bookmarks in the place of each kids’ lesson.  Yes, they may look like scraps of paper to you, but these are official where you’re at papers.  I also, to help me gauge their mastery of the lesson move where the bookmark is within the lesson to give me an idea of how many more days I think they might need to practice.

paper clip
I’m gonna be fairly lazy on switching out the logo with my new one on most of these, because it ends up looking weird as I edit the picture.

Next, because I was not getting all the pieces to the games out when I pulled them out of their envelopes, I started paper-clipping the pieces to the game.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.

What to do with the extra kids while teaching reading to multiple kids?

In my house at least, reading is a 1 to 1 ratio class.  Yes, I’m teaching reading to multiple kids, but I’m doing it one kid at a time.

We have a set rotation and different kids go first each day (we have a kid of the day system, and the kid of the day reads first, and the kid who will be kid of the day next reads last).

Here’s some of what they do while I’m reading with their brother or sister:


Buddy reading.  There are a lot of great things that come with that, here are the main ones I like about it:

  • extra reading practice
  • helps the weaker reader because the stronger reader will correct and help them
  • helps the stronger reader by allowing them to be the teacher
  • increases listening skills
  • increases their concentration
  • increases their confidence

We’re just starting this one out, so I’m working through ideas I used during teaching, when I’ve got them all worked out with pictures, I’ll share them with you.  Here’s what we’ve done so far:

  • magnetic letters on the magnet wall
  • rainbow write them
  • stair step write them
independent reading

While buddy reading is great for your kids, so is independent reading.  It teaches:

  • enjoyment of reading
  • how to read silently in your head (which my kids are still working on)
  • concentration skills while others are making noise (not that this is a problem in my house)
math work

Math can be an independent thing.  I only use this for lessons I am VERY sure they can complete on their own without questions.  So, I would not recommend this on a routine basis.


The writing process can be great independent work.  Superman is brainstorming for an assignment in this picture.  Other times I’ve had them write rough drafts or recopy for final drafts.


Copywork.  Copywork is great for independent work because they shouldn’t need direction after they’ve learned to form their letters.  (Side note see bottom of post for a great deal)


Finally, playing.  Yes, I include playtime in schoolwork.  Sometimes they just need a few minutes to play and be themselves.  Usually, I will pair it to a specific type of play, acting out Bible stories or playing with our Harry Potter peg dolls.  But sometimes it’s playing with the castle or Legos.

One last one with no picture, I sometimes let them play educational games on my iphone.  They love this time because it’s a bit of a rarity.

Teaching reading to multiple kids homeschool how to

Here’s my plan for the “How can I teach when I’m a mess?” series:

So, that’s how I’m teaching reading to multiple kids.  It’s been going along pretty well so far.


12 responses to “Teaching Reading to Multiple Kids”

  1. It’s awesome that everyone can get 1:1 instruction from you. Is Batman stressing about his brother being ahead?

    1. oddly enough he doesn’t seem to be. But then, he’s my happy go lucky, make sure everyone gets along kid (except Princess, he is perfectly happy to pick fights with his sister).

  2. Andrea @ No Doubt Learning Avatar
    Andrea @ No Doubt Learning

    I totally make use of my fancy sticky notes and fabulous paper clips! Great tips!

    1. I LOVE fancy sticky notes, they are so much fun!

  3. I was in a similar position to you, teaching three siblings the same age. Mine were always at the same stage until about 2 years ago when strengths and weakness became apparent. Up until then everything was taught together. Now we have to school separately. It’s all a learning process for me (I’m a nurse by profession), but you seem to have it all figured out!!

  4. maryanne @ mama smiles Avatar
    maryanne @ mama smiles

    I like your approach.

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