Homeschooling: different ages, different stages

I have been thinking about this subject for awhile and I thought I would put my thoughts down. In no way am I an expert in this subject...just with a bit of experience under my belt.
Our home is not gigantic. I consider it comfortable. It works for our family of seven...three boys and two girls. We also have lots of outdoor space, which is good when the kids need to burn a bit of energy. So, since my house is not huge I have to use my space wisely...and some (or most) of our space is used for multiples purposes.
We have always done our schooling at the dining room table. We don't have a school room, which I don't mind too much. I like to be close to my kitchen, which enables me at times to work in the kitchen if I need to. We generally start all together every morning. After breakfast and chores we start school by eight-thirty. If I was going to have a school room I would want it near the center of our home.
One child always has had the coveted spot...that's right next to me. I always have the youngest child right there When they are little there is a lot more time used directing them, reading for them and being there for them as they learn how to read and write. So, all the kids have been at that spot...and next year Judah will be next to me and William will move across from me. William is already talking about moving and not being "little" anymore. The rest of the kids are spread out across the table. My highschooler can do her work independently whenever I have given out instructions for the day or after a group lesson. I give out reading assignments on Mondays and any specific assignments that need to be completed over the course of the week. Multiple times during the week, we all get together and work. We work on maps, a specific reading assignment or craft.
One of the biggest lessons I learned early on was to teach them that I'm only one person compared to their five...and mommy can not be spread out too thin. So I teach them to wait, don't interrupt and be patient. I only have one set of eyes and ears. I sit there with them all during the morning. They all set their own pace, once we are done with group lessons. And they are allowed to read, complete tests or any special assignments in another area of the house. My kids normally read on the couch...and they love to be read to in the comfort of the couch. The same child usually finishes first and sometimes they compete to finish first. And they always are welcome to ask any questions or if they need a moment of encouragement.
I hope this gives you a quick overview of our life as homeschoolers...it may not work for everyone, but it works for us. If you have any questions, please comment! Have a great day!!!

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