Homeschooling Multiple Ages, Interview with Tiffany Jefferson

Can you homeschool lots of kids? Yes, you can! Here are tips for homeschooling multiple ages in this interview with Tiffany Jefferson.

Homeschooling Multiple Ages, Interview with Tiffany Jefferson. Can you homeschool lots of kids? Yes, you can! Here are tips from a mom of 10 homeschoolers. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolMultipleAges #HomeschoolingMultipleAges #FinishWithJoy #7SistersHomeschool

Homeschooling Multiple Ages, Interview with Tiffany Jefferson

Tiffany Jefferson is a happily married homeschool mom of 10 children (7 sons and 2 daughters, ranging from ages 22 to newborn). Tiffany loves being a mom and always tells her kids she would gladly do it over again.

Tiffany and her husband started homeschooling after her oldest three children were in public school. When her third child and first daughter entered first grade, they began to have doubts. Her daughter was bright and curious. They saw the classroom system being a discouragement for her. Thinking that they wanted to build, not stifle, their daughter’s inquisitiveness, they began to explore the idea of homeschooling.

Tiffany Jefferson of Finish With Joy.

Photo used by permission.

Fortunately, there were a couple of homeschooling families at her church. They helped them comply with state homeschool laws. They helped Tiffany learn the ropes and even gave them homeschool curriculum to explore as the figured out what would be best fit for their kids. (This was nice for the first year: NO curriculum decisions that first year.)  Tiffany and her husband felt so blessed and encouraged.

When she started homeschooling, they started with just that one daughter, whose needs would be best met at home. Of course, it was not always an easy adventure. Tiffany tells about the time she told her husband, “I feel like I’m giving up all my free time!”

And being a truth-teller, her husband replied, “You are.”

But what a great investment of her time!

Tiffany’s truth-telling advice to other moms homeschooling multiple ages: There is a lot you give up. But what you gave up is no comparison to what you gain.

The first year there were tears and struggles but the priceless joy of watching her daughter’s gains. They learned to pray at tough times and set things aside for the day, pause and do something else. She learned to give herself permission to hit the pause button; she found she not have to finish every lesson, every day.

The second year, Tiffany and her husband brought her oldest two sons home for their education. Eventually, she was homeschooling kids from high school ages down to kindergarten.

Remember: You can hit PAUSE. You don't have to finish every lesson every day. Tiffany Jefferson on Homeschooling Multiple Ages.

Here some of Tiffany Jefferson’s tips for homeschooling multiple ages:

  • Pray. First and foremost.
  • Find a homeschool support group if possible.
  • Find curriculum that could be used with multiple children.
  • Enlist the help of your older children.
    • On any given day in the Jefferson home, you will find one sibling will be holding a baby, another playing with the toddler, or an older child listening to a younger sibling read.
  • Work on household management skills.
    • As in teach your children to do chores, get them involved. Another bit of wisdom from Tiffany’s husband: Delegate to them what they can do so that you can do what only you can do.
  • In curriculum, you do not ever have to do every lesson in the teacher’s manual for your curriculum.
    • The teacher’s manual is a guide, not your master.
    • Be flexible, if it is a tough day, adapt down, switch to a hands-on, independent activity or drop the lesson.
  • Develop independent learners beginning 7th or 8th grade. Tiffany teaches them to:
    • Use a planner
    • Develop their own lesson schedule and enter it into the planner on a weekly basis
    • Create deadlines and schedule backwards for projects and papers. (Check out 7Sister Sabrina’s popular freebie Scheduling Backwards on a way to do this.)
    • Utilize a grading bin for finished work ready for mom to grade.
  • Remember, just like parenting, children become more and more able to help themselves.

When her oldest son was a high school senior, Tiffany was experiencing a difficult pregnancy. She was on bedrest, but the structure they had implemented helped the family’s homeschool to carry on.

When her oldest teen graduated from homeschool high school, it was exciting for him. He knew what he wanted after graduation, so he developed his own system for college choice and application. They also looked to their local umbrella school’s advisor for guidance and a list of deadlines to work on. (What are umbrella schools? Check out this HSHSP episode.)

Now the oldest has graduated from college. Two of her kids are in college. The rest are high school, middle school, elementary school or younger. SO many homeschoolers in a family full of grace!

You're giving up your free time, but you gain so much more!Tiffany Jefferson on Homeschooling Multiple Ages. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #HomeschoolingMultipleAges #TIffanyJefferson #FinsihWithJoy #7SistersHomeschool

More advice from Tiffany on homeschooling high school when you have a bunch of youngers:

  • Pray, of course! (And with your husband, if possible.)
  • For the first year, watch your level of outside the home commitments.
  • Understand the biblical mandate to educate your children in ways that are beyond the academics (Deuteronomy 6:7). Homeschooling is 90% character development and 10% academic (for kids and moms, alike).
  • Remember, you have been your child’s teacher all along. You are equipped.

If you would like to contact Tiffany Jefferson for consulting, visit her at her website Finish With Joy.

Like her Facebook page Finish With Joy and her Instagram profile.

Tiffany’s bio:

Tiffany is a blogger, speaker and entrepreneur.  As founder of The Homeschool Helper, she uses over a decade of homeschool experience to equip parents with the tools to succeed in their homeschool journey.  As a mentor to mothers, she’s passionate about teaching women how to honor their husbands and create peaceful home environments. You can find her encouraging women, sharing Scriptural truths and helpful tips at her blog Finish with Joy, on Facebook and Instagram.

Homeschooling Multiple Ages, Interview with Tiffany Jefferson

Help Your Family Refute Evolution

Most science textbooks that are not specifically labeled as Christian teach evolution as a scientific fact. As Christians, we know this is untrue. It is important to teach our children how to learn how to refute evolution by analyzing scientific and physical evidence that points back to a creation model. One way to do this is by choosing curriculum that supports what you believe and helps you to teach and explain why you believe what you believe!

Help Your Family Refute Evolution with the Creation Science Study Guide

Creation Science: A Study Guide to Creation from Media Angels will help you to teach your family how to refute evolution. This study guide will take your family through the Bible, starting in the book of Genesis to answer the question of how the world was created. It uses scriptures and factual information that is demonstrated by science that shows us the real Divine Designer. This guide teaches from a young earth, creationism view. It points out the errors of Darwin and the theory of evolution while always pointing back to God our creator. It covers many topics such as: The 7 days of Creation, Darwin’s theories, Flood geology, the age of the Earth, The Big Bang Theory, evidence of fossils and more false scientific concepts.

I really enjoy using unit studies in our homeschool, and this is a great way to  dig deep and teach creation science to your children in a fun and engaging way! This unit study should take 6-8 weeks to complete which is a good amount of time to really immerse your children in the subject.

This Creation Science Study Guide was created for a busy mom of many children. This teaching outline is created for multiple ages in grades K-12. The easy to follow lesson plans are broken down by grade levels: K-3, 4-8, and grades 9-12. There are more than 350 activities and experiments that your children can choose from.  All of the lesson plans include a teaching outline for each day of the week. There are suggestions and tips on how to incorporate daily Bible time with scriptures to back up what you are learning. Since this is unit study based, there are even ways to incorporate math, geography and history, language arts and even music into your studies! I really enjoy the blank planning pages that you can use to record notes, field trip ideas or any special videos, or podcasts that you want to listen to that week to go along with what you are learning.

This series has even made Cathy Duffy’s 100 and 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum!

To enrich your studies even further, you will really enjoy using the Hands-On Science Experiment Activity Pack. This packet saves you a lot of time as it has all the printables you need to create your very own science notebook. You can even copy them for use with multiple children. The printable packet includes: experiment pages, vocabulary pages, notebooking pages, crossword puzzles, hands-on activities, and science games! You can get this as an instant download in the Creation Bundle.

Want a sample of the Creation Science book? – Right here!

These podcasts from Creation Science Podcast will be a great accompaniment to this study and would be good to listen to in the car or during the week while you are going through the book.

Creation Matters – Why creation is important, and why you should teach about it in your homeschool and to your children.

Biblical Creation Terminology – Learn the definition of Biblical creation and learn the different terminology that you will encounter in the Creation Science Curriculum. This would be great to start your lessons off with!

Creation and Evolution Beliefs – In this podcast, Felice shares her research with a creation scientist and discusses the Creation Science Curriculum.

What Happened to the Dinosaurs? – Your children will enjoy this podcast about dinosaurs with evidence that points back to what happened with the flood.



Creation Anatomy: A Study Guide to the Miracles of the Body is great for ALL ages

Having multiple children in different grades, I have found that we really enjoy a curriculum that we can all use together. Science is one of those subjects that can easily be done with all ages if you have the right curriculum and guide to help you with that. If your children are interested in learning about the human body, you are going to enjoy using this study guide from Media Angels.

Look for a sample of the Creation Anatomy Study Guide below!
creation-anatomy-study-a-guide | Having a study guide that covers all ages is such a money saver! | #homeschoolcurriculum #creation #anatomy

Creation Anatomy: A Study Guide to the Miracles of the Body will help your entire family to learn about the wonderful systems in the body and how we are incredibly made. Your children will learn how to refute the errors of evolution by learning how the entire body system defies Darwin’s theory of evolution! The complexity of our bodies and how all the parts work together, point straight to God, the Intelligent Designer. It is so refreshing to teach science from a Creation Science, Christian World View and not worry about evolution!

This Creation Anatomy Study Guide makes teaching multiple ages very easy, and keeps science fun and engaging! The book includes easy to follow lesson plans with a teaching outline for grades K-12. There are outlines and lesson plans that are easy to plan as they are broken down by grades K-3, 4-8, and 9-12. There are over 300 activities and experiments that you can pick and choose from. I love how the Lesson Plans include a teaching outline for each day of the week and how to incorporate Bible time with scriptures, language arts, math history, music and art suggestions. There is also an empty planning page for you to record what you will be doing for that week, which makes it very easy to customize to pick and choose what you would like to do.

This series has even made Cathy Duffy’s 100 and 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum!

To make the book even more enriching, you are going to love the Hands-On Science Experiment Activity Pack. This packet has printables that you can copy for use with your whole family. There are printable vocabulary pages, experiments, notebooking pages, crossword puzzles and more. These would be great to create your very own Creation Anatomy science notebook. You can get this as an instant download in the Creation Bundle.

If you want to learn more about Teaching Creation Anatomy you will enjoy listening to this episode of the Creation Science Podcast.

Creation Anatomy | Teaching Creation Anatomy iis an amazing way to study God's handiwork. #podcast #homeschool

Here is a sample of the Creation Anatomy Study Guide! Right Here – (right click or command-click to open)

Until March 25th, you can get the Creation Anatomy Study Guide along with 39 other products valued at $500 when you make a donation to help a local homeschool mom fight her battle with cancer! You can grab all these awesome products HERE!


Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers – MBFLP 212

Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers

We homeschooled from the very beginning, which meant that we’ve always had babies and toddlers in the mix. We’ve always had multiple ages to deal with!

What’s the number one thing we wish we’d known?  That it gets easier!

The struggle is real. When you have little children, the burden is mostly Mom’s. It takes two hours to get ready to go anywhere, as you fight through the necessary clothing changes, diaper changes, baby nursings, and so on before you depart. When you have three little ones and only two hands, that’s reality. Don’t be surprised that you’re overwhelmed – give yourself some grace!

We wish we’d known that having an eighth child at 45 would be less of a jolt than having a third child at 31. We didn’t realize that as new babies joined the family, the older children were growing more and more capable and helpful. With some training, even your six- or seven-year-old can take some of your load off! Don’t miss out on that help – make the investment to teach them household skills, and you’ll be training them for life as well as getting a hand up on your present-day stress.

Don’t Freak Out!

If you’re just starting homeschooling, you might be worried – can I really do this? What if I mess them up?

With the younger ones, you really can’t wreck their education. Preschoolers and toddlers need you to read them stories and let them play, pretend, and explore. Don’t try and push them into academics too early – if they’re not developmentally ready, it won’t work, and it will only convince them that school is unpleasant. Don’t destroy their natural curiosity and love of learning!

What about babies? We never centered school around the kitchen table or a row of desks. Rather, Melanie found a comfortable chair (she liked the recliner) so she could nurse the baby or cuddle them while they slept. A book case on one side held the school materials and a child-sized table and chair on the other kept everything within arm’s reach. Homeschooling isn’t like a classroom and doesn’t have to look like one. We found babies really weren’t disrupters at all.

Toddlers, now, are disrupters, and no mistake. Remember little ones have little attention spans. Don’t expect them to sit still for long at all. When they run up to you and interrupt the formal school, it’s best to let them – don’t try to say, “We’ll be done in 20 minutes, Sweety,” because the one thing they can concentrate on is whining. Instead, tell the older students what to do for a few minutes, then take the toddler in your lap, give them three or four minutes of eye contact and interaction, and then let them go play again. First attention is the fastest!

In fact, they’ll learn what they need at the early ages if you just keep them nearby and talk to them. You can teach colors, numbers, and other basic facts just in the course of family life. Keep some quiet toys in the school room, buy them some child size household tools (brooms and such), and let them help with tasks like folding towels or sorting the silverware.

And when you’re starting your primary students, don’t push them too hard either. Whatever you teach them at six years old, they’ll be seeing and practicing over and over for years to come. It won’t hurt if you need to skip a day or go back and repeat something. We’ve had four graduate homeschooling and go to college on scholarships; there’s a time to step up the academic game, but it’s not in primary school!

Be sure you adapt your household expectations. Your family is on a mission from God, and that mission probably isn’t “Be ready to welcome the camera crew from Architectural Digest.” If your home is occupied 24/7 instead of empty all day, and doubles as a school, laboratory, and business center as well as dormitory … then make the house work for you, and not you for the house!  Disposable products, simpler menus, and children’s help on the chores (i.e., not up to Grandma’s skill level) can give you the time and energy to do more important things in the lives of your family, church, and community. (And Dad – don’t expect angels to sing if you help out around the house. It’s just the right thing to do.)

Want to know more? Need more practical ideas? Then listen in!


No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope by Hal and Melanie Young

Interested in having Hal or Melanie speak at your event? CLICK HERE for information!

Come Away Weekend – our marriage retreat and giveaway – Flat Rock, NC – October 19-21

Special Needs Conference for Gifted and Struggling Learners – Orlando, FL – November 16-17

Bigs, Middles, and Littles – Homeschool Children Across The Ages

Bigs, Littles, and Middles - us how we homeschool children across the ages

Jamie, Arlene, and I had so much fun recording our podcast for last week, we decided to keep the party going and record a second one. At every conference people ask us how we homeschool children across the ages. We figured it might be something the podcast world would want us to talk about as well, so we did.

Every homeschooling family is unique. Some people homeschool year round, some 3 days a week, some 8-12 everyday. It is hard to tell others exactly HOW to homeschool, but we all agreed on the following for those homeschooling different ages at the same time.

  1. Find the rhythm for YOUR family, don’t compare.
  2. Make sure your youngest gets some quality time by creating an engaging environment for them.
  3. Partner children up to work together. For example, while you are working with the middle child, have the oldest and youngest work together. While you work with the oldest, have the middle and youngest work together, etc…
  4. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of tutors, enroll some children in a hybrid, or partner up with other homeschooling families to meet the needs of your children.
  5. Take advantage of early mornings and naptime. Be willing to change your schedule and remember this is just a season. Flexibility is KEY.



You’ve got this!

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.