Sibling Help

This is my first year teaching more than one child at a time and boy have I learned a lot in the past 4 months! One thing that works very well is the older ones helping the younger ones.

Here’s a couple of examples, Alayna, my second grader, will sit with her younger sister, Victoria, she’s in kindergarten, and help her review three-letter words, while I’m with the baby. Then Victoria will go over shapes, colors, letters and numbers with Kayla, while I’m spending one on one time with Alayna.

When the older siblings help the younger siblings it’s a win all around. Yes, the younger sibling is learning, but the older sibling is also learning. How do you know you know something? When you can teach it! By having siblings assist each other, they are building their confidence, they are learning how to be patient, and they are even learning how to be creative.


*Teaching, helping and listening does not mean you’re a boss. Make sure the older siblings are not being bossy in the process of assisting.

*It might work best if the siblings assist each other in reviews and not in new concepts (depending on the age).

*Let them be creative in their methods. In the picture above, Alayna and Victoria chose to review on top of their playhouse outside and why wouldn’t they. Everyone knows you learn best on top of a roof, not a desk!

There are many benefits of sibling helping sibling…give it a try if you haven’t already!

1 thought on “Sibling Help

  1. I could not agree more. I think it inspires the older child to put more into their own lessons too. My daughter for instance is older so she’s big into rolling her eyes when I get too enthusiastic about a lesson sometimes. (Yay for early teen years!) Getting to see the difference in how much she gets out of a game or lesson with her little brother when he cooperates vs. when he doesn’t has made a big difference in the way she responds to me. She’s learned that in order to get respect out of her four-and-a-half year old brother, she HAS to show it.

    I have a number of teacher friends who lament constantly about the lack of respects students tend to show public school teachers, and I realized that my daughter was probably one of the worst offenders when I pulled her out of public school last year and started teaching her myself. Big wake-up call. Having her help out with her little brother is an important part of our home school week now, and I’m convinced it’s probably done more to teach her about the power of showing a little respect than any lecture I could have given her on the subject myself. It gives them a sense of pride in having maturity.

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