To school younger children who are less independent than the high school you will need to know your child and what they are capable of. Again remember that independence is the goal.
I discussed in the last post how I leave Tink on her own much of the time. But I still have three others to teach who are not independent learners yet. So how much independence should you give a child? A child at the first grade level will not be able to do a lot on their own. I start my first grader on handwriting first thing in the morning. The others start on their reading.
The first grader is doing handwriting because she can do that without help. The others are all doing reading. I start with the one reading at the second grade level. He reads to me the words from his word wall. Then we read in Pathway Phonics which is a wonderful book that teaches blends of sounds and then flows them into words. This takes about 15 minutes. I then release him to go read his story while I get the third grader. The third grade boy has been reading in his reader while I'm working with the second grader.
As the switch between the boys is being made I use this minute to switch the first grader into her phonics book. She will now be circling all the pictures that start with the letter w. Then she will circle all pictures that start with wa then we then wi and so on through the vowels. It doesn't matter at this point whether she gets them right or wrong. This just gives her something to wrap her brain around and try on her own until I have time to work with her.
Now the with the second grader reading his story and the first grader doing her phonics I turn my attention to the third grader. He reads the words on his word wall then he reads a page of his story with me. He doesn't need a separate phonics course, being very proficient at it. He gets a lot of phonics stuff in his reading workbook and language arts anyway. So he reads a page to me.
There is no need for him to read the entire story to me. One page can tell you if the child is comprehending or if there are words that he doesn't know in the story. So he reads the page to me. Then I have him read the next page after me. I read a about two sentences and then he reads those same two sentences. This is fluency practice. I do this with every reading class including Tinks.
If reading two sentences is two hard and the child is still hesitating I read just one sentence at a time. Sometimes I have them read right with me. We both read a passage aloud. This gives the child the idea of how reading flows without stopping. This sort of reading is a huge part of teaching fluency.
By the time we are done the second grader is done reading his story. I take him and do the exact same thing with him for fluency that I just did with the third grader. Then both boys finish reading whatever they haven't finished and then move on to the comprehension exercises in their workbooks.
At this point I turn my attention to the first grader and for the next 20 minutes before break we do our reading. The phonics she was working on will be corrected and done together by the two of us after lunch. But for now it is just 10am and time for a 15 minute break. After break we do Math. Of course, that is a post for another time. Hopefully though, this has given you some idea how to teach reading to multiple grades and how to foster independent learning at each level.
Note that by the time reading period is over each child, other than Tink, has worked independently for about an hour and with me for half an hour. The reading period lasts an hour and a half.