Homeschool Creations

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaching With Little Ones in Tow {Reader Questions}

Several of you have asked how we get all of our homeschooling done with younger ones around. Granted, Kaleb is our youngest now {he just turned 4}, but even he has been challenging lately during our school time. We’re working out some kinks in our current schedule, but even the best laid plans can run amuck.

Over the last few years our schedule as changed and rotated, generally in response to how we can accomplish the most when the younger ones are involved…or not involved {grins}. I absolutely do NOT have the answer to question, but can say that I am most happy that homeschooling allows us flexibility in our schedule and we can change what isn’t working and stick with what is.

The key to my sanity, however, has been having a general routine/schedule in place ~ but flexible enough that I don’t go crazy. There are times that I overplan activities {ahem}, but having that plan in place and things to do, especially for the younger ones, can help things go much more smoothly. There are days that go according to plan and days that go completely haywire, but having a general direction for our day helps immensely.

When Kaleb and Zachary were both younger, much of our school time was accomplished during nap times. If the longest nap time period was in the afternoon, than we did a few fun and smaller school things in the morning {calendar, reading, etc…} when they were awake, but anything that required more 1:1 attention we did during nap time.

As Zachary grew out of his nap time, we moved more toward doing morning school time and I focused on learning activities with him first thing in the morning while the older two could work on more independent activities. Kaleb was slowly worked into this routine and as soon as they were finished with their ‘work’, they were free to play outside together or in their room with special toys, or even a video sometimes. :)

Currently, we do several things together first thing in the morning during breakfast {calendar time and devotions}. After chores and cleaning up, the kids have a bit of free time while I spend 1:1 time with Kaleb and focus on him. Then the older kids start their independent work. As soon as Zachary finishes his independent work {usually around the time I’m finished with Kaleb}, I work 1:1 with Zachary.  When we’re done, he and Kaleb have play time and I focus on the girls for a bit, until we all get back together to work on a few subjects together.

Does it all go perfect and according to plan? Ummmm…nope. Kaleb often wants to be smack dab in the middle of whatever it is that we are doing. I try to keep fun and ‘quiet’ things for him to do while we are sitting down ~ so the other kids aren’t distracted. Some of these things include:

  • Do a Dot markers
  • cutting activities
  • coloring/coloring books
  • stickers
  • playdough
  • sensory bins
  • blocks/legos/duplos
  • puzzles, etc.

I’ve uploaded a copy of our current daily schedule so you can see how I’ve laid out our day. Click on the image to open the pdf schedule.

image

Do YOU have any tips/tricks that have helped you school with little ones around? Leave a comment and share! Susan Lemons also has an article called Keeping Little Ones Busy that might help you out also.

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9 Comments:

  • That is the post I needed! Our oldest starts "school of the air" an outback Australian version of home schooling in January but we also have a 15 month old and are due to add a newborn to the list in August! Thank you for showing me that it will not always (or ever!) be pefect and giving me a few ideas to keep the little one busy also! Look forward to reading on!

    By Blogger Sophie {Red Dust Love}, At December 14, 2010 at 6:41 AM  

  • Thank u for sharing your routine. OO Everyone is quiet from 2-4!
    I struggle with baby and Ms soon to be 3. I always make sure we get math and reading done at this point. I try to fit in the other stuff when I can..
    Not the way I want things to be but just surviving at this point. :)
    Kelly

    By Blogger K-tribe, At December 14, 2010 at 9:03 AM  

  • Thanks for sharing. I have 2 year old and a 10 month old. Nap time is our prime school time!=)

    By Blogger Tiff, At December 14, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

  • Great post! A question that would go along with this post is when do you find time to plan with little ones? I've got my 4th on the way and find it rather hard to keep up on planning, and can only imagine it getting harder with a 4th in the mix...

    By Blogger Julia, At December 14, 2010 at 6:31 PM  

  • thanks for this. I have a 2 year old and 10 month old and we definitely do school with the older kids while the baby naps....but the two year old, OY! He does nap in the afternoon---so maybe it is best to do math/reading stuff then. Only problem is....by the time, my older kids are off kilter and need some "alone play time" away from the 2 year old! I definitely need to get on my knees and pray about this.

    One thing I've done is set up a baby gated area and put my 2 (almost 3 year old) in it with a snack, the ipod (for music) and a special toy. We call it his "special time" it worked really well for awhile----until he started getting demanding about snacks. But we set him right outside the school room and let him watch us because he HATES isolation. It was nice to give him some "boundary room" and keep him off the older kid's backs when they were trying to concentrate. We've been doing "Christmas stuff" all month and have gotten out of the habit of "special time" so when we start to implement it again....it might be interesting!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 14, 2010 at 10:36 PM  

  • Thanks for the post. I always love reading about others schedules and seeing if there is an idea I want to try! 2?'s... What is AAS/FLL and during quiet time what do your older one's do?

    Thanks
    Tirzah
    landtbourque@yahoo.com

    By Anonymous Tirzah B, At December 15, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

  • AAS/FLL is All About Spelling and First Language Lessons. :)

    And quiet time in the afternoon can mean a multitude of things: playing downstairs together, sometimes computer time {rotating}, maybe a movie or wii, playing in their rooms, etc... or if the weather is nice, it's a big block of outside time.

    By Blogger Jolanthe, At December 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

  • AAS/FLL is All About Spelling and First Language Lessons. :)

    And quiet time in the afternoon can mean a multitude of things: playing downstairs together, sometimes computer time {rotating}, maybe a movie or wii, playing in their rooms, etc... or if the weather is nice, it's a big block of outside time.

    By Anonymous Jolanthe, At December 15, 2010 at 12:52 PM  

  • Thank u for sharing your routine. OO Everyone is quiet from 2-4!
    I struggle with baby and Ms soon to be 3. I always make sure we get math and reading done at this point. I try to fit in the other stuff when I can..
    Not the way I want things to be but just surviving at this point. :)
    Kelly

    By Anonymous K-tribe, At December 15, 2010 at 12:52 PM  

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