If there were one thing I would say is difficult as a homeschooling family it would most definitely be occupying a preschooler and toddler while trying to teach my other children.
Do you see that picture above? Don’t let it fool you. It only looks like that during our homeschool days…oh, about 10 percent of the time!
So what is a homeschool mom to do?
After struggling with this during our last school year, I determined that we would find something that helped to occupy the younger crowd but allowed me to teach at the same time. And since I have a very active two-year-old boy, I knew that it would mean that an older person would need to be there to engage him and keep him happy. :) Since I am expected to teach at the time, I asked my older children to help. And they gladly obliged. (Who wouldn’t want a 30 minute break from his/her schoolwork?)
Here is how we have our days scheduled:
With Little Ones
|8:30||Emma (2nd grade)||Grant|
|11:00 – 12:00||Older Boys||Emma (30 minutes) and free play until lunch|
A few notes:
- While one child is with me and another is with the little ones or when I am teaching preschool, the other child (children) is/are doing independent seat work.
- We take an outside break from 10:30 – 11:00. Trust me, we all need it by then!
- Usually Bryce is needed to entertain the little ones a little longer than 30 minutes but he is usually a head of the game with the completion of his school work.
- If it appears that I don’t spend much time with the older two boys, you must remember that (1) they are more independent with their school work and (2) they spend time with me after lunch when the little ones are resting. (And Emma gets more time with me too!)
Before the week begins, I take four empty, plastic shoeboxes and fill them with different things such as dominoes, pom pons, small containers, foam letters, things to scoop with, etc. I give the older children some ideas as to how they can be used but they also have come up with ideas of their own.
Scooping & counting pom pons and painting H with Big Brother
We also have a folder full of worksheets about preschool topics – letters, shapes, colors, numbers, etc. The older children have really enjoyed teaching the little ones using these worksheets.
If they happen to finish all of these activities and it is not time to switch, there are games and blocks to pull out too.
So far, this has been the best way for us to keep the younger ones occupied and having fun without spending too much time in front of a TV. Of course, this works for us because we have older children in our family. If they were all young, I would have to take another route. (Which I’ve done before but I honestly don’t remember what I did!)
We have found that happy, occupied toddlers & preschoolers = a happy homeschool (and a happy homeschool mom).