Friday, August 2, 2013

Teaching older kids with little ones!

 **Don't forget to enter my Hues of Malibu giveaway...then come back to read this post**

One of the biggest questions I get from new homeschool moms is what do you do with your little ones while you are trying to homeschool your older ones.  I am not an expert in this area, but I can tell you what has worked and what hasn't worked for us. 

First of ain't easy.  But it can be a bit easier if you lower your expectations a bit.  You have to have the understanding that they WILL interrupt you.  They WILL need your attention.  They WILL get into things if they know you are busy with your older kids.  They WILL be noisy.  Things WILL not be perfect.  Ok...for maybe some of you it will...because your kids are perfect...but mine are far from my expectations are a bit lower.

For my little ones I have tried having them sit on a mat and playing quietly like they do at church.  That has only worked about 1% of the time here at home.  Busy bags are fun.  I was in a little group where we made some and shared them with others in the group.  You can read about it: HERE and some more activities:  HERE!

You can rotate through different activities such as legos, building blocks, cars etc.  But have you ever had boys?  Have you ever had 2 boys so close in age that they want to play with each other and can't hardly stand it if they can't?  Well that is where we are at...our boys just want to play and BE that is what I let them do.

So YES there is noise!  YES it is a bit chaotic at times!  YES there are interruptions!  YES they may get into the toothpaste and other things while I am teaching the girls.  But they are allowed to be kids...and boys! 
This next year I am hoping to step it up a notch with our 4 year old.  He has been asking me to teach him how to read.  So I am going to attempt to do just that!  I have used Hooked on Phonics for my two girls, so I am hoping it will work for him.  I honestly don't know what type of learner he will be, so only time will tell.  If I find he isn't ready, then I will back off a bit and let him just enjoy being a boy and playing.

Picture from ebay...woot...don't have to go get my camera!
I also plan, as I did last year, to have both boys (ages 2 1/2 & 4) sit in on more of the girls' lessons.  The girls will be doing pretty much the same things as each other.  You can read about what I am doing with them: HERE.  When it is appropriate, I will get the boys "off the bus".  Meaning if we are studying say new caledonian crows...the first subject on our Science list...I might get Weston "off the bus" and color a picture of the crow.  Easton may get "off the bus" and copy a sentence about the crow and draw a picture.  They will leave the discussion when it is age appropriate for them to leave.  The girls will both stay on the bus until the bus ride is over! 

The nice thing about homeschooling is you can tweek it to what works best for YOUR family.  I am just sharing what works best for mine.  If you do all of your school during naptime...then that is what you do.  If you do all of your school in the evening...or on is what you have found works and that is all that matters!

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