School and Little Ones – Part 1

May 2, 2007 at 11:58 am (Uncategorized)

My friend  Michelle  left the following comment on my How To Mummify Barbie’s  post:

……The one thing I’ve noticed is you always include your youngest. I’ve read many blogs where littles are scooted off behind a gate or school only happens at nap time.

To be honest I can completely understand the concept of scooting the little ones off while school is being done.  For me one of the most difficult things about homeschooling is dealing with little siblings run about!  I had an only child for 6 1/2 years and I can tell you that homeschooling without little ones in the house was a breeze!  LOL  I remember when I was pregnant with #2 thinking "How in the world am I going to do this?"  The answer?….I do everything differently now!  Obviously my 3 and 6 year old cannot be involved in everything my 7th grader is learning.  But, for the most part I try to include the little ones in what my older son is doing.  Of course they are doing things at a different level, but by having them "study" the same thing at the same time I have found that it brings unity to our family, instead of division.  If I don’t include the little ones I feel like I am telling them "Your older brothers school is more important, you just have to wait!"  By having them all work together I am trying to tell them "We are all in this together!" 

Lapbooking has really been a godsend in this regard.  We can do a lapbook on almost any topic.  So When my older son is studying something I look around online for worksheets, projects, printables, coloring sheets, etc. for the younger 2.  My 3 year old obviously doesn’t need a lot of "schoolwork"  I usually print 1 or 2 coloring sheets per topic for him and that is enough to keep him feeling involved. I really don’t have any expectations for him.  If he wants to "do school" he does.  If not he goes off and plays and I am fine with that.  My 6 year old wants to do more, but I still try to follow her lead.  If she is really interested in something I will have her do a whole lapbook on it.  If she is less interested I will let her do a few worksheets and add to her older brothers lapbook.  For me it has really been all about letting go of the control of the schedule and letting learning happen a little more naturally.  This does not come naturally for me!  LOL  But, it has worked! 

With all this said the best advice I can give on teaching with "Littles" in the house is keep trying until you find what works for you.  I can remember days especially when #3 was an infant that my older son and I stopped soooooooooo many times while doing school it was ridiculous!  I remember one day in particular… My daughter was 3 and into EVERYTHING!  The baby was about 3 months. We had just moved and I was staying up late unpacking boxes.  It was school time and I was trying to read to my oldest, who was 4th grade at the time.  My daughter would interrupt, I’d get her a snack and put on a movie.  Then baby was in my lap and fussy.  I would get him quiet and then he’d need a new diaper.  It just went on and on……  Finally, after a million interruptions I got everyone settled and started reading.  The more I read the sleepier I got.  I thought I was reading pretty well and fighting off the sleepiness….Then my oldest son got up and said "Okay Mom, I’m done!  I can’t listen to you read when you are snoring at the same time!"  ROFL!!!!  So the next time you are having a bad day, remember…It happens to all homeschooling Moms!   And you have probably never actually been asleep while teaching, so you are ahead of me! 

Tomorrow I will post about things I have my "Littles" do while I am working with my older son.

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4 Comments

  1. writmm said,

    We read stories every night. And some nights it is later than others and I am more tired than others. The kids can always tell because as I am reading, my eyes start closing and then I make up the words somehow, but they never really fit…Jack will say…poor mommy she is sooo tired… But I haven't been snoring while reading…yet….

  2. eclecticeducation said,

    I'm the same way with my 4 year old. If he wants to "do school" he does, if he doesn't he can go off to play. I figure he's already learning so much, why force him if he's not interested at the same time, it's not fair to him to shoo him away just because big brother is "doing school". He usually does some alphabet practice and then goes about his business. 🙂

  3. Anonymous said,

    I'm so glad your posting about this… I have just been posting about this on my blog too *smile*… I will be back tomorrow to check out all your ideas because the need for something "new" never ends… thanks so much for being you!
    Kim
    Visit us at our blog site : http://matschsticks.typepad.com/matschstick_adventures/

    To drink is human, to drink coffee is divine!
    –Unknown

  4. mommyof3girlies said,

    thank you for the encouragement…that is want i'm going through now…my 9yr old schools and the 5 yr old does some work but my 2 yr old is constantly interrupting, but thanks for all the ideas..sometimes it feels like I'm the only one going thru this, but I'm not! thanks again….juliet

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