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Toddler / Younger's busy time during school?

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    Toddler / Younger's busy time during school?

    Okay, so this summer I feel like I'm ready to pull my hair out during school, and that is just doing math, lit guide and handwriting with my 3 big kids! I am working on a schedule of sorts with ideas of things for my 3 younger ones to do while we are needing to stay focused in the fall with a much heavier schedule. Currently, I plan to do the younger ones school first thing in the day (jr. k, and k) so they get that special mommy time, also have a 2 yo to entertain/keep busy and happy while teaching the big kids (3rd, 5th, 7th).

    Any ideas of activities that a 2, 4, 6 yo can do (not necessarily all together) in 30 minute or so segments that would require little of me, and/or possibly have an older sibling helping them with some activity? I have about 12 things listed so far, but seeing as how I will need to rotate and schedule (so I'm not thinking in the moment of explaining fractions what to do to get the little one happy, thus about to bang my head on the table with all the distractions and frustration) I would like more!

    All ideas are so greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!
    Meghann

    DD - 19 (no longer at home! )
    DS - almost 13 - 7th core
    DD - almost 11 - 5th core
    DS - almost 9 - 3rd core
    DD - 6 - K
    DD - 4 - Jr. K
    DS - 2 - constantly wanting mom and to nurse!
    Meghann

    DD - 19 (homeschool graduate)
    DS - 13 - 7th core
    DD - 11 - 5th core
    DS - 9 - 3rd core
    DD - 6 - K
    DD - 4 - Jr. K
    DS - 2 - constantly wanting mom and to nurse!

    #2
    Re: Toddler / Younger's busy time during school?

    Meghann,
    Hello again! Well, I am not going to tell you that there is a magic system to make it all run super-smoothly, but we do have some routines that seem to help us *most* of the time!

    First, I do the same as you - hit the little ones first (with school that is...not literally!). We spend time from youngest to oldest, but most of those little ones are all together on the couch to hear the story, etc. When working with the K, I would need to have boxes of things around for the younger ones to do - puzzles, reusable sticker books (Melissa and Doug has awesome ones for cheap), scribbling nearby with markers and crayons, etc. We had one house where I was able to take our front "study" and turn it into our play room with a tent, and all their toys. They could go in their to play while I got K done. Usually those little kids are all I am able to tackle in the morning time (again, not literally!). There is always answering questions from the others interspersed in there anyway, so those older ones do get *some* attention.

    But in the morning is when I have the older ones do everything that they can do without me, for the most part. They don't get subjects completely "done," but they do complete the tasks they are capable of doing on their own. I would give examples but this really varies from child to child - so you would need to figure out what parts of things your kids can do by themselves.

    Then we break for lunch. After lunch, all the littles need rest time. This has changed for us over the years. When I had non-nappers, I often used Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, SuperWHY, Dinosaur Train, Wild Kratts, and any other semi-educational program to keep them engrossed so that I could get a solid hour of time with my oldest one or two. If you use it for a year, it is not the end of the world, and it can give the youngest ones time to age-up to being capable of some solitary activity. This worked for a while for us, but then I had so many older kids that I could not keep an eye on all of them to keep them away from being sucked into the glowing tube that was supposed to entertain the younger ones!

    So that is when we started implementing solid "rest time." During the school year, anyone done with school before lunch (which was usually anyone 2nd grade down) had to be in their beds for rest time from approximately 1:30 - 3:00pm. They could have books, activities, quiet toys, etc. with them, but they had to 1) stay in the bed; and 2) be quiet. Then the older kids and I would be downstairs working on school. This is when I would do the things that need your devoted attention - like math!! Usually we still don't get done before 3:00pm, but by the time they wake up, at least one of the bigger people would be done and could take them down into the basement (unfinished - ride on toys!) or outside for physical play.

    Basically, I block the little kids: block one - time with me/morning play; block two - lunch; block three - quiet time; block four - physical time. After that, we are usually getting dinner ready!

    Hope that helps!
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Toddler / Younger's busy time during school?

      Originally posted by KF2000 View Post

      This worked for a while for us, but then I had so many older kids that I could not keep an eye on all of them to keep them away from being sucked into the glowing tube that was supposed to entertain the younger ones!


      Hope that helps!
      AMDG,
      Sarah
      Goodness I relate to this comment so much! Funny how it draws them in, even if its way below their interest level!

      These are all wonderful suggestions and ideas, I like the block ideas and see many things I already do (like the rest times, though I need to get better at implementing it for some of them). I think I just need to get over my "dream schedule" where the big kids do the hardest things in the morning to get them out of the way and while they are fresh (math and latin specifically)...we shall see! Thank you
      Meghann

      DD - 19 (homeschool graduate)
      DS - 13 - 7th core
      DD - 11 - 5th core
      DS - 9 - 3rd core
      DD - 6 - K
      DD - 4 - Jr. K
      DS - 2 - constantly wanting mom and to nurse!

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Toddler / Younger's busy time during school?

        Yes, that is the difficult part of this whole thing - is trying to have them do subjects when they really "should" versus what is realistic for our family's day. It is not impossible though. I have one child who actually prefers to do math later in the day (she has a harder time focusing when she has a ton of morning energy), and I have others who simply learned to be more independent so they could work on it when they wanted. Another point to that Cindy Davis has suggested in the past for older kids and math is that they should really break it up during the day anyway. Have them study the lesson in the morning when they are fresh, for about 45 minute, and then come back to it later in the day to do the actual assignment. It can be a great way to give it time to sink in. That works out well with "saving" the older kids for later! And that is what we end up doing when we have them work independently in the AM, and then go back over stuff with me when I am free - for even more than math!

        Good luck to you!
        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2020-2021
        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
        DS, 17
        DD, 15
        DD, 13
        DD, 11
        DD, 9
        DD, 7
        +DS+
        DS, 2

        Comment

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