View Full Version : Toddler Envy

08-24-2011, 08:20 PM
So we just started homeschooling. My daughter (2.5) is very used to having me to herself during the day. She loves her brother (in an I'll beat you up sorta way) but is having difficulty with this adjustment. My son is one of those kids that is just easy, so he's taken to homeschooling very well and so far I'd call it a success on his front. On DD's not so much.

She screams while I'm working with him, goes off and starts pulling one of the dog's tails, throws things etc. It's not like I'm ignoring her. I have her sit at the table with us and she has play-doh or a dry erase board. When DS is able to work on his own I read her books. When it's time for DS to read a story he reads to all of us in the living room. But when I need to spend time with just him, especially around math, she does anything and EVERYTHING to get my attention. It isn't pretty and usually ends with her sent to her room.

I don't want this to be a horrid experience for her. I don't want her to be jealous of her brother and start really not liking him. So any advice? Will she eventually get over it? Will she live to see 3?

Stella M
08-24-2011, 08:36 PM
Yes, she will eventually get over it :) One of the harder things about homeschooling is working with an older child with an under 4 in the house!

Does she still nap ? If she does, that's when I'd do maths with ds and anything else that needs to be one on one.

If she doesn't nap - and if you are OK with TV - is there a show she loves to watch ? My littlies have always liked Playschool, which is educational programming, meaning I didn't feel badly about dc watching, so I would schedule work with my big girl when Playschool was on.

Can you work with ds on the tricky subjects when there is another adult at home ? Weekend mornings ? After dinner ? I know it's not ideal, but honestly, for me, working around the little ones was a whole lot easier and less stressful than trying to modify their behaviour.

It does get better as they get older :)

08-24-2011, 10:25 PM
^ what she said :)

I have a 2 yr old too and thankfully her toddler envy was just that she wanted to have some "school" for herself. Obviously not the case with you since you're trying to provide her with that. Here's hoping it ends soon!

08-25-2011, 08:29 AM
My daughter was awful last year at 2, and is much better now at 3. I just tried to keep things for "school" only for her. A tub that I brought out only then, with an icing can with a slot cut in the top, so she could put bingo markers in it. Pattern blocks from Melissa and Doug that is magnetic. Washable paints, colors, crayons. Lacing shapes, lacing beads, plastic zoo animals, wild animals, and dinosaurs. Leap Frog DVD Letter Factory was a favorite of hers at the time. She had her own board books, and workbooks. I loved Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready, for cheap ideas to keep her busy. ;-) Two is so hard, was always the hardest for me, but mine did better if they had "school" work to do too.

08-25-2011, 08:37 AM
Had we homeschooled when Tornado was that age, he would have been exactly the same, I'll wager. Whereas Hurricane is absolutely fine being by himself and doing solo work, Tornado craves attention from others, especially us. Now that he's almost 6 and starting on the HS journey with us after being in PS for 2 years of Head Start and pre-K (just last year), I think he's equipped to realize that there's work for both of them and that they don't necessarily coincide. I would say that your DD will grow out of it, but it may not be for a while if she's anything like our guy. I think he may have been that way well into age 5, sorry!

08-25-2011, 10:33 AM
Yes, my 1.5 year old has developed an obsession with doing school work with us. So we got her a binder (she picked out a BRIGHT pink one) Then I filled it with Coloring pages and pages with the alphabet on them for her to scribble on and such. But so far I can find things for her to do with us. If she is not "working" along side the boys she is trying to teach them and copy me. Funny part about her copying me is that my boys will play along and let her direct them.

08-25-2011, 12:00 PM
My two year old goes through phases like this. Sometimes I have to hold and hug him while working with his brother. The more involved he feels the less of a fussmister he is.

I found that giving him my full attention for an hour before I start working with his brother helps too. We'll read books, do puzzles and play on the floor - just him and mommy. Then I'll give him something engaging to tinker with, like (I don't know) a box of plasticware, a basket of hankies, or a bunch of stuff from the recycle bin. That often keeps him happy for a while. Sometimes it doesn't work though. Othertimes I give him the previous day's worksheets his older brother did and a pencil. He likes marking it up and bringing it to me to check just like big brother.

Hang in there. Some days with a homeschooler and a toddler are great and other days make me want to swallow a box of tacks.

08-25-2011, 07:22 PM
Yes and yes! My youngest was three last year when we started and has improved dramatically over the year. One thing I wish I'd done was collected a tubful of activities for him to do while I was working with my oldest. (Actually, this still isn't a bad idea, lol.) I was just over at lovetolearn.com and she is selling a "toddler box" for this very purpose and you can buy the activities singly as well. Warning: the site isn't secular.

08-26-2011, 12:04 AM
I've started schooling my DS, 7, over the summer. I also have my DD, who will be 3 in a month. She very quickly wanted to "do school" too, and be part of the activity in the house! I've built up a bunch of toddler activities that are her school work, and also have some scheduled activities on the letter of the week when she's in the mood. Sometimes she is, sometimes she isn't. She loves to remind me that we haven't "checked the weather yet!" She's enjoying it, but it definitely isn't easy. The summer is a blur!

08-26-2011, 04:51 AM
I know how you feel. My little one is 16 months and school time is really hard for her. Sometimes I feel so bad. She is ok for a while scribbling or playing with her "school room toys", but I always feel like I am on the clock and have to get done with the one-on-one lesson time with my son before she has a melt down. So far I have tried having toys just for school time, saving her favorite snacks for those moments when I need her to give me a minute of focused time with ds, and including her (giving her a paper to color, etc...she sits in a little chair next to ds at the desk to "work"). Any given thing seems to last about 10 minutes wiith her and then she is back to trying to get my attention (usually by screaming at me and hanging on me).

To be totally honest, some days the only thing that works for me is to let her nurse while I am working with ds. It stinks because I would love to start weaning her, but I am not willing to give up the school time nursing sessions yet because I have no idea how I will deal with her during those rough days.

08-29-2011, 09:35 AM
Hreneeh, I've been thinking of you a lot this weekend while I've been getting ready for our school to resume this week.
I've found a LOT of fantastic ideas from this blog: http://theprincessandthetot.blogspot.com/ for things to do with my two year old while homeschooling his older brother. I thought it might help you out too.

08-29-2011, 04:59 PM
Hreneeh, I've been thinking of you a lot this weekend while I've been getting ready for our school to resume this week.
I've found a LOT of fantastic ideas from this blog: http://theprincessandthetot.blogspot.com/ for things to do with my two year old while homeschooling his older brother. I thought it might help you out too.

You are so sweet. Thank you! Thursday ended up being so bad that I called Friday off and we just spent the day out. We went to Ikea and I put her in the kinder-care area just to get a break for an hour. Things are going better the last couple of days, namely because of the hurricane so she had DH and myself to help keep her entertained. I went to a teacher supply store and purchased some more workbooks (she likes them) for her. We'll see.