View Full Version : How does a new homeschooler deal with younger siblings?

03-26-2012, 12:20 PM
Hi. My oldest son (L) is just finishing K in ps. I'm planning to hs him next year. I also have two younger sons (S turned 4 last week and C will turn 2 next week). L & S are quite tight with each other, and S considers himself L's equal in all ways. It's been tough to get him to understand why he can't also go to school already when he's fully convinced he can do anything L can do.

I can see that he will want to participate in school too. I'm not too panicked about trying to hs with all three around, but since I've never done this before, I'd prefer to get my feet wet with only the oldest one. At the same time, I don't want to exclude S. I'm not ordering any materials especially for him and I figure there will be lots of things he can participate in, or just learn by osmosis. But do I need to worry about him jumping into everything at first grade level? Are there certain subjects that I really need to lay some groundwork for him at his level beforehand? I'm thinking especially of phonics, I guess.

S has some speech issues that would have qualified him for free preschool this year. While his speech has come a LONG way in the past year, I plan to have him screened again in a couple weeks and I hope he still qualifies. I think he'd benefit from interaction with other kids, and would enjoy the activities, not to mention a more structured introduction to the alphabet, etc. Plus, that would give me a few hours each week that L and I could devote to certain subjects where having S around might be a distraction.

Any thoughts?

03-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Personally, I think the hardest part will be figuring out what to do with the 2yo, not how to combine the older two.

I would proceed as if I were homeschooling the older two kids together. All science, art, read-alouds, and projects can be done as a family where everyone participates. You will probably want to spend some one-on-one time with the older to work on writing, reading, and math. I would make sure I have something for the younger to do at the same time (colouring books, pre-schooler workbooks, activity books, picture books), and ALSO make sure that I spend one-on-one time with the younger, working on whatever seems practical (counting games, forming letters, doing puzzles). This could be as simple as 15 minutes per day per child.

03-26-2012, 02:58 PM
Oh, about the preschool: I sent my son to preschool two mornings per week just so I could have a little uninterrupted time with my daughter. It worked great!

03-27-2012, 03:11 AM
Well, I would think that all of the social studies (history, geography, arts, etc), read alouds and a lot of the science could be done together. I also don't think doing the other subjects together but at different levels is that big of deal, either. I mean, if S is doing reading and L is doing reading--would S get mad they are at different levels? Would L suggestively brag that he "already knows" things like his letters, for example that would make S feel bad that he has a PK book and L has a level 1? Probably not, right? since they are chummy....
Plus, Avalon is right--it's only 10-20 min lessons at this stage for most kids. Even if you can't get S in preschool, I'm sure if you clearly marked a schedule and slowly started working them into it, each child would know when naps/snacks/read alouds/L math time/S math time is-Plus, if it's too much, there is always kindergarten next year and some places have a Mom's Day Out or the option to hire a sitter for an afternoon. My little boy does some of his work in the evening after dinner when Mister is home. You always have this option, too. (staggering nap time for example)
My personal thought is that S has built-in review with C; So, I wouldn't worry about "missing" something or going too fast. I mean, you've probably started some things with him at home anyway since he's been so curious about school. I'd just have fun with it during these ages. You could always make a special "badge" or something and designate them 'guards' or 'hall monitors' letting them take turns "monitoring C" while they each get their turn at the table, lol.

Good Luck!

03-27-2012, 08:21 AM
I got my feet wet homeschooling my K with two younger siblings in the house by starting a little early. We did Five In A Row (http://www.teachingstars.com/?tag=fiar) and I was easily able to adapt it to work with both of my kids. Chances are my middle daughter would start out with us but loose interest halfway through so I could focus on my oldest and my middle didn't feel excluded. Now that my oldest is in her official kindergarten year, I try to incorporate my middle as much or as little as she wants. I can easily find free things online for her to do (if she wants a worksheet or coloring sheet like her sister). Somethings, like mIquon (http://www.teachingstars.com/?p=1662) math, I was able to find a free booklet for pre-miquon aged children that I use for my 3 year old.
I've written a few posts on my blog about how I juggle it all. Maybe you'll find it helpful. You can read those posts here (http://www.teachingstars.com/?tag=one-room-schoolhouse).