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  1. #1

    Default What to do with toddler while teaching older child?

    Hi all,

    I'm going to be homeschooling my daughter for first grade this fall, and she and I are both REALLY excited. I've already bought all our curricula and have (mostly) planned out what we'll be doing, and I feel pretty confident in our plans for this year.

    But right now the biggest question I'm facing is how in the world do I juggle giving my daughter the one-on-one instruction she needs while making sure that my (will be) three-year-old son will be occupied and not getting into trouble, or constantly interrupting us? I've thought about putting him in a preschool program at the same school my daughter attended, and that would be great for him on many levels, but it's only two days a week for 2.5 hours. What do we do the rest of the time?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
    ~Heather

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  3. #2
    schwartzkari
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    My son will be 2 in December and right now, while I'm working with my daughter (she's in 1st grade) I put my son down for a nap. We usually get an hour or so of uninterrupted time. When my son is awake, I take turns with the kids. My daughter is old enough to do some independent work now, so I'll read a book to my son while she's doing workbooks. I also keep blocks and books in our homeschool room where my son can reach them. I usually put a dvd in (educational of course!) and give him some snacks too. Sometimes we get lucky and he sits quietly building or turning pages BUT most of the time I'm getting up and down from our table because he's trying to climb on the furniture, put things in the printer and turn the tv on and off. LOL. There are also days where my son just likes to sit on my lap and watch what my daughter is doing but those are few and far between!


  4. #3
    Junior Member Newbie sb12345's Avatar
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    You could start Pre-K with him at home.

    My soon to be 5 year old daughter has a little sister who just turned 3. We have not fully began our school year, but we have been doing a bit of work.
    I try and teach the two together. My kinder girl will help me teach my Pre-K girl letters and numbers. While I am teaching my Kinder girl, I will put an educational show on or give her some blocks or coloring books or something to play with.
    If me and my Kinder girl need more learning time one-on-one, my 3-year old and almost 15-month old son will go down for a nap. We get about 1 1/2 to 2 hours of time one-on-one.
    Stephanie
    Homeschooling my children: Hannah (12/27/05), Annabelle (05/01/07), and Connor (04/23/09).
    and my two nephews: O'Ryan (4/03/02) and Kyle (09/15/06).

  5. #4

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    When Jay was younger, we did many things to keep him busy. Sometimes, I'd set him up with some arts & crafts supplies. Sometimes, I'd put on an educational show or dvd - something on PBS, a Leap Frog dvd, etc. Sometimes, he'd sit on my lap or at the table with. He did mazes, conect the dots, coloring pages, built with blocks, played with his dinosaurs, did puzzles, etc. When she was in 1st & 2nd grade, I kept the time I worked with Dea short, with lots of breaks. During our breaks, we'd play Uno, Dominoes, Yahtzee, and other games, do puzzles, and watch educational shows, all three of us. Since he got that time with us, doing something fun, he was usually content to then spend the next 30 mins or so entertaining himself.

  6. #5

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    I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. Emma must be in the middle of everything her brother does.

    Emma has her own set of books, mostly dry erase handwriting, coloring books, & etc. They also have a shelf of toys that she can only play with during "school". Lacing shapes, lacing beads, puzzles, seashells, magnetic patter blocks, magnetic dress up doll, Cooties, math manipulatives, board books, & etc. She has her own school books too.

    The key for me is to only let her play with these certian toys at "school time ".

    No matter what she can interrupt on occasion so we save subjects that need concentration for her nap time.
    Last edited by StartingOver; 07-05-2010 at 12:31 PM.
    Jana - Better Early than Late. Secular Homeschoolers! Combined family with 7 adult children and...

    StartingOver again with our younger ones:


    Quince - aka Word Smith ( 10 ) -
    Emma - aka Perfectionist ( 8 ) A History of Us, Book Shark History and Literature, Human Odssey, Saxon 6/5 ( Quince ) Saxon 7/6 ( Emma ), Madrigal's Spanish, , Latin Prep 1, First Form Latin ( Secular enough for me ), Elemental Science Biology for the Logic Stage, Analytical Grammar, IEW SWI A, and tons of literature.






  7. #6

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    Thanks for the tips! I'm pretty sure I'll be able to figure out some sort of system; my son loves "doing homework" like his sister and really enjoys learning himself; he already can identify all his numbers and uppercase letters, though he isn't anywhere close to being able to write them (on purpose). I just need to find activities that will keep him busy during those times that we need to concentrate.

    Part of my unease about this aspect of homeschooling is probably due to the fact that we're less than two weeks away from moving back to the US from Okinawa, Japan (military family) and although we're moving back into a house that we own and is familiar, there's still going to be that initial flurry of moving issues to deal with, with my planned start date for school occurring two weeks after we get there. It's a lot to take on at one time, but I guess that's how our family works.
    ~Heather

    First year homeschooling DD, 6, for first grade
    DS, 3, preschool
    Army wife; stay-at-home mom; aspiring runner; lover of all things coffee and chocolate

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hmgelormine View Post
    Thanks for the tips! I'm pretty sure I'll be able to figure out some sort of system; my son loves "doing homework" like his sister and really enjoys learning himself; he already can identify all his numbers and uppercase letters, though he isn't anywhere close to being able to write them (on purpose). I just need to find activities that will keep him busy during those times that we need to concentrate.

    Part of my unease about this aspect of homeschooling is probably due to the fact that we're less than two weeks away from moving back to the US from Okinawa, Japan (military family) and although we're moving back into a house that we own and is familiar, there's still going to be that initial flurry of moving issues to deal with, with my planned start date for school occurring two weeks after we get there. It's a lot to take on at one time, but I guess that's how our family works.
    Heather I have tons of experience with homeschooling and being on the move frequently. This is the way I have done it. Take the time you need to get settled, even if that time goes over schedule. Then you can start slowy. Start with just the basics, reading, writing and math. Then slowly add things in as you get comfortable. This will give both children and you time to settle in. Include your youngest in anything he might enjoy.

    There are 365 days in a year, most states require 252 days of education, that leaves you 113 days. Take time if you need it, when you need it.
    Jana - Better Early than Late. Secular Homeschoolers! Combined family with 7 adult children and...

    StartingOver again with our younger ones:


    Quince - aka Word Smith ( 10 ) -
    Emma - aka Perfectionist ( 8 ) A History of Us, Book Shark History and Literature, Human Odssey, Saxon 6/5 ( Quince ) Saxon 7/6 ( Emma ), Madrigal's Spanish, , Latin Prep 1, First Form Latin ( Secular enough for me ), Elemental Science Biology for the Logic Stage, Analytical Grammar, IEW SWI A, and tons of literature.






  9. #8

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    You've gotten some great tips already soI won't reiterate what's been said.

    I do, however, want to mention Carol's Affordable Curriculum. I don't know the URL but you can Google it if you're interested. I've used it for my preschool-aged daughter & we really liked it. For about $10.00 a month you get a package of activities for every day of the month (5days/week) that includes everything you need apart from crayons & glue. We're talking, EVERYTHING for some really fun, simple projects. There are sets for several different age groups, beginning with around age 2, I believe. It was really nice to have something M2 could do (she enjoys "doing school" with her big sister) that I didn't have to plan.
    Melissa
    Unschooling with M1 (10), M2 (5) and M3 (3)

  10. #9

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    Jana - I think you're right - I need to take the time to get ourselves settled and set up and then get going with school. I'm planning too much too quickly - thanks for the reminder!

    Melissa - That looks like a great idea for my little guy! The thought of working with both of them at the same time right off the bat is a little daunting, but I guess if I can wrangle the two of them all day anyway when they're "free form" (aka, summer break) I can handle working with both of them as they're learning. :-)
    ~Heather

    First year homeschooling DD, 6, for first grade
    DS, 3, preschool
    Army wife; stay-at-home mom; aspiring runner; lover of all things coffee and chocolate

  11. #10
    Member Newbie Jadzia66's Avatar
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    I have to say that my toddler was the only big problem we had while homeschooling this year. I wasn't able to plan anything in advance, homeschooling my oldest was suddenly thrust upon us in a single day. Katie was 1 when we started but turned 2 that November and she was into everything. TV didn't stop her from interruping us and special school time only toys meant nothing to her. She had to be involved in whatever Courtney was doing. She would climb up on Courtney's desk and try to take her pencils, rip up books, throw everything on the floor. I'd haul her off the desk and she'd scream bloody murder. I'd put her in time out but it didn't make a difference. Many days I would end up holding her while trying to teach Courtney at the same time. Naps were the key. We took huge advantage of Katie's naptime and that is when we'd tackle the tough subjects. We have the livingroom and diningroom gated off because those are the 2 rooms (they're connected) that are Katie-proof (baby proofing and Katie proofing are 2 different things) so sometimes we could do some school in the kitchen where Katie could still see us and not feel lonely and we'd be able to get some of the easier subjects done. My husband would also do some of the easier subjects with Courtney too when he wasn't working (12 hour swing shifts). Towards the end of the year, Katie behaved a little better... not much mind you but a little. I'd say "time for school" and she'd go to her bookcase and retrieve some of her own books for school. It didn't stop her from completely trying to destroy everything but she's starting to get the general idea of what school is about.
    Cherie

    • Mom to Courtney (8 yrs old) and Katelyn (2 yrs old)
    • 2nd year homeschooling using A Beka Books and anything else that we find interesting.

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What to do with toddler while teaching older child?