Homeschooling more than one child is hard no matter what age or season.
Homeschooling more than one child while you have a toddler underfoot is harder!
But it CAN be done. With a little effort and a whole lot of grace.
Here are my 5 Tips to homeschooling when you have toddlers and/or preschoolers.
Tip 1: Homeschooling with littles is difficult- give yourself GRACE.
You may not be able to do all the things that you see other Homeschoolers down the road or on social media is doing with thier kids and that is ok trust me. Everyone has different ways to teaching and learning. Also school days may take longer because you are wrangling the toddler or older kids.
And that’s okay. Just prepare yourself with this mindset, and you will be able to handle the challenging days with a little more grace.
Also, this season won’t last forever. Toddlers turn into preschoolers, preschoolers turn into big kids, and so on. So be patient with yourself. Try to stay present in the season you’re in and not wish it away. The days are long, but the years are short! Enjoy the little moments that matters the most.
Tip 2: Busy Bags and Sensory Play Activities.
These are a homeschool mom’s secret weapon, or best friend, whichever description you like. I actually made a lot of busy bags and sensory play activities when my oldest was little, so I was able to use them with my younger child.
Just search Pinterest for any toddler or preschool busy bag or sensory activity. (You can find some great ideas on my board here!) Set aside a day or two to gather supplies and to prep them and put all the supplies together in bags or boxes. Simple fun toys or items for kids are so much fun.
When you are just building up your boxes, it’s a good idea to do this once every season, so that way you’ll have some prepped for a few weeks, and then by the end of the year you’ll have a whole year stashed for the next year or the next child. Going out into nature is a great way to find rocks, Accorns, sticks leafs with your kiddos.
Now here’s how this works practically on a daily basis:
I pull out the puzzles, Play doh, a water tray, bubbles, or other sensory activities the night before or first thing in the morning. I set this in a designated spot for my little to sit that is easy to clean up and easy for me to spot them.
For my son now that he is in 1st grade, he just sits at the table with us with his own activities while I do lessons with my oldest. Then we do lessons all together.
I have seen some moms use a blanket or sheet so it was easy cleanup. For active littles, a playpen is a great spot. Or, for kids who need to move, I take school outside and let the little run around and do his thing.
For times when you’re doing read-alouds or activities where you want them to sit quietly for a longer period of time I use snacks. Give them a bowl of cereal or crackers and a healthy drink and let them snack.
A quick note about screen time:
As far as screens go, I recommend not using them too much, but you can definitely use them to your advantage. I give my kids specific times when they can play specific apps, games or watch shows. So don’t be afraid of using screens, but don’t rely on them all the time. Prolonged screen usage can definitely backfire on you.
Tip 3: Schedule Activities Around Naptime.
When your little is napping, it’s a great time to take advantage.
Do activities that you need your full focus with your older kids during naptime.
Also, because of that needed nap time, schedule your out of the house activities in the morning while your little is up and about.
When my kids were a little younger, we would have play dates, and park visits, and library story time in the mornings, then we would do some school in the afternoon with my older kids while the little napped.
Tip 4: Special Time with Mom Another secret weapon.
Sometimes spending one-on-one time with your littles before you jump into a full school day really helps. I say sometimes because there can be days where they are just really craving attention or are sick and they really just want to be with mommy.
For one on one time I recommend making breakfast muffins together, or reading picture books together, doing a puzzle, or just coloring and talking.
It doesn’t even need to be educational. Something active like a walk may help.
So there you have it! Give your yourself grace, prepare some sensory activities, schedule around naptime, and spend one on one time with your little guys.
Happy homeschooling 🙂
Maria- The Naturally Blooming