3-year-olds - Feeling left out of K and olders, scheduling both

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Help! Homeschooling with a toddler

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

ruppster02 wrote:We are in our our 2nd week of HS for this year, im HSing a 1st grader and a K and i also have a 3 yr old. I was hoping to be able to do the 1st and K together at the same time, but split my time between the 2. It seemed tho very early on that that was not going to work as my K is very active and very easily distracted and pretty much need me keeping him on task the whole time, which is ok.

My question is what do i do with my 3yr old. He wants to hang out with us so badly, he will color with us or paint but he talks, talks, loudly talks, talks, doesnt.stop.taking. and its distracting to my K. I feel like im pushing him away if i send him in another room or with my 1st grader to play, and he gets upset. Any ideas for us. I dont want him to feel like homeschooling is when he gets pushed to the side, but at the same time we really need less distractions for my K.
I have twin 3 year olds. I also have a 2nd grader doing Adv and twins doing K this year. (and a 10 month old, but he's the easiest. ;)) So, I totally get what you are going through...x's 2! :-)

At 3, I find that you can enforce some quiet. You tell him he can color with you, but he has to be quiet (relatively!) or he has to go play somewhere else. And, then you do that. As long as he is relatively quiet, he stays. If starts getting silly or won't stop talking, then send him out. It isn't like he is banished for the whole day. You have 3 children (at least) and sometimes one or the other is the priority at the moment. That is life with several children and the 3 year old can learn that and be completely okay with it as he gets older. This is what I do with my 3 year olds. They have April b-days. So, they are 3yrs 4 months. Of course, there is some leeway. They are 3, but they can start to learn some self-control.

Do you have the pre-K set from MFW? We have all those Lauri toys and even several I got from Lauri directly. My kids, namely the 3 year olds, really enjoy those. I have also found that if I give them a little direction and attention before I start with everyone else, they are often happier to run off and play because they have had some of mommy first. It only takes 10-15 minutes and it's worth the time. Mine LOVE cutting and gluing. What I'll do is cut strips of construction paper. I give them those and "safety" kid scissors. They cut up the strips into little squares...or whatever shape it comes out. After they are done, I'll give them a coloring page with a big letter on it. (Found by Googling) I put glue all over the letter and let them glue the little pieces of paper they cut to the letter. That keeps them busy and focused for a while.

I understand the distractable 5 year old thing. My oldest is VERY distractable. He is getting better now that he is in 2nd, but it's still a big challenge. In K it was almost insurmountable. LOL! Unfortunately, he is going to have to learn to do his school work with his siblings around. Again, you have 3 kids and still have to be Mom while being teacher too. Until he gets better about it, you just have to constantly redirect, which is frustrating, I know, but it's part of schooling with a distractable kid. For mine, I know if it wasn't his siblings, it would be something else, especially when he was in K.

Then, the other thing I always say is just keep going. Through all the interruptions, just keep pushing forward. We get distracted and derailed constantly, every.single.day. But, I just keep refocusing us back to school after the interruption is over. It does take us longer to complete our school day than it feels like it should. That's okay. This is my life with many littles. HS'ing in my house is no small feet. It's crazy and stressful and oh so fun! I have learned to love it. I can't wait till I have a classroom full of students!

You are only 2wks in. It takes a while to get settled and get used to the reality of homeschooling. We all have this picture in our minds about how we think it will be and often, especially with littles, it's nothing like what we expected. That can be hard to process. But, it will get better and you'll get used to what reality is. Pray lots and relax. :-)
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Re: Help! Homeschooling with a toddler

Unread post by TriciaMR »


Agreeing with Mom2TheTeam... "Okay 3yo, you can sit and color, but if you start talking you will have to go to the other room. When you can be quiet, you can come back." Repeat as often as necessary. But, also give him time when he can talk. Maybe read a story all together and then ask him to retell the story in his own words or to make up another story like it. Let him chat with you as much as he wants during non-school hours (but not interrupting and such).

The other thing... noise canceling earmuffs! I have a friend who has 8 kids, and 2 of them have auditory processing issues. Being able to dampen the noise helps them tremendously. She got them off amazon: something like these, I think (3M Peltor Ultimate 10 Hearing Protector, by 3M).
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Re: Help! Homeschooling with a toddler

Unread post by rebeccal2002 »

We are going to do a lot of school during my 2 y.o.'s nap this year! He used to take a morning nap, but now only takes an afternoon nap. We'll see how this goes. I'll be doing K when he is up in the morning, however. I'm planning on using some of the older kids to help with him and the 4 yo during the morning. I know you don't have older sibs, so not sure if that will help. :)

Have a great year and try not not stress! That's homeschool life!

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Learning God's Story - Scheduling

Unread post by hsm »

graceandjarrod wrote:I have a 6 year old, 3 year old, and 1 year old. I am wondering how best to schedule my day. I am not able to finish a whole day as it is scheduled in the manual. My son (the 6 year old) gets distracted easily by what my 3 year old is doing. It takes him a lot of time to get through the material. It is not that it is too hard, he just gets distracted and we take breaks, then there is housework, putting baby down for nap, etc. I also am trying to fit in errands and going to my mom Bible study,etc. Homeschooling is challenging for me and I am trying to figure out how best to do it for us. I can't teach him during the younger kids nap time every day because I am too tired and usually rest and pray then. So...does anyone have a schedule to their day that they can share with me? Tips? Encouragement? Anything helps. Thanks
I will be starting 1st with my 6 year old son and CtG with my daughters. My 6 year old is very distractible as well. I do not have young ones though so I am not sure I will be much help there but I wanted to get the conversation going. Hopefully someone else will chime in. We have a very busy schedule with music lessons, after school extra curriculars, occupational therapies for two of my children, errands, house cleaning, shopping, and I am also going to be taking a class at the college. I am not sure how my year will actually pan out but this is how I planned for the year. I used Managers of Their Home scheduling techniques to put together a schedule. The first grade curriculum shouldn't take you much more than a couple of hours I don't think. I haven't started it yet, so I can't be sure on that. But, if you can't do it all in one sitting, take a day to sit down and look at the TM and see how you could break it up. Do it in short sessions throughout the day as you are able to schedule it. Also, you do not have to complete every single thing every single day. ;)

As far as my household responsibilities, I will be spending about a half an hour each morning doing some chores. I will put a load of laundry in also. At lunch time, we will take an hour and I will do some chores after eating. Switch laundry and any dinner prep I need to do. This may be a little easier for me because I have older children who are assigned tasks to help me with. In the afternoon, set a time for 15 minutes and do as much picking up of the house that you can. You will be amazed how much gets done. Your six year old can help with this. After dinner, I always make sure I do my kitchen so it is clean in the morning. As far as other chores, we will be doing those on our "light day" which for us will be Thursdays. I plan to only do the most important things during that time. I have come to realize that a perfect house can't be had during this time in my life and that is okay. I don't want it to be a disaster because I cannot function in a disaster area, but I cannot stress about the lack of perfection. It won't happen with kids and busy lives. As long as it is reasonably neat and I have clean bathrooms, clothes to wear, and food to eat I have to be okay with that. I personally also need a clean kitchen :) Other things are more important right now.

For my bible time and quiet time, I am spending that time in the morning with a cup of coffee before I tackle my day. Errands I will do as they are convenient. In other words, if I have to drop a child off at an activity, I can run an errand then. I try to consolidate my travels as much as possible.

For meals, I planned a month of meals with a nightly theme. Sundays will be family favorite night or CTG feast days. Mondays will be crockpot/freezer meal night. Tuesdays are taco Tuesdays (we will vary with turkey, chicken, beef, or fajitas). Wednesdays are pasta nights. Thursdays are sandwich nights. Fridays are leftover or crockpot night. Saturdays are breakfast night. I made a bunch of crockpot meals and froze them. It really wasn't that hard. I spent about four hours total including cleanup and prepared about 20 meals I think. I lost count. I also cooked all the ground meat I would need in the month and froze and labeled that. I am hoping this will simplify my meals and take some of that pressure off.

For the younger two, have you listened to David Hazell's workshop on Occupying Preschoolers? It might give you some encouragement.

I know that I don't have young children as you do, but maybe something in here will help? Hang in there!
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Re: Learning God's Story - Scheduling

Unread post by ruthamelia »

I don't know many 6 year old boys who are not distractable! Here are a few things we have had some success with:

Have the 3 year old work alongside the 6 year old. If she is "working" too, maybe coloring or something, he might be able to focus better.
Engage the 3 year old somewhere else first. I can get 15 minutes or so by sending her down to great grandpas apartment in the basement to pet his cats! Maybe the little ones can play with dolls or duplos in another room.
Help the 6 year old see what needs to be accomplished, so he knows when he is finished he can join the play again.
Give him warning so he can take advantage of his play time and is prepared to focus when it is time. "10 more minutes to play, then we're going to do reading"
Try short sessions at varying times of day for a week or two, paying attention to when he seems to focus best. Last year with a 5 year old, if school wasn't done before lunch, it was kind of a lost cause for him. Once you figure out what is prime time, try to protect it.

I know I didn't really answer your scheduling questions at all, but I hope maybe one of these suggestions is helpful!
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Re: Learning God's Story - Scheduling

Unread post by Cici »

Hi Grace!
We are finishing up Learning Gods Story, I have a 6 year old daughter & a 22 month old son.

Here is our weekly schedule (my Husband is off on Sundays & Mondays so that is our "weekend") I've found that scheduling outside activities & errands on separate days from school works better for my family.

SUNDAY: Church, Ballet, Field Trip
MONDAY: Gymnastics, Violin, Alternating Field Trip/Run Errands
FRIDAY: School
Sometimes we have play dates or visits from family on one School day, we just make up that work throughout the other days.

Our School day schedule:
*I get up a little before my children, tidy up a bit, relax, read the word, read emails etc...

*Children get up & do their morning routine (wash up, make bed etc...).

*Children Play upstairs in their room with Children's Worship music playing, they have a reading corner in there so they read, as well.

*I make breakfast, my 6 year old sometimes helps.

*Children Play downstairs inside or outside... Imaginative play, arts & crafts, music instruments, digging, planting... There's lots for them to explore, learn & grow from. This is also when I work with my 1 1/2 year old on his MFW toddler program etc...

*If they play outside it's bath time (where they play in there as well, lol) then Lunch (my 6 year old sometimes help). If they didn't play outside, it's lunch then bath.

*Children clean up their play areas while I clean up the kitchen.

*My 6 year old starts her independent work (that's in her Workbox) while I read to my son & nurse him to sleep (his nap time). Note: Independent works consists of copying/coloring Proverbs sheet, cutting/coloring timeline figures, illustrating notebook pages, calendar notebook, math, journal, violin, puzzles etc... Not all in one day of course, lol. Having her do these while I care for my son gives me alone time with him & makes it possible to complete "school" in a shorter amount of time.

*I come down about 20 mins later & we start school.

*Husband comes home & we cook dinner together ;) He helps me with dinner as I can't do it all :/ He usually helps with Science Projects & Reading Review.

I don't have a strict time schedule, just an order that we do things. They usually happen around the same time, but I don't like to be on such a tight schedule.

If it's an oven dinner we play board games (Blokus is a current favorite, along with Thinkfun Roll & Play for our 1 1/2 year old) with our children.

After our night time reading, prayer & blessings we usually watch a movie together. Some children, educational or christian movie (Gods NOT Dead was the most recent, it was awesome) :)

I apologize for the novel, but I enjoy our routine & I feel like my children are learning all day long. It took almost a year for me to get a good routine going, hopefully this helps you or someone :) One more thing that is a huge time saver & a lot of help is the fact that we have a housekeeper who cleans our home twice a month. We don't have an unlimited amount of income but it's sooo worth it. I would take one entire day to do what she does in a few hours. I'm not happy living in a dirty house & I can't do it all, so it works really well for us.

Ok, I better end here... Please let me know if you have any questions, I'm no expert, but homeschooling is a lot more enjoyable than it was 6 months ago! Take care & God Bless :)
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Re: Learning God's Story - Scheduling

Unread post by allgrace »

Thank you to everyone who has responded. Those are helpful tips. some of them I do. I think I will try just doing school in small chunks throughout the morning and continue giving breaks. I think my son is just going to be easily distracted at his age. He is actually just turning six in a month, so he is young.
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