Occupying many little ones

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Day 1 = Good, Day 2 = Okay, Day 3 = almost disaster

Unread post by gratitude » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:17 pm

Agreeing with Trish. I would just do it the next day at this stage too. I sometimes find on really good days they do a little more, and then we do school 10 months a year rather than 9. So with both of those realities it really does even out. Also at this stage everything you do is helping them.

I forgot about the gate. I use that as well, and areas near the table that are safe for play.

Prayers for a great day tomorrow.

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Day 1 = Good, Day 2 = Okay, Day 3 = almost disaster

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:07 am

Thanks Ladies. That is what we will do. I need to relax about getting through it. I'd like to get through it by the end of the summer. I'd rather our school year start in the fall. But, it's okay if it doesn't. Plus, it's possible we will take the end of this school year plus next school year to complete it. After all, this is technically his pre-K year since he turned 5 in Oct. I've thought about doing it only 3 days a week to purposely stretch it. I figured we'd just see how it goes. I don't want to start him in first before he is ready.

That's really funny about gating kids into the pantry. LOL. You do what you have to, right! My playroom is out of sight, but right around the corner. I'm fine with it. The room is baby proofed and I can hear everything. I have a playyard (like a play pin) set up in my family room for the babies. I can see them. I'm thinking more often than not, I'm going to send the 3 year olds in the playroom. I would love to have them at the table, but it distracts my 5 year old. He loves all the fun things I would give the 3 year olds to do. I have been letting him do whatever they did as soon as we are done with school. He has been understanding so far. But, it still distracts him while we are working, which is why I set up the towels yesterday. :)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

sojen
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: Day 1 = Good, Day 2 = Okay, Day 3 = almost disaster

Unread post by sojen » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:37 am

These ladies are so encouraging!

Someone asked me once how I homeschool with Asher around. Asher is my son, and very energetic. He is 150% boy, loud, active and extremely curious. He's a good kid, but a bit much if you aren't used to that.

My response, "Well, I don't know any differently. He's been here everyday for almost four years, so we've just adapted to his disruptions." It obviously took some difficult days, shed tears, and prayers from friends to get to that point, but now we all know that's just the way it is. I adapted, my girls adapted and yes, even Asher has adapted. He still interrupts, but he knows how to be quiet during certain things and so even if we get school done in 5 minute chunks, we still manage somehow to get it done.

Be consistent and your kids will eventually catch on. Then, when you think you finally got it- everything will crash and burn. At some point the good days will out number the bad. :)

And then they will become teenagers....
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: Day 1 = Good, Day 2 = Okay, Day 3 = almost disaster

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:31 am

Thanks Jen! That is a great reminder that they will get older and we will adapt as we have always had to do. I totally understand about your son!!! I have 4 boys and only 1 girl. (Hopefully, she will get a sister. Maybe twin sisters! LOL!) So far, 2 of the boys are only 7 months. But, the older 2 are totally boys and are how you describe. I will encourage you that they do get calmer and more self-controlled as time goes on. My 5 year old is much better than he was at 3. ;) My husband's family thinks our kids are out of control because they are boys. It frustrates us, but whatever. No one else in his family has boys. But, he does have a brother. He is always saying, "I bet Brother and I never wrested like that." ;) I get compliments all the time on how well my children behave. But, they are boys and they get excited and can get pretty hyper and crazy sometimes. It can be very hard to calm them down when they get going. I have been known to want to run and hide. :-) Okay, off to try to calm my wild animals.

BTW - We are taking a break from school this morning. I'm hoping to finish up with the oldest during nap time for the other 4. I did a circle time, which I hadn't done before. We sang and read a book. It went okay. I would have thought they would have loved it,but alas, it was like herding cats. 8[]
gratitude wrote:Thank you for your sense of humor Heather. I am finding it really encouraging with my young ones! Agreeing with your above quote about our wonderful boys. Ours can get pretty hyper and crazy sometimes too, and be very hard to calm down (ages 7,5)! ;)

I also thought I would let you know that I did something similar to your above quote. I started MFW K with my second ds5 last April, which would have been his Pre-K year. So technically we don't need it done until next September. We did take off two months last summer. There are a lot of weeks I only do 3 days with him. The weeks he can I do 5 days. We are on lesson 15 or so, and his reading is going great! Still I can tell that it is good that I am allowing it to not be a push. His favorite word is: PLAY! He should actually finish it up around April and be ready for MFW 1.
He, he. I find having a sense of humor to be essential in keeping my sanity. I definitely have my moments, like the OP, but I try to keep a positive attitude and a smile. I like to keep things light and fun. 8) (And, I like smileys. :-) )

I don't mind slowing down if we need to. The biggest reason I'm going ahead with trying to stay on schedule is because I really think we need the structure. I'm not good at structure, but I know my children thrive on it. I'm great at sleeping routines, but not at a daily schedule. I think our whole family will benefit from more daily structure. I've tried implementing my own and I just can't seem to stick to it. I'm hoping being committed to school will push me toward that. It already seems to be helping. I think he is ready, but, we will definitely slow down if he needs to. He is my first. So, who knows if I'm doing this right. I get to experiment on him. ;) If we have to change how we are doing things that is just par for the course. :-)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Day 1 = Good, Day 2 = Okay, Day 3 = almost disaster

Unread post by BHelf » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:43 pm

I'm not good at a scheduled day either. We've started a loose schedule because my kids desperately need it. I am having a harder time adjusting than they are. BUT we are getting school done (well for the 3rd grader and a tiny bit for the pre-k'er) and getting to bed (mostly) on time and there is slightly less complaining. Hoping it all gets better with time. :) Saying a prayer for your day tomorrow.

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Day 1 = Good, Day 2 = Okay, Day 3 = almost disaster

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:34 pm

Mom2theteam wrote: I'm great at sleeping routines, but not at a daily schedule. I think our whole family will benefit from more daily structure. I've tried implementing my own and I just can't seem to stick to it. I'm hoping being committed to school will push me toward that. It already seems to be helping.
I am the same exact way! :-) We are great at sleeping and morning routines, and not at a daily schedule; except for maybe naps, and even those I always moved around a little.

I have found that home school has made me have much more of a daily structure. It took me awhile to get used to it, but the more we do it the more I really like having the routine. The commitment to school does make me stick to it, most days; it is good for all of us. :-)

Blessings for tomorrow!

4monkeyz
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:46 am

Teaching 1st and Adv, ideas for 3yo and 1yo

Unread post by 4monkeyz » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:03 pm

afelton wrote:I am also looking for ideas to do with 3 yr old and 1 yr old. I plan on doing Prek stuff with 3 yr old first. What to do with them while I am teaching? Last year I let them play but this year the 1 yr old is more active and the 3 yr old likes to find mischief to get into :~ .
I hear you. ;) Here is what I have done, it might spark some controversy, but I have Irish twins (10 1/2 months apart, the youngest came 4 weeks early) as well as two older ones...so I had to have a safe way to keep the younger set occupied.

When I had a 1 yo, she spent maybe 30 mins. in a play yard with special toys, out for a bit and then in for another 30 mins. Total of an hour in the play yard. I usually did this in the mornings, afternoons she napped.

As the younger two hit 2 and 3, a mother suggested putting a gate up on their bedroom for an hour. I had to put a hook/eye on the closet door bcs. they would empty all the clothing and toy bins!! Yikes what a mess!! :-) But it also meant that I could determine what they were playing with...one day blocks, another day dollies...helps control how much mess, what ever was out got picked up before lunch. Just for the hour I was working with the oldest.

They also love classical music, so I would have something playing and it helped set the tone.

This past spring as they got closer to 3 & 4, I discovered they love pattern blocks and lacing beads/cards, puzzles. I set up a few spots in the main area of the house with "stations" - one might have a few pattern blocks with design sheets, one might have teddy bears with pattern cards, maybe a few puzzles with pieces, etc. They loved roaming around and having something "school" to do.

I also got this idea online (not sure where?) to make them a "school" book, which my 3 yo loved last year. It had ten pages in sheet protectors. One was family - names and photos of aunts, uncles, grandmas, etc. One had counting squares, another had shapes, I had a finger rhyme, letters, spotting page. It fit in a small tab folder and I had their name inside. I would sit with my 3 yo for 15 mins. or so and just flip through her book, talking and cuddling. Then she felt she had mommy time and would happily play while I worked with the others.

And after lunch is always "pile in Daddy/Mommy's bed" and read time. On occasions even Mom has fallen asleep. Heehee. :)

Our days didn't always go smoothly. Being fairly relaxed homeschoolers, first grade wasn't a big deal, but I had two babies! Then second grade (this past year) was a little more crazy, trying to get through even an hour was hard. They got sick quite a bit this past winter too which really threw a wrench in a week. :-) Now I my girls are 3 & 4, so this year might be more tweaking!!
Andrea ~ Christ-Follower, Blessed Wife, Mama of 4
  • Adventures & First 2012
    ECC & K 2013
    CtG, First & K 2014
    RtR & First 2015
    American History detour
    Returning CtG 2019!

afelton
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Teaching 1st and Adv, ideas for 3yo and 1yo

Unread post by afelton » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:44 pm

Great ideas! I might using some tv this year too! Yikes! ;)
Using MFW since 2010.
Wife of Terry since 2002.
M (12) Exp to 1850
H(10) Exp to 1850
E (10) Learning God's Story(recently adopted)
C(8) Exp to 1850
J(6) Learning God's Story

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Homeschooling with lots of little children???

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:08 pm

mothermayi wrote:We will become guardians of my niece and nephew from another state and I keep wondering how do you homeschool with a lot of little kiddies . We will have kids ages 1,2,3,5,9,11. The thought of it scares me a bit bc of the close ages of the little ones. I need some practical advice to help my logical mind. How do you homeschool with so many little children? We were already planning MFW Pre-K [with additions] for quiet activities for my rising 3 year old. My 5 year old will do MFW K. My older two kids are doing MFW RTR. How do you handle so many little kids and still school successfully?

Thanks a million for your insight and advice!
I have 6 who are all 7 and under. I have a 7 year old (almost 8, 2nd grade), twins who are 5, twins who are 3 and a 9 month old nursling. It's crazy and fun times at my house! :-)

So, a few tips....

1. I don't like to do it, but use nap time. You need that quiet time. You can institute a quiet time in the afternoon for everyone 5 and under or 4 and under. Whatever you need. My 5 year olds are K'er and don't nap, but sometimes I send them for a quiet time. Either way, you can require a quiet time of reading in their beds. This is when you can get some serious work done with the olders.

2. Buy some coloring/activity books or print some worksheet for the youngers to be able to "do school" too. Start with everyone doing things they can all join in with...like Bible, then read alouds or similar. Then, the littles will often get doing school out of their system and go play.

3. Lower your expectations...expect chaos and go with the flow. It's just going to be a bit crazy some times, even a lot of times. It's normal and they will all grow up. ;)

4. Allow yourself to let household things go in order to get school done. Your house may be a bit of a mess for a few years. Your books may not be perfectly shelved. You can't do it all. Taking care of lots of littles and HS'ing and cooking and doing just the minimum cleaning is tough enough. Let some things go. That said, take the time to teach them to pitch in with chores and laundry and whatever else you can think of. It is SO worth it. You won't have to let so much go if they are helping with the day to day messes. Plus, it's hard to function in too much mess....yes, I say that from experience.... :~

5. Lastly, just keep going. This is my number one thing I say all the time. It is hard. The littles often derail your plans for schooling. It can feel like you are swimming upstream and getting no where. Just keep pushing forward. Handle the diaper, then go back to the table and keep going. Take care of the sibling squabble, then go back to the school work. Clean up your 3 year old sons from putting on their father's deodorant and trying to shave their faces and then go back to the table. (Yes, that happened this week...I forgot to lock my bedroom door...oops! And, yes, both 3 year olds cut themselves...there was small amount of blood, but it was no big deal. I cleaned them up, locked my door, double checked the other rooms they aren't supposed to be in, gave them something to color and went back to school work with the olders. LOL!!) If you just keep going forward, they eventually you will get where you are going. So, just keep pushing through the interruptions.

Oh and I school year round so that we can get derailed by the other children and not feel behind. I have 12 months to get done 9 months worth of work. It takes a lot of the stress off.

You can do it. It's just going to take some adjusting and it is going to be different and tough at first. You'll make it happen. :-)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Homeschooling with lots of little children???

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:29 pm

Oh, wow, I admire you both.

Since you're looking for lots of replies and folks are pretty busy this summer, it seems, I thought I'd add some reading material for the time being:

Combining RTR & misc grades: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11484
Combining K & older programs (including advice from Marie Hazell, who had 6 kids): http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1312
Misc preschool & preK threads: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=2
Large families: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1011

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: Homeschooling with lots of little children???

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:03 pm

I have some tips.. But they don't work all the time.. But I like what the other mama posted..just keep eking forward progress...

1. Start early! This year I started doing Math before the little kids wake up! We start at 7am with math and then during breakfast do most of our mfw reading. That gets the subjects that are the hardest to do out of the way before the littles are up and active. We literally crawl out of bed, and start math. Then we all stagger showers. Breakfast is kept simple so we can get up from Math and eat while I read.

2. Assignment books. I have one for each kid over second grade. They know what assignments are do each day in independent studies. They grade their math and "dictation" lessons in language lessons are done as copy work. I grade tests and do a dictation sometimes.

3. Saturday cleaning..

4. Schedule the littles days.. Room time, desk time, TV time all starting after table time with mfw. During that time I allow coloring only.

5. Four day school weeks. Helps me a ton. And I do six weeks on one week off.
Mom2theteam wrote:Vicki, we started doing that with our math this year too! Unfortunately, sometimes my 3 year olds wake up too. :~ But, overall, I really like doing math early in the day before they wake up. Good tip.

We also do 4 day school weeks. We use the 5th day to catch up on what we missed, particularly hands on projects. If we are completely caught up, not usually, we get ahead for the following week...or just take off...but always do math!
We are lucky in that Daddy doesnt go to work till 9am and lives a few blocks from work. So we utilize that time when he's home for Math and when he's not, Dr suess on PBS kids takes over for an hour. :) Usually they do not wake till 730 and we are up by 7am.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

mothermayi
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:51 pm

Re: Homeschooling with lots of little children???

Unread post by mothermayi » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:54 pm

Thanks, Ladies! :) It is encouraging to know there are others with lots of little kiddos. All of the advice and links were great! Now, off to copy them and post them on the fridge :-) . I need constant reminders that I can do this...I CAN do this...I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me :) .
Returning to MFW for 2015!! :-)
ds13 (8th)--MFW EX1850, EG, WWS, PP Guides, TT 2.0 Pre-Algebra
ds11.5 (7th)--MFW EX1850, AOG, WWS, PP Guides, Singapore 5B-6B
dd7 (2nd)--MFW EX1850, LLFT2, Miquon, AAS1
dd5--MFW K

manyblessings
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: Nevada
Contact:

Re: help needed, having a hard time with little ones!

Unread post by manyblessings » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:40 pm

graceandjarrod wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:30 pm
I am teaching a 2nd grader, pre-k, and preschool for my 2 year old. My kids are 7, 4, 2, and 3 months.

I think my son is ready for more independent work, and I honestly need him to be so I can work with my 2 and 4 year old. What kind of assignment sheet can I use for him? I'm not sure how to help him transition to being more independent in an age appropriate way.

Also, those of you with multiple little ones, how do you schedule your day? We do school in the morning, but I wonder if I should do most of it during nap time when the youngest are napping? I very had some hard days and need help. Any advice or encouragement would be great.
As far as having several little ones, first, give yourself lots of grace :) Even 7 is still young and there is no rush to do everything :) It's not been my experience that most 7 year olds can work well independently, but maybe someone else on here has some ideas in that vein.

You could do preschool with the 4 and 2 year olds combined rather than splitting them up. Definitely make use of naptime to do the subjects that your 7 year old needs you most for.
Lourdes
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
Past: MFW K, ECC, AAAT, VOD, GCA, LGS
2019-2020: ADV

allgrace
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:41 pm

Re: help needed, having a hard time with little ones!

Unread post by allgrace » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:56 pm

Thanks for your advice. I started doing a little bit of preschool with my 2 year old just to give her personal mommy time. but my 4 and 2 year old do do a lot together. I really just find juggling school with a baby and 2 year old hard.
"Sanctify them by the Truth, your word is Truth" John 17:17
Ds11:RTR
Dd8:RTR
Dd6: MFW K
Ds 4: VOD
Ds. 2: being very active😜

Missy OH
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:36 pm

Re: help needed, having a hard time with little ones!

Unread post by Missy OH » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:43 pm

Yes, to lots of teaching during nap time. :) I'm trying to think what materials can be used by a 7 yo independently. Mine have not accomplished much at that age. I gave up the idea of schooling in the morning most years and spread it out through the day. Maybe teach math and do the read aloud or bible after dinner while dad is putting the younger dc to bed or vice versa. You could clearly mark and put sticky notes on the pages he is to complete the next day. Make a stack in a box or basket that you put his independent work in. You could have two, a "to-do box" and a "finished" box that he can put each item in as he finishes. As you go through your day you can add to his to do box. Can he do copywork independently? book basket (maybe an index card in the box), some of the notebook pages....What about a cd player w/ headphones so he can listen to the songs? spelling workbook, practicing his spelling words, a timer w/ the fast facts cards....

Blessings,
Missy

wbbeachbum
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:17 am

Re: help needed, having a hard time with little ones!

Unread post by wbbeachbum » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:53 pm

Homeschooling with littles can be difficult.

I focused on working on skill subjects during naptimes. I included the littles as much as possible with the other subjects, or kept them busy with toys that were only available during school time. Each day had a certain toy collection that could only be played with quietly in an adjacent room.

In my experience, 7 yo and/or non-strong readers are not independent. I have much more success expecting the 4yo to be independent with the PreK package. I read her instructions, then send her off to work for a bit. She joins us for some of our school work and usually is quite happy to color her older brother's maps, do "copywork" ( write letters on a page while the big kids were doing handwriting practice), and participate as interested in the family cycle. 1-1 time with her is done before breakfast or after school work with the older children is complete. When she is done participating in the family cycle, and done with doing a few PreK activities, she plays legos, dolls, etc. in her room.

2 yo was a difficult age. I allowed them to use playdoh/coloring books or play quietly at the table with the older children. I had a box of toys for each day that they could also play with close by during school time. As a last option, off to their room they went to play.

Baby was carried in a sling or was in a bouncy seat nearby. I had a long hallway that I used baby gates to close off to keep toddlers busy close at hand, but with lots of room to roam and play.

I wake my littles before the older children. This way we can have 1-1 time before the entire household is awake, and it helps keep naptime in use.

Best of luck!
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09

Currently homeschooling 16yo ds, 13yo dd, 13 yo dd, & 7 yo dd.
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR, Exp1850, 1850MOD, AHL, & WHL

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: help needed, having a hard time with little ones!

Unread post by kw4blessings » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:45 am

Grace, blessings to you as you raise your little family. My family is similar (size and age span) and it is hard when everyone is so small to get anything done, really. It does get easier, though. Hang in there!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

allgrace
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:41 pm

Re: help needed, having a hard time with little ones!

Unread post by allgrace » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:43 pm

Thanks for all the advice and support! I did write out a daily assignment list for my son and I am training him to use it. The subjects he can't do independently I write, with mom, so he knows that he will do them with me. He can do math and copy work by himself. He knows what to do math and he does math flash cards also. But he is only seven, so he gets distracted. I am just trying to have grace for myself and my kids. I have found that helping my oldest to work independently for math helps me to work with my 4 year old and 2 year old.

Animal train is so fun. I don't do everything, but it has helped my 2 year old to have her own school lessons also. Things are going smoother, but it is challenging. I remind myself that training my kids and showing them the gospel is of first importance, the academics will be ok :)
"Sanctify them by the Truth, your word is Truth" John 17:17
Ds11:RTR
Dd8:RTR
Dd6: MFW K
Ds 4: VOD
Ds. 2: being very active😜

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