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This is the third post in our Ask a Veteran Homeschooler Series!
Last month we posted on our facebook page and asked “If you could ask a veteran homeschooler any question what would it be?” We received a lot of questions and responses as well! For the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of these questions and try to answer them for you the best we can!
Disclaimer: Though I have been homeschooling for over a decade, I am not an “expert”, things change on a daily, monthly, yearly basis, and what may work for my family, may not necessarily work for yours and vice versa. This is the beauty of homeschooling!
“How do you homeschool multiple ages with babies and toddlers?”
This is a question that I get quite often, it can be a daunting task if you are new to homeschooling. I commend the women that decide to pull all of their children out of school at once and homeschool all of them! I have been homeschooling from the beginning and a new child has been added every couple of years or so, it has given us some sort of adjustment period. I know how difficult it can be to find that perfect balance, that “sweet spot” of getting everything done with your school aged children, finding one on one time with your babies and toddlers and not letting the little ones destroy the house or color up all of the walls in the meantime!
I love homeschooling with babies! For me, having a new baby is such a blessing to our homeschool days. I have found that I can get much more reading aloud and one on one time done when I have to feed a baby. We just sit on the couch and cuddle and get our work done. You can even become a pro at baby wearing (I LOVE my Hotsling) and just tote them around during school time. I also like to coordinate schooling during nap times. Oh how I miss nap times! We were always able to knock out a good amount of school work during nap times.
As baby gets older and is more mobile you definitely need to find more creative ways to keep them busy while you are doing school. I have used a Bumbo seat with the tray, a playyard or playpen, blanket time, rotating out new toys to play with and more!
Here are some posts I have found that have some awesome ideas:
Homeschooling with a Newborn – Preparing for Baby Series from Raising Arrows ~ This is a five part series that is so informative and encouraging from a mom who is very qualified!
How to Homeschool With a Newborn in the House – by Free Homeschool Deals ~ Jammeril has written a great post on how to balance it all. It is full of amazing ideas to keep little ones busy, how to take care of yourself, how to homeschool simply and there is even a video!
As you can see there are lots of ways to homeschool with a baby, but add a baby, some toddlers and older children to the mix and you can wear out very quickly!
One of my tips for homeschooling with a toddler is to make sure that you set aside a few minutes first thing in the morning to spend with your little one before tending to the others. We sing songs and read a favorite book, then I get her set up on a quiet play time activity before teaching the olders. I also to make sure to include them in as much as I can. When we do read alouds the toddler sits and play quietly near us while we are reading. This helps to train them to sit still and listen which is great for church! We do our Bible time together as a family as well.
For busy quiet time you can do so many things with them!
Here are some of our favorite activities:
Activity Bags: Ideas and Free Printables
Preschool Playdough Recipes and Printables
Sensory Box Resources and Ideas
Fun With Water: Projects, Ideas andMore!
Here are some more posts with fabulous ideas:
Simple Homeschool has a post on Homeschooling with Little Ones Under Foot and Keeping Your Sanity!
Don’t forget the other posts in this series!
How do you get your husband involved in school?
How do you cover every subject without taking up the entire day?