Homeschooling when you have little ones can be a bit of a challenge at times, and I’ve written in the past (here and here) about how we schedule our school time to help keep the preschoolers occupied and out of too much trouble. Today I’d like to share another idea that has greatly helped our homeschool days to run smoothly:
Spend time with the little ones FIRST.
When my little ones get lots of mommy time before we begin school, they are more content to share my attention with their big siblings for a while. In my daily schedule, I have allotted a block of time each morning, just between chores and school, for Little Kids Time. Putting it on the schedule is so helpful to me, because that time can otherwise be shoved aside to make room for matters that are more visible and pressing. How easy it is to become so intensely focused on homeschooling the older ones, cleaning up messes, preparing meals and taking care of the house, that we can forget to do the other important items: cuddling, reading, and playing with those little people who love us and need us.
I printed a list of fun activity options to enjoy during Little Kids Time, and attached it to my homeschool clipboard. Each morning, the children or I will choose one or two activities to do together. One of the unexpected joys in this time is that the older kids strive to finish their morning chore packs early so that they can join in! Here are a few highlights from Little Kids Time during these first two weeks of school.
This one is the best. After the forward rolls and a game of “Follow the Leader” with hopping, skipping, and galloping, we started a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose…” or perhaps I should say, “Guck, Guck, Ssss” (you’ll see why!) Here is a delightful video of how that played out. For those of you that know about George’s struggles with learning to talk, you’ll be interested to know that duck is:
- a new word (he just learned it during the game this morning)
- a cause for celebration, and
- the reason that I decided to get out the camcorder today!
Tomorrow, I think we’ll either blow some bubbles, or do some cutting and gluing… maybe both!
Note: For a great list of fun ideas to do with little children, check out this post by Kim at Raising Olives.