As I put the final touches on all my plans for our upcoming homeschool year, I am again faced with the challenge of the littles. My two oldest are in 2nd and 1st grades, and I also have a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old (she’ll be 3 in November), and a 4 month old. The 4-year-old and the 2-year-old no longer take naps, so they are with us the entire day. They do like to play together. But, notice I didn’t say they play well together. They require a lot of intervention :).
We school year-round, so our typical schedule is three weeks on followed by one week off. I would love to have 2 hours in my day to work with the older kids while the 4 and 2-year-olds are occupied and not squabbling. I figure I can get one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon with this plan.
Each morning, they are going to have 1 hour of “room time” by themselves. We played musical rooms again at our house to rearrange things, and now they each have their own room. But, this is necessary for “room time.” You could still accomplish this even if you put each of your littles in their own space, or even give them a large blanket to play on quietly. So, the rules for room time are pretty simple. NO COMING OUT UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY. My kids love to go down the list of what qualifies as an emergency – bathroom needs, vomit, blood and fire. That pretty much covers it. Although the 4-year-old likes to throw in “bad guys”. Oddly, she hasn’t had one yet. They are free to play what they wish or look at books, or even take a nap if they choose (ha, ha). Ok, so that buys me one hour in the morning.
Each afternoon, I have planned a preschool activity for the two of them to do. They will be in the same area as me while I school the other two, so I can lend a hand if needed. I am not a never-ending fountain of preschool creativity, but I figured I could come up with 15 activities – one for each afternoon of our three weeks of school before we take a week off. I will just use that same 15 day rotation (I’ll be posting my list on Monday) over and over until I feel inspired to don the thinking cap and make another 15 day plan :).
If all goes as planned, we will have both educating and sanity in the house.