In your home and homeschool
A couple of months ago, I wrote about homeschooling with little ones in the house. I had several questions about activity ideas, so I thought all of you might like some ideas if you have young children at home.
When we started homeschooling in 2000, my children were 10, 5, 1, and one on the way. They are currently 26, 22, 17, 15, 13, and 10. I had to learn ways to entertain and occupy my little ones, so I could homeschool the older children. It took creativity. It took a willingness on my part to let the little ones learn and explore through arts and crafts when they were big enough to do that.
The first thing to remember in messy playtime is that your children are washable. Their clothes are washable, too. It is possible to have a quiet place to do you out loud reading with all of the children in the room with you. They can color, use markers, playdough, or colored pencils while you do out loud reading and instruction to the older children.
My older children also enjoyed the creative arts and crafts, so I would also let them spend some time doing these activities while I was talking or reading to them. They could remember what I was reading to them even though they looked busy with their artwork.
So my first go-to activity became anything that involved plain paper and some sort of art medium.
I also learned to rotate toys for my younger ones. They had special toys that they got to play with during school time. This made it special for them.
Rotating where they are in the house with you also works in distracting them when they are bored of one room. Little ones have a short attention span. You can homeschool in a lot of places in your home. I would read with my children in the living room some mornings instead of at the kitchen table. Sometimes, we took school outside for a change of scenery.
Rotate who plays with them. As toddlers and preschoolers get more active, you assign older children 10 or 15 minutes of play time with the little one. This might have to be in the same room you are in for supervision sake. But it is good for bonding between siblings, and it can give you a few minutes to explain a concept to another child.
If you don’t need a nap yourself, you can use nap time for one-on-one time with older children. I did this when I had high schoolers and preschoolers. I was able to teach algebra and science concepts much easier when I did this teaching during the afternoon nap time.
Use pack ‘n plays and high chairs when needed. There are times when you need both hands to teach an older child. Put the high chair or pack and play right beside you and teach you lesson. It does not have to be for a long period of time, but it will help your little one learn to play independently.
Sit on their level when you can. This is a great technique when you have a lot of little ones. Just sit in the floor and teach your lessons and read to the children. The bigger ones can do their paperwork part of school at a table, if they like. But my little ones were usually more content to play beside me or it on my lap if I was on the floor with them.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter the flat surfaces in your bedroom for 15 minutes and dust. Set your timer and ask your children to declutter in their rooms, too.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is hamburgers and a salad.
Have a great day!
Zone Missions: The Master Bedroom
Monday – Declutter flat surfaces and dust
Tuesday – Declutter in your closet
Wednesday – Declutter dresser drawers
Thursday – Declutter the floor of your closet and shoes
Friday – Clean under the bed
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