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For those homeschooling young DC with a baby/toddler, how are you doing it?

(43 Posts)
sortmylifeoutplease Fri 22-Jan-21 19:19:51

Any tips? I've got a baby, reception and year 1. Crying daily and depleted. I've quit work for now as no childcare now, but need some coping tips and strategies for how to practically fit in homeschooling without neglecting baby so much. My kids are generally good and pretty bright and I'm still failing on all fronts.

OP’s posts: |
MarshaBradyo Fri 22-Jan-21 19:22:24

Oh that’s hard. Can you form a childcare bubble?

Nicknamegoeshere Fri 22-Jan-21 19:24:21

@sortmylifeoutplease I got told on here I should stop complaining because I'm on mat leave and not working(!) I have a 7 month-old who has just started crawling, a 10 yo and a 13 yo (both with additional needs). It should be easy for me. Apparently.
It's a nightmare with a baby, I share your concerns xx

SnowFields Fri 22-Jan-21 19:27:17

Badly really. I’ve got a one year old, four year old and five year old. DH and I are both wfh and just trying to juggle everything. It’s stressful and a lot of schoolwork isn’t getting done. I’m trying to focus on the more important areas and doing plenty of reading before bed.

TartanTed Fri 22-Jan-21 19:34:27

Tbh at those ages I wouldn't even try to homeschooling. Put on CBeebies alpha blocks from time to time. Get outside when the weather allows it. Do some puzzles when baby is content/ napping. Just get through each day with everyone fed & reasonably happy. They have plenty time to catch up when schools go back. Remember in many countries formal education doesn't start until 7.

sortmylifeoutplease Fri 22-Jan-21 19:39:02

Don't have anyone I can form a bubble with and as I've had to quit my planned role after mat leave (jan start - good timing) due to schools closing, taking too much of a financial hit to afford paid childcare right now. Kids and baby are up during the same 14 hours.

OP’s posts: |
mistermagpie Fri 22-Jan-21 19:42:53

I've got a five year old, a three year old and a one year old. I'm also working from home as is DH. We have a small house and work the same hours so you can imagine how well it's all going.

Honestly, if you feel like you're not doing great you want to come a see my house, the whole thing is a total shitshow. I honestly don't know how we can be expected to teach a child in these circumstances, never mind work as well.

You have my sympathy and absolutely no advice because I don't think there is a decent solution.

sodalite Fri 22-Jan-21 19:45:33

Same difficulty 3 and 5
3 year old is at nursery in the mornings so we cram in what we can then and after I collect the youngest I don't even attempt to do anymore.

BendingSpoons Fri 22-Jan-21 19:53:30

Nearly 2yo and Reception child. We do some learning first thing before one of us starts work (we work different days), most of it during the toddler's name (unless he refuses it) and some of it whilst toddler is distracted. It's a pain doing anything with him watching. Sometimes I leave DD to watch the videos on her own and return for the written work. Luckily they only have one live session a week so we can be flexible.

sortmylifeoutplease Fri 22-Jan-21 20:01:59

I don't think they'll fall behind as such, but there is an expectation that work is done. Ironically there is little time to read now (Y1 is well ahead of years in reading and YR could read on a basic level before starting and they're still on letter sounds at school so he finds the zooms boring but enjoys the social side which is important). Y1 told me she hated school today and when I said "school at home or school when it's opened", she said both.

i was up until 3 to try and do basic , basic stuff ie not walk through a heap of crap everywhere, put some laundry on, mop the floor, download and print everything off so that we could get ahead of ourselves and actually get out for an hour today. Plan failed miserably. Partner also started a new job in Jan and we kept his as it's full time so less of a financial hit and mine was only going to be part time 30 hours. He is getting up at 530 and going to bed about 12 and is v supportive. We manage to eat about 10 and down time of half an hour. We are a lot luckier than most, DP is very supportive, but I'm still really struggling with this. Baby is over a year now and we have not had a ten minute break to go for a walk together even since born.

I think for Y1, they are expecting three hours a day, but that adds up to so much more when you're uploading, downloading, printing, supervising, cajoling, finding pencils, skipping from one part of portal to another, getting locked out of it, getting interrupted, trying to stop baby climbing up pulling stuff off table, whilst supervising YR work.

Sorry what a pity party!

OP’s posts: |
sortmylifeoutplease Fri 22-Jan-21 20:04:59


I've got a five year old, a three year old and a one year old. I'm also working from home as is DH. We have a small house and work the same hours so you can imagine how well it's all going.

Honestly, if you feel like you're not doing great you want to come a see my house, the whole thing is a total shitshow. I honestly don't know how we can be expected to teach a child in these circumstances, never mind work as well.

You have my sympathy and absolutely no advice because I don't think there is a decent solution.

That's hard.

OP’s posts: |
Didyousaynutella Fri 22-Jan-21 20:13:06

I have a two year old, reception age and a year 2. The year two is at the worst age where he has a fair amount of work expected but still has to be sat with, won’t do any work independently.
Honestly I do a bit when the two year old is napping and give him the iPad when he gets very disruptive and am trying to get them to work. Also have low standards. If i manage half an hour of focused work with each child I consider that a win. I try and do other things with them such as card games, memory games, 5 minute Mum stuff, lego etc. we also go out a lot in full wet weather gear.
Have also put youngest in nursery an extra day so can focus on the older two.
Would nursery for the youngest be an option?

SandysMam Fri 22-Jan-21 20:13:29

I would say stop the planned learning. Do a mixture of reading them stories, watching some bbc bite size and simple fun maths. They will be much more damaged at that age by a mum having a mental break down than they would be not completing every bit of home school set. If the school don’t like this, they will have to offer them a place.
It is bloody hard though and I feel like crying most days too! You are not alone. Lower your standards, easy repetitive meals and basic housework. Fresh air when you can and if possible, something to look forward to, even a box set or a chapter of your book alone! You will get through this.

BarbiesWorld Fri 22-Jan-21 20:17:01

Reception aged DD does the colouring/letter formation/cutting and sticking activities that need minimal supervision at 9 ish while I'm around and with the baby.

10 ish we all have a snack with numberblocks.
Baby goes down for a nap and we do phonics and an oak academy lesson.

Lunch and she plays for a bit (on her own or with baby). When it's afternoon nap time we go for our walk then home and alphablocks or more phonics (this depends on how agreeable she's feeling).

After 3.30 ish she can do whatever she fancies while I sort tea and the baby potters around.

In between I try and get uni work done and not lose my shit grin

Honestly really struggling but trying really hard to get a bit done each day and ignore the feelings of guilt that DS is being ignored more than I would like.

BarbiesWorld Fri 22-Jan-21 20:19:38

Oh and the house looks like a bomb has gone off because who actually has the time or energy to keep on top of that right now...

Didyousaynutella Fri 22-Jan-21 20:19:42

Honestly three hours work is ridiculous. It is not possible. Much better they are happy. When the youngest was at nursery today I decided to spend most of the day outside as it was the first lovely day in ages.
I put them in full wet weather gear and we were out for about 4 and a half hours in total at various parks, some of which they bumped into school mates. We did a bit of work before for half an hour and when they got back on the promise of a treat.
Oh yeah and the house is a tip but you can’t have everything.

RollOn2022 Fri 22-Jan-21 20:25:49

We are both wfh at the moment and have a 5 and 1 year old. 1 year old has been in nursery so we are managing, but we’ve split the day in half and both working in the evening. We have really understanding and accommodating employers, but we both feel that we can’t not make sure we do as many of our contracted hours as we can.

However, nursery bubble burst this week so have nothing at home and it’s a nightmare. Tried to juggle the first day we had them here, but it’s impossible.

I get an extra allowance for Covid related absence, so I’ve taken five days off work.

I don’t know what to suggest, but live for a Friday. We are having a take away and well earned drink.

You’re not alone. I don’t know if that helps, but we could maybe use this thread just to rant when we need to. Maybe we fill it with silly memes or whatever the kids use at the moment?!

EcoCustard Fri 22-Jan-21 20:28:56

Badly 😭. I have a yr1 & reception child, 3 year old & a 20 month old. The 3 year old goes to school 2 days & have put the 20 month old in for 1 day at nursery. We only get any productive school work done on one of those days. Sort of ditched the timetable and I am trying to put together stuff that they can all do but get some of the learning. Focus is on reading, phonics here. We are set a lot of English for yr1 so I am now just getting him to write stories or describe stuff he is interested in. He is a reluctant learner and quite behind so I dread to think how far he will be behind now, (also suspected mild dyslexia).
I was hoping they would return in February but everyone seems to think Easter. I should be studying but realistically looking at deferring as I am behind and doing badly. It’s a mess tbh, a daily battle and stress. I have emailed and spoken to teachers but it’s just a do what you can speech.
I don’t know how they realistically expect parents to educate, teach, follow a curriculum whilst juggling all the other stuff, work, study, kids etc. I am worried as my kids school are teaching classes as normal as their classes have half in attendance ( from the ta). I honestly feel like my kids are being forgotten about and left behind.

sortmylifeoutplease Fri 22-Jan-21 20:31:44

Nursery have let me defer place - can't do settle sessions at moment - me and DP had planned to share those first week Jan as we're both starting new jobs. Baby hasn't been left with anyone due to covid, so seems extra harsh to not do settle session, plus not sure whether govt may decide to close nurseries or if covid case will close it. School where my other kids go has been closed for their classes for key workers already due to covid. Not to mention financial hit on us of giving job up due to no childcare.

Maybe I just stop with some of the planned learning and let son do his zooms. Teacher has been pretty militant in expectations. She is working her arse off though. Some of daughter's videos are 40 minutes long, with questions peppered throughout and then a task or worksheet. The questions started getting peppered throughout when I said to teacher, does she need to watch phonics video or can she just do worksheet? Teacher sent email saying she was going to put questions into videos now so no children didn't skip them. As I said, daughter can read well above her years, so 40 minutes of sounds she is totally comfortable with is demotivating for her. She'd get more out of reading a book but don't know if school will be v pissed off about this or if it seems like slap in the face to teacher. Baby now asleep so I'll be back later!

OP’s posts: |
mindutopia Fri 22-Jan-21 20:34:54

Can you not just put youngest in nursery? I am working full time and homeschooling primary age dc and it’s mostly fine. We do 3 hours of online a day (zoom) and I do work while she does it and then tv from 12-5 while I work and then go collect toddler and then work after bedtime. If life is really pressed, dh does bath and bedtime and I crack on with work.

Heyheyitsanotherday Fri 22-Jan-21 20:36:09

Just wanted to say, you’re not failing. Home schooling is hard! We have a 5 year old and 1year old. Doing as much as I can but not easy so I sympathise entirely!
Our eldest has been playing school and “teaching” the baby everything they learn. Helps keep baby entertained and less like I’m abandoning one for the other. (Not that the baby understands anything but it definitely keeps her attention).
Take an hour at a time. Screen time is not a bad thing. Do what you all need to get through the day.

mindutopia Fri 22-Jan-21 20:37:02

In terms of settling in, you can do it with just leaving for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, normally you only stay a little bit the first session anyway. Your baby will be fine. Honestly, they do adjust. For your sanity and the well being of your older two, I would just press ahead.

MyCatShopsAtAldi Fri 22-Jan-21 20:37:40

You know, there’s a lot of people on here who don’t think anyone is allowed to find anything difficult because someone else out there is having a more difficult time. Bullshit. This is hard for everyone. Just because it’s harder for some doesn’t make it easy for others.

I have a one year old and a Y1 (a very young summer born Y1, which is relevant - short attention span, very unsettled at the moment). I am at the end of my maternity leave. DH works from home and is not overworked. It has still been difficult! None of us signed up for this. I genuinely don’t know how you’re still standing with three.

Part of the problem is that most kids this age can’t work independently. And while I have every sympathy for the shit show that most teachers have found themselves in, may I make a candid suggestion? Last week was not the week to start collages. With actual fucking glue and scissors.hmm

Do you have a play pen? Or a Jumperoo? Because my strategy at the moment is to try to get as much as possible done while baby naps, or while baby is safely contained (baby is a very capable walker --and overly capable climber--). The latter will do for a maths worksheet, we need the former for the English video lesson and writing task.

Do you have to log in live? If not, I’d try to tag team - child 1 plays while you do maths with child 2 and baby goes in play pen. Then child 2 has a break and child 1 does whatever can be fitted in before baby needs a nap. If baby naps in cot, then give them a snack to eat while you get baby down. Then lather, rinse, repeat. Depending on levels of cooperation.

We are focusing on maths and English, and doing the other activity/reading on good days when we can fit them in. We are prioritising getting out for fresh air over getting everything done. Fortunately, the teacher is aware that DC1 is struggling and is supportive of this approach.

If there’s anything at all you can do to get some time to yourself of an evening, do - you can’t pour from an empty cup. The one thing I would recommend is eating with the kids, even if it feels too early - saves cooking twice, and just do pasta/jacket potatoes/beige freezer food and frozen peas, etc, whatever is an easy dinner in your house.

princesspeppax Fri 22-Jan-21 20:39:24

Im on maternity leave, trying to home school 6 year old while my 4 year old runs riot and I also have a newborn to tend to and its bloody hard! I take my hat of to those who also have to work from home on top of this. You have my sympathy's it's difficult !

Camomila Fri 22-Jan-21 20:39:46

We have DS1 in reception and a almost one year old.

3 days a week we both work and my DM looks after the DC from ours, DH has flexible working and does most of DS1s work with him after lunch while the baby naps. We do one last activity after dinner (usually maths because DS1 finds it easy).

The 2 days I don't work I set the baby up with some safe toys in the same room as us and try to do everything in the morning with snack break for both DC half way through the work.

We sometimes finish a few things off on Saturday.

The provision is very good though - lots of prerecorded videos with his teachers, alphablocks/numberblocks episodes to watch, and fun 'videogames' to play. Most written work is on a little wipe clean board the school gave everyone. I've not printed out sheets of questions or had to get the glue and paint out.

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