How do you home ed your older child/ren if you have a baby as well?(13 Posts)
Sorry if this is a dense question to be asking...
If you have, for example, a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a baby, how does your home ed day work out?
I want to be fairly structured in that I do at least a couple of hours throughout the day of sitting down concentrating exercises but am just trying to envisage where and how the younger ones, particularly the baby will fit in?
Please tell me how you juggle all their needs!
PipCarrier I recently discovered this blog where a mum is homeschooling with three children very similar ages to yours - it's quite detailed with their day to day activities so should be able to give you a good feel for how it would work!
I have an almost 5 year old, a 3 year old and a baby. I try to work with my 4 year old when the baby has his morning nap. My 3 year old either plays by himself or sits at the table with us and does some colouring. I only do about 30-40 minutes a day, 4 days a week. So far this has been working well. I'm not sure what I will do when the baby decides he doesn't need his morning nap!
I'm a childminder as well as home eder. We do our formal written stuff very very early in morn. Rest of day fits around and with the mindees. We get to home ed group events when we can. We grab moments when they appear, for example, reading a classic novel during car journeys. We discuss and discuss and discuss. We seek out lots of different experiences which leads to more discussion. Sometimes there are arguements. Sometimes things don't go to plan. That's life.
Just relax into the role and the right time slot to do formal stuff will become apparent. Everything else can be done with all the children joining in at some level.
Babies do tire you out and take over your life. When they do, it means you are doing it right!
Every child is different, so it is tricky to say how it works out - this will be different for every family. We had twins who were being home educated during the reception year (and beyond) and then a 2 year old who didn't have a nap in the day. These are some of the things I did...
1) I involved our toddler as much as possible eg. if we were counting out cubes or items I gave him the same - obviously he fiddled and played but felt like he was involved. When he got older, I gave him an activity linked tot he one we were doing eg. the older children were writing the story of the 3 little pigs and I gave him pink play dough and we made some pigs together - whilst i was talking and helping the older ones.
2) I have a special box of activity toys for our youngest... some things he really likes to do that don't require too much help from me. He is nursery age now, will be reception next year and I have... paper plates plus paper and glue etc to make funny faces... large hama beads (we re-use rather than iron these!), some easy painters from ELC - mess free!, some stampers, tap a shape box, jigsaws in little plastic envelopes, pegging activity etc. He is only allowed to choose these when we are doing our structured learning time.
3) I also let him do things he usually doesn't get to do.... play doh with real scales and cup cake tray/paper cases. Washing up... lots of bubbles in the sink - put a towel on the floor first! Painting the patio with water in the summer.
Obviously these are ideas for a toddler... I couldn't tell you about a baby but we have one on the way!
Sorry for sticking my nose in a bit when I don't know what I'm talking about - we are into informal education so I don't really know what the more structured work is like!
You mentioned you were expecting to do at least a couple of hours a day of sit-down work. I don't think I know of many people who do anywhere near that much with their five year olds, though I may be mistaken about this. And of course you don't have to do what other HE families do anyway!! because whatever works for your family is obviously the right thing for you to do.
I just wanted to chuck out the suggestion that perhaps you will find that with individual learning it's possible to cover everything you want to do in far less time than you expect, which would mean that keeping little ones occupied could be less of a challenge than you fear.
For those of you who have done formal work with your five year olds, could you give an idea of how much time you do spend on that sort of sit-down work which is hard to do with smaller people underfoot?
Like you say, all children are different, so everyone saying how much they do with their 5 year old may not help that much!
We do about an hour, but more when she wants to continue.... and that is most of the time. Some children are not ready to do anything and some like to 'sit down' and "work", so really all children are different.
Pip, I really agree with Saracen and maggi. You don't need to be doing 2 h sit-down work with a five year old each day. It's probably only as much as I'm doing with ds1 and ds2, and they are 10 and 8 years old.
Ds3 is 4 1/2 and really interested in reading, writing and maths. We have a few workbooks that he works through when the other boys are doing their 'work' but it's just when he wants to. I love the fact that I'm not pressurising him to sit down and do it - and I feel he's still at the same stage as the older boys were when they were his age, at school.
Dd is a toddler and generally just fits round whatever we are doing. It was a little harder when she was a baby and breastfeeding more, but one of the advantages of home education is that you can move away from rigid timetables. It's not really very difficult to read with a five year old and breastfeed at the same time. When she's asleep we can do things that are fiddly or require more concentration. If she doesn't sleep we can always do them another day.
Online resources/apps can be great for giving encouragement/ feedback that can otherwise be so time consuming for the adult. We do maths virtually entirely online.
I pay a young woman to visit once a week - she's not a tutor - but she is effective as a learning cheerleader - getting him excited to show his projects to her.
I encourage independence and project work rather than directly teaching.
I get him to read out loud to me while I nappy change/do housework.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and reassurance.
I appreciate what you are saying about 2 hours seeming a lot and I don't intend to it all in one to, but at the moment my eldest is 4 and does around 90 mins a day purely because he enjoys it! He is a sit down and learn kind of child so I am just following his lead.
I'm sure it will all settle in anyway, you forget how much babies sleep don't you!
I HE my 5yo and tbh it is a bit tricky with a baby (4mo)
But I rationalise this by thinking of it in terms of what he would be learning during school - not much I think - it's mostly just herd control from what I can gather.
I also HATE the way that eerything is turned into an opportunity to write something, I mean, Ooh look that's a nice statue, let's write about it, rather than let's just talk about it if he's interested sort of thing.
I am a bit trpidous about providing evidence for any inspection we may have, as we don't do much written work. But he is still learning - even when I am like a zombie, he is doing some puzzles on the computer, or he is cutting out, or occasionally writing some really small letters for me.
I find if I get excited and love what he is doing, he wants to do it more.
It's a learning curve for everyone but when the baby has kept us up all night and we have a 'duvet day' I suppose that is just what our family requires. And it's Ok. As long as I'm not neglecting him aor forcing him to work for me or something, he is learning.
Fwiw I am really heartened by all the posts here saying they don't do hours and hours of formal work. I'm a bit relieved!
I think in a day at school they will often spend much of it being told to sit down, going to have lunch, walking in a straight line, being quiet, and having a story/assembly. They will also do a lot of pointless stuff that they don't want to do, find too hard, or can't remember a week later as it was sooooo boring.
And maybe amongst that they get in some social playing, and some shouting and a page or so of writing and a picture.
We probably achieve more than that in terms of learning iyswim, without the social stress and the inhibition of their natural instincts.
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