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How do you find the time to home/unschool with three small kids?!

(8 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Thu 13-Mar-14 10:23:03

Dd1 3.5 goes to preschool every morning. She does enjoy it but before then I would take them to playgroups, parks play at home. They're very intelligent already but I just though putting her into something that's hers would be good for her. Dd2 is 22m and I have a 6 week old.

How would I have the time, or set up educational tngs a long with the playful thing. Even though kinds learn through play..

I just don't see how some parents of say 4 or more children have the time to do it all? On each individual age level

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 13-Mar-14 10:37:02

Most of the HE families I know have 3+ children. I was the odd one out with only one dc, but now we have a baby too so will see how it goes.
Hopefully a big HE family will be along soon to give you an idea grin

IncognitoErgoSum Thu 13-Mar-14 11:45:21

I only had two... but am very old grin and have seen lots of different families HEing over a very long period.

For me (and many other HEers) the question doesn't really compute - we simply live life (known as "unschooling" or autonomous education), especially with children so young. You don't have to set up educational things for young children - the whole world, everything they come into contact with is educational because they've never seen it before.

Nigglenaggle Fri 14-Mar-14 19:24:50

With a six week old you don't have any time, but they get more manageable smile (I speak as someone who currently only has two, but just seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with a four month old!). Also I guess if they are close in age it's probably easier, as their educational needs are more similar, especially as they get older?

HennaFlare Sat 15-Mar-14 20:23:24

They help with the set up. I have 3 and it isn't a case of me presenting them with their "play/work" each day. I ask them what we should do, make some suggestions, ask them to get bits and pieces, tell them where they are etc. my oldest is 6 and youngest is 2. They get helpful very quickly! We often all listen to 6 yr old read whilst 5 year old does a maths sheet and 2 yr old doodles. I want them to "own" our days together, so part of that is me NOT setting things up for them to do very separately. We listen to audiobooks together, I read to all of them, they work side by side on some maths curriculum, just going at their own paces. Sometimes one fed ahead of the other. That's fine. The current struggle is preventing the 2 yr old illuminating everyone else's work with felt tips but even with that, they're learning to put away books when they take a break. I was worried about it too, but it just sort of works out!

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Mon 17-Mar-14 20:01:24

HennaFlare, your day description sounds lovely. I think all of us worry about it from time to time.

I have 4 children, my third is about reception age (she's 5 in August). For her and her younger brother (and how it was when the older three were all little together), it involved a lot of reading aloud and now more than ever, creating the right spaces for them to play and explore. I don't tend to set much up directly at that age other than reading aloud and role play. I don't do anything really firmly academic before 5, it's all motor skills, listening skills, emotional and social education, and letting themselves be comfortable exploring by themselves and with others. They join in with the older two as they want.

Sometimes, especially with a six weeks old, we just do basics with the older kids: reading aloud, reading skills, writing skills, maths, and documentaries on things of interest, lots of cuddles and talking, letting them move about and then add things back in as things get better. As long as we do the basics at this age group, I feel okay. I'm more structured than most and I use a lot of programmes compared to a lot of others I know and as we add new things it just becomes part of our day. It's expected that after breakfast and morning tidying up, it will be movement time, then maths, then storytime and reading, and so on. During maths, the 4 year old has some time with me on CIMT Reception than does blocks with her brother and if one of the older two finish before the other, they join in (though the toddler has most likely run off to look out the window before then - and hopefully hasn't stripped before doing so blush ). I mainly make the time be streamlining a lot of other things - we've just decluttered the whole house (only the utility not-quite-a-room and the garden-that-can-wait left, yay) and a system so that the house is less stressful and we can do more of it on autopilot. I use programmes so that I have a core to adapt as they need so I can focus on more than basics. We make time where we want, it's planning energy and space that are just as important.

lucyintheskywithdinos Tue 25-Mar-14 21:41:54

With such little ones, feeding the ducks, going to the library, seeing friends etc is enough. If you are engaged with them when you can be (given the 6 week old!) then they will be fine.

I am only just in the last year seeing that my eldest (7) is needing more than the above. She does a couple of classes now and I strew more interesting stuff for her. It's working, she is happy and learning things. She spends most of her days learning songs to sing.

Sulis Thu 27-Mar-14 18:00:01

Well first of all, what you describe isn't unschooling. Second of all, you just live life. Most home educators in the UK don't do 'school at home' such as you're describing - even if they do do any 'lessons' it just takes an hour or so in the morning. Otherwise you just live as if you're in the summer holidays - playing, going places, seeing friends, watching tv, playing on the computer, reading, baking, having picnics, going to museums, home ed groups...it's not easy, home educating, but not for hte reasons you are worried about smile

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