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Does anyone have a 4yr old, 2yr old and baby and HE??

(8 Posts)
thestylethatdecadesforgot Tue 18-Nov-14 13:00:13

I am fit to burst today. My 2yr old is cutting her pre molars so she is particularly cranky but she has been spectacular this morning. Knocked the iron over and sent water everywhere and weed in all her trousers, not made it to the toilet for days now (and has been reliably potty trained for 6 months). This is just a sample of today's events to give you a clue.

Every time I start doing something with my 4yr old, the two year old does something daft and even if I give her something to get on with there's always trouble. We did salt tray spellings last week and I let the 2yr old draw shapes etc but she just chucked handfuls up in the air and all over the floor when I looked away to help the older one. So we go on like that all morning and then the baby wakes up and needs feeding so we give up for the morning.

I'm really struggling to know what to do. I don't want to send them to school and when I talk to my oldest about it she says she really wants to stay at home. We have a fab home school group we go to and loads of friends so we don't struggle for company. I have loads of ideas but I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed at the moment. I love them loads but please someone tell me this doesn't just happen to me??

Any suggestions gratefully accepted please!!

ommmward Tue 18-Nov-14 16:16:34

I'd look at doing activities that both can do without the smaller one being annoying (so, foam letters in the bath rather than salt tray, for example)

And back off expecting "formal" education with a 4 year old. The education bit can happen just as easily in a conversation or in a couple of moments of showing how a letter is formed because the 4 year old wants to practise letter formation, but you can keep more attention on the 2 year old and not expect them to do something aimed at a 4 year old attention span?

lilyfire Tue 18-Nov-14 18:49:18

I posted here about 5 years ago with the same problem. When I started out home edding I had a 4 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old. The advice I got, which was the same as ommmward has said; to back off anything too formal, really helped. I did find that there were quite a lot of on line games that my 4 year old could do by himself and that he could learn from. I think if I was doing it again I'd just try and forget all about what children might be doing in reception and focus much more on play. I guess lots of things like water play and talking about sinking and floating. I agree that if you do things that are 2 year old friendly - and then look for conversations in them that will help the 4 yo learn (if that makes sense). I also found that we had to get out almost every day or I went mad. My eldest also listened to quite a lot of story tapes or Storynory stories. It helped that I had a friend whose eldest was nearly 7 and in Swedish school and she would tell me how he was just playing and not really doing anything that looked like formal work.
We are still home edding and I still struggle with meeting everyone's needs - I think I thought it would just sort itself out at some point, it is easier now, but I still worry a bit.
If I got really worried I had a couple of autonomous education books that I'd go to and read a couple of pages and it would calm me down and I'd realise that even if the whole morning had been total chaos, we'd still usually manage to have some good conversations and they'd still have learnt something.

Nigglenaggle Tue 18-Nov-14 20:16:25

Just watching here as this is the situation I hope to be in in 1-2yrs time grin

Mumstheword21 Tue 18-Nov-14 20:50:50

I have 5.5, 4.5 and almost 2 - it definitely evolves!!

We find that thing definitely get done on a day to day basis, but not in a conventional way and rarely as planned. To be honest, the turning point for me after the arrival of no. 3 (having the two girls was fine in comparison with our previous routine!) was thinking about things differently myself! Take time to de school yourself - this was really important for me!

On a practical level, could you offer your 4yr old the opportunity to do activities at times when you have another pair of hands (partner is home, grandparents/relatives etc...are over) or when the 2 yr old is asleep, or if the baby is asleep, sorting out what the 2 yr old needs (play doh and tools, tray of pasta, dvd etc...) then supporting the 4 yr old alongside? Doing things in the garden (writing with sticks in the mud for 4 yr old while 2 yr old plays alongside)?

Ommmward is always right! We backed off from formal education - it took much more effort on my part than anyone else's but as a result we, as a family are so much happier.

You'll be fine, it just takes a while to adjust and feeling overwhelmed is absolutely normal!!

Have a brew and cake...tomorrow is another day with your lovely little ones!!

ommmward Tue 18-Nov-14 21:20:09

Really, not always right. It's much easier to be superwoman on an internet forum than in real life smile blush

Mumstheword21 Wed 19-Nov-14 08:32:19

He he...superwoman is far too modest - I was thinking more legend!!! grin

Dowser Sun 30-Nov-14 15:46:24

Yes my daughter did. Now they are 10, 7 and five and doing just great. Thriving and all as bright as buttons.

My daughter did no formal lessons at all. Did you hear that. None. She got up, and did what she always did, saw to breakfast, fed baby, had bath and the children just played.

The eldest taught himself to read. Their education just evolves. She is so laid back. She doesn't stress at all. The house is filled with toys and books.

They join in with other parents on regular days where!

They could all use a computer from a very early age and are all into minecraft now. They bake a lot but not so much the boys now.

They all have wonderful imaginations and are all very well grounded. If a child is hurt the others will gather round it even if they are not related.

If one of them is interested in something my daughter will see they have some activities associated with it or visit a museum if that is relevant.

It's all very much about learning is fun.

They go to bed when they want too. One night we were there they started baking cakes at 10pm!

They've just come back from Florida and I defy anyone to say they haven't had a good education while we they were there. My ten year old practically delivered a two hour monologue on the Harry potter area alone.

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