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Tips for managing learning for 5 year old with a disruptive 3 year old in the mix

(5 Posts)
Bubbinsmakesthree Fri 17-Apr-20 20:55:44

School is setting loads of work for Y1 DS and he’s fairly keen to learn but needs quite a lot of hand-holding.

Meanwhile younger DS (just turned 3) is massively disruptive and has started acting up a lot (presumably for attention). I’m also trying to work from home so my attention is on that as well.

DS5 gets distracted from school work if I divert my attention to DS3. If I focus on DS5, DS3 will start throwing things around and jumping on the sofa and general being a menace. If I have to take a work call I either have to stick them in front of the TV or they start whacking each other with sofa cushions.

I’m really struggling to make this work for all of us. The most success I have is trying to find things that they can do together but have an educational element that is a bit of a challenge for DS5 (like inventing a silly game and getting him to write down the rules, or playing shop and getting him to count the change) but my inspiration is running out and none of it helps us do the pile of work that’s been set by school.

Sorry that was a ramble but I am finding it all a bit draining - does anyone have any useful tips?

OP’s posts: |
InArrears Fri 17-Apr-20 21:38:43

I wouldn't worry too much about completing things schools are giving you. Let your children play with each other and join in when you can. They'll come away from this situation with much more if you let them direct their own learning through play and build their relationships with each other.

NuffSaidSam Fri 17-Apr-20 21:41:11

Completely ignore the stuff from school. Or look at it, take anything useful that will work for you and ignore absolutely everything else. He's 5. He doesn't need to work his way through loads of set tasks/sheets from school. None of you need the stress.

You're the doing exactly the right thing with trying to find something they can both do that is also a learning opportunity.

To do sit down activities like writing/bit of maths I would have them both sat at the table, either side of you. DS1 can do some school work, DS2 can do playdoh/glue/stickers/drawing/threading etc. Or look for some activity books/sheets that he can do. Tell him that he needs to do his work just like his big brother. Maybe get him a folder to keep his 'work' in. Include him. I would try and do this at a set time if possible, so maybe after breakfast you all sit for half hour and do your work together and then maybe another half hour after lunch. They tend to accept it better if it's part of a fixed routine! An hour of sit down school work is plenty for the five year old. All the rest of his learning can be through everyday activities.

Shops is great. Could also try doctors (biology). Libraries (phonics). Buses (phonics/writing/maths). Travel agents/Airports (geography/maths/phonics).

Baking is a good for maths and science. Or make slime or playdoh. Get them to help with dinner prep.

There are lots of apps that help with phonics and maths too. Maybe as an alternative to TV (or in addition to!).

Lots and lots of reading, fiction and non-fiction.

Puzzles, Lego, marble run.

They learn so much from just playing and pottering at that age.

And who doesn't love whacking a sibling with a sofa cushion occasionally?! Mind the zips are tucked in so no-one loses an eye (or give them pillows) and let them get some energy out!

RememberToSmile1980 Fri 17-Apr-20 21:41:59

I’ve got a 7 yr old and 2 1/2 year old. I feel your pain! The school have given booklets to complete. Some days we are productive and others I just let things slide. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself - they are both young and the 3 yr old will cause disruption! Just do what you can - don’t add more pressure to the situation.

Bubbinsmakesthree Sun 19-Apr-20 11:19:32

Thank you for the comments- especially @NuffSaidSam - that is just what I needed to hear and really useful ideas.

I think I’m a bit of a ‘school swot’ at heart and really struggle with ignoring the set work (especially as I know DS5 would generally be quite happy to do it if I only had the time to focus on it with him). But I think I have to accept it’s not realistic and that there’s other things we can do with this time that are as valuable.

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