Monday, September 10, 2012

Homeschooling with Little Ones

Homeschooling my kids is a lot of fun.  It is a lot of work some days, but I try hard to make it enjoyable for us all.  Having a kindergartner, preschooler and 15 month old is never dull.  Trying to keep them all busy and out of trouble can be a challenge.  I've found a few ways to keep my little ones preoccupied and I'm going to share them with you!

Here is a look at my schedule for the day.  Please keep in mind that these times are what I have planned.  No day EVER looks like this.  Some subjects take longer or shorter than what I have allotted.  This is more of a guideline for what comes next in our day!  Some days, we are done after 1 hour; other days, it takes us 3 hours.  It just depends on how focused we are, what pops up, what time we start at, etc.  I often have to remind myself that getting everything done does not dictate if I'm doing enough.  Life happens!

9:15am - Calendar time
9:35am - Bible story
9:40am - Music to go with our Bible story
9:50am - Story time
Snack if we're hungry
10:10am - Bible verse memorization/Copy work for Jman (K)
10:20am - This is where we split up: Jman (K) has Language Arts; BG (PreK) works in his workbin
10:35am - Math together
10:50am - Science/Art together
11:10am - We split up again: Jman (K) works in his work bin; BG (PreK) has Language arts

Now you are probably wondering what I put in their workbins.  These are really fun for them.  It is like Christmas everyday.  Jman will always come running, saying "Thank you Mama for the _______!" Fill in the blank with what I've put in there for the day.  I switch out the objects in their workbins every night.  I cycle between coloring pages and crayons, mazes, a VTech laptop, Leap Frog Scribble and Write, modeling clay, tracing worksheets, puzzles, stamp pad and rubber stamps, little craft projects, books, sequencing games, notebooks with markers/pens/pencils and other sensory items.  See my post about homeschool preparation to view some of these objects. It does keep them busy and they have fun learning.

This is in my planner.  I have a list of ideas for each week, this particular page during our Bird week.
My boys also like to trace words and write words, as well as their names.  I have written out their names on lined paper and photocopied them so I have lots of copies.  They want to practice, so I let them!

So where is Lulu, my 15 month old, during all of this??  She is the hardest to keep busy, but she joins us in her highchair during calendar time.  I will give her papers to color, wooden puzzles, pictures to look at if she gets antsy.  It usually helps for a few minutes.  She'll join us for Bible story, music and story time.  She will wander around during some of the readings, but I make sure she stays with us and has toys to play with.  I am going to make a bin of toys that are only used during school time, so that she can have her own special bin for school as well.  I do have a little bin set up for her now that I fill with washable crayons, coloring pages, pictures of friends and family, books and toys.  She still takes naps in the morning, so I put her down when we start our Bible verse memorization.

Every day is different.  Some days are better than others.  I know that homeschooling takes practice and training, both from me and my children.  It doesn't happen overnight.  Don't be discouraged if one thing doesn't work for you.  Change it and try again!  In the words of Walt Disney, "Keep moving forward!"


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