Friday, October 30, 2009

Homeschooling with Little Ones

I have to admit that until I joined the blog world a couple of months ago, my best trick to keep my 3 yr old quietly occupied during homeschool hours was a really long bath. Yes, I mean really long.

It's been such a blessing these last couple of months to learn from the experience of many other homeschooling moms with little ones. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but I'm grateful for the help and advice on what to do with little ones while homeschooling from Kimberly at Raising Olives, Connie at Smockity Frocks, and especially Tara at Too Many Kids in the Bathtub. The reason I'm especially in debt to Tara is becuase I won her homemade homeschool giveaway which included 10 fun games/activities that reinforce learning of shapes, colors, and numbers. We've only had it a few days, but it has already been such a blessing!

Here's our American Boy with his favorite, the picnic fruit and color matching game. For some reason our 3 yr old loves food. He calls it "pood". His favorite thing to play is food, so when he saw this game he had to play it first. He gets it out a couple of times a day.

Our sweet boy is a ball of energy and I feel sad that I spend so much time shushing him during our homeschool day. He's so happy to have some school activities just for him. Of course, this makes his older sister finish up her work more quickly so she can play, too.

Here they are with a button color sorting game. There are lots of buttons of each color and an index card in each color. My kids love organizing so this is right up their alley. Of course, the real goal of the game is to keep Baby Lu from messing up their good work.

Thankfully, Measle is proud of her burgeoning reading skills and takes time out of her school day to read to her little brother. I have to watch her closely, though. Sometimes she pretends to read while telling a story of her own.

We have a long way to go, but we're doing better than we were. It isn't all fun and games for our American Boy, either. He sits quietly during our morning read-aloud time which lasts about an hour. This way he's in on our Bible time, memory work, and character training. He naps in the afternoon while we read history, literature, and science.

What do you do with your little ones during your homeschool day? To what degree do you try to involve them?


  1. I think i have a blog post about our school day and what i do with my pre-k/k-ers while the bigger girls work...didn't i? check it out and see. :)

  2. ohhhh thank you for sharing this. I don't have any preschoolers now, but maybe one day. I love the ideas. The blog world is so helpful isn't it?? :)

  3. You know, I need ideas about this too. I've pretty much just let them play, but I want to change that. For one, they easily get into trouble or fights without any focus or purpose in what they are doing. They actually want to color and "do school". I finally just this last week made my own match the shapes game for them. I drew simple shapes: circle, square, star, triangle, and rectangle. Two sheets for each. I cut one out and gave them the pieces and the whole paper with the shapes drawn on them. They matched the shapes, then they got to color them. It only kept them occupied for about 15-20 minutes, but it was fun for them and it helped keep them occupied so I could help the older ones. So I would love more ideas, too. :)

  4. I recently participated in a swap with 19 other families with Preschool Activities in a Bag. Have you heard of them? We have been very happy with all the activities and I think they are planning another one in Jan. It has given us good hands on activities for my preschooler to do that are new and fun. I am not a very good hands on person myself, so doing the swap with other families was a blessing.
    I used to just have the two youngest play together, or the next to youngest play with the baby. But this year, I have also been using ideas from the Maxwell's Manager's of their Homes. She advises having a schedule for the little ones,involving time with mom, time with different toys and in different rooms and at different activities. I have been using this some and it really helps. They are happy because I am giving them one on one time, and then they are happy to go play. And changing toys has helped, also.
    And your comment about long baths cracked me up! The first mom I met who really told me about homeschooling was pregnant with baby number 4. She let number 2 and 3 take long baths every day so she could get school done with her oldest. She said they would stay in until the water was so cold and they couldn't stand it anymore! That still cracks me up!

  5. I am indebted to you for finding all these great links. I finished up a post on this very thing and stopped by here before shutting down for the night and saw all your great links! I added these and a link to you as well! It'll be out on Wed.
    Amy @ Raising Arrows

  6. Thanks, Amy! I'm always looking for new ideas!



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.