One big question I’ve had and I know several other homeschoolers face is “How do I handle my toddler while doing school with older kids?”
Last year, we didn’t really have this problem. Baby Girl was still taking morning naps for much of our year. Towards the end of the year, Little Sis would go play with her while Big Brother and I did work.
Well… that was last year. This year, Little Sis and Big Brother are both doing school and Baby Girl is a feisty toddler who wants to be right in the middle of it all!
I have discovered already that what works with her today, probably won’t work tomorrow. I have to have a few tricks up my sleeve with this one.
One day this week, I gave her a bag of magnetic letters and stuck her in front of the fridge. This bought us about 20 minutes of uninterrupted time.
Another morning, I let her pick books that she normally doesn’t get to have… paper books, not board books. She settled into her favorite little spot and read with her favorite little puppy for a while. Again, this bought us about 20 minutes.
I have also let her play in the pack in play in the next room with a basket of “special toys”… like the Tag Jr. Reader from Leap Frog. She’s a big fan of that one. Today, she played quietly with that for almost 45 minutes. I also try to look ahead and see what kind of things in our school day she can be part of… coloring, story time, music etc. She seems to be content with crayons and paper for a while as long as Big Brother and Little Sis are at the table with their journals.
Keeping her occupied definitely required thinking ahead as well as thinking on my toes. There is no formula.