Homeschooling is not easy. Let me say that again (homeschooling is not easy). This is especially true if you have older children at home you would like to homeschool, but you have smaller children as well. It is possible to be a good mom to your younger children, while allowing your other children to thrive academically.
Go with the Flow
Sometimes this approach does not work. You go with the flow, but the kids aren’t really having it. If you are helping an older child with school and a younger child needs your help, try stopping just for a moment. Often times the younger child just wants your attention. Give it to them for the time being and then move back to schooling. Explain to the older child that you are sorry for the interruptions, but the younger ones need you too. Open communication is key to help everyone in the house from becoming frustrated.
The great thing about homeschooling is that you do not have to be in your child’s face all of the time. Allowing them to watch a learning video or doing a step by step tutorial online is okay. The older children may have some questions and there will be frustrations. Doing some self teaching is more than okay and some children actually thrive better in this capacity.
Different Learning Environment
There are no rules when it comes to homeschooling. If the younger children have energy to burn, but you have school to teach, try switching up the learning center. If you can head to the park for the afternoon, then try this approach. The little ones can play and crawl around while you give a little attention to the older kids. Of course, you’ll have to multi task going back and forth between both sets of kids, but it’s one approach to consider. It is possible to play and teach at the same time. Do learning activities that keep little kids and big kids in mind.
There is so much to do on a daily basis that it can be hard to dedicate nap time to just one activity. Only homeschooling when the younger children are sleeping is brilliant. You might actually get more done in that period of time, then trying to go back and forth between kids all day long. Keep in mind that homeschooling does not have to be done in one stretch of time. So if nap time does not work for you, try schooling in ten to twenty minute increments.
Lots and Lots of Toys
Homeschooling isn’t always an all day event. Do not feel guilty if you need to have the little ones play with toys for a while, as you home school. There may come a time when the younger children are old enough to know that this is an important time and you to give your attention to the older homeschooling kids for the moment. Just remember that they are little, you will have to stop and spend time with them and get them the little things they need. Doing it with a smile on your face and joy in your heart is one approach you can take.
No day in the life of a homeschooling mom is going to go incredibly smooth. Take it a day at a time, and try to incorporate some sort of schedule if you can. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or frustrated, then it’s time for a mommy time out.