I’ve had a lot of questions about how exactly we schedule our school days with three now in school. I have a tentative schedule, but only time will tell if it actually works! I’m in KY right now for our last bit of summer fun. When I get back, I’ll post our (tentative) schedule…. then after reality hits, I’ll post our revised schedule! 🙂
A few general things I’ve learned over the years about multiple children and homeschooling….
When the littlest one is very little… do one-on-one time (reading, teaching, etc.) with the older ones during naps (our kids even have “quiet time” after they give up naps, so that’s another chance to have one-on-one time with older children); allow a little(er) to play with the littlest while working with the oldest, then let the oldest play with the littlest while working with the littler. Set the littlest up with everyone at a high chair and stuff to play with (attached to the tray when really little; a few crayons, etc., when they’re older). Being strapped in, even a little older littlest is “stuck” and can’t disappear while you’re working with someone else!
When the littlest is a little older…. keep a box/bin/tote full of “little people” activities (easy puzzles, sewing cards, chalk and black paper, special (quiet) toys, doodle pads, etc.) set aside especially for school time. I called ours the “Busy Box”. As they got even older, stories on CD with a set of headphones work wonders as well as something like a Leap Pad with headphones! If you’re blessed to have a child who enjoys playing alone but in the same room even for a short time, take a moment, bow your head and thank God for His mercy and grace. 🙂 Garrett is my blessing in this way…. I don’t know what we’d have done last year if he’d been “high-maintenance”.
Most of all, when they’re little (under 4th grade)…. relax… enjoy reading to whoever will listen. I firmly believe that learning to read and learning math skills are all that is really needed up until about 4th grade. We didn’t do a lot of science and history before then, because there were so many wonderful books to read and hands-on things to see and do. There are many free and cheap unit type studies you can do with them when they’re interested in something. We had so much fun learning about butterflies one spring… that was one of the most enjoyable things we’ve done yet!
Happy Home Schooling! 🙂