Homeschooling while also running a business can be challenging enough. What more if you still have preschoolers, toddlers, or babies to take care of too?
Let’s get real. Little ones are a handful. They demand a LOT of our time and attention. It can be hard to figure out how to attend to them, homeschool, AND manage your business at the same time. However, it can be done.
Here are some things you can do to manage homeschooling with littles.
Going outside to play and just enjoy nature can be beneficial for everyone in your family including you and your littles. It’s a great bonding time for the family. Take a walk, run, explore, and play games outdoors first thing for at least 30 minutes on a nice day. You might be surprised that your kids will be more than willing to sit down to “do school” afterwards.
Be creative with scheduling.
One great benefit of homeschooling is the flexibility it gives you to schedule your days. Realize that your schedule will vary depending on what season of life you’re currently in. Now that you still have little ones to take care of, you’ll need to think of creative ways to make sure that what needs to get done will get done.
For instance, tackle more difficult subjects while the baby is napping so that you and your older children can focus. Schedule easier subjects that require less supervision when your littles are awake.
Encourage independent learning.
Kids can start doing some of their school work by themselves as they get older. However, you can start training them young. Having kids who can work independently allows you more time with the younger ones who need more of your help and attention.
Enlist older siblings to help.
Homeschooling is not all about academics. It’s actually more about lifeschooling, making sure that our kids are equipped with the life skills they need to help them thrive as adults in the future. Part of this is learning how to be responsible for themselves and others.
This is exactly what you’re teaching them when you enlist them to help take care of the younger ones. This gives you an opportunity to focus on one child who might be having a hard time learning something.
Use technology with intention.
Technology has been getting a bad rap because of the negative side effects it can have on kids. However, I believe that when used intentionally and with parental guidance and controls, technology can also be beneficial.
For instance, there are many fun, interactive, and educational apps for preschoolers and kindergarteners such as Starfall and Reading Kids. Just take time to do your research first before allowing your kids to use any type of technology. Make sure they also know and follow your household rules on gadget use.
Allow the littles to join.
At this stage in their lives, little kids still love to imitate people. If they express interest in “doing school” just like their older siblings, let them join in. They can definitely join in during family read-alouds, for instance. You can also give them coloring or tracing sheets, sensory bins, and other educational toys to keep them “busy”.
Take note that there’s no one-size fits all solution or strategy for homeschooling with littles. It may take some trial and error before you can settle on something that works for this season in your family’s life. Know that no family’s homeschool life is perfect. Just give yourself lots and lots of grace. You’ve got this!