Having a baby and/or toddler in the house is a full time job in itself, but when you’re also homeschooling older children it can be particularly challenging. Here are a few things that have worked for us.
If at all possible, I put the baby/toddler down for a nap while we are doing school work. Once my toddlers reach the no-nap stage, they have two options. They can play quietly in the same room as us or they can play in their bedroom/playroom. Here are some additional ideas for keeping those little ones occupied during school time:
Right now I have a toddler and a five year old who both have very different needs. My two year old wants to be held and read to all day long. I find that if I spend a few minutes reading to her while the older kids are doing their chores, she is then content to play quietly in her room for a while. Sometimes my five year old will play with her until it is time for him to have his “school” time with me.
My five year old is in AO Year 0, so while my older children are working on their individual work, I practice reading with him. We use the Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading and read the book selections from AO Year 0. He also has a shelf of quiet activities he can work on such as Pattern Blocks, Puzzles, Imaginets, Bead Sequencing, Wikki Stix ABC cards, Geoboards, and more.
Of course there are always interruptions, but my little ones have come to expect that while I am working with the older ones they need to either play quietly with us or keep themselves occupied in their bedroom/playroom.