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Please help. I really and truly want to teach my children at home. My daughter will be 4 in June and I think a little more structure with reading and numbers would be sufficient in the fall. I just don't know how to carve out the time. I have a son who just turned 2 on Sunday and he is my sweet very energetic boy. Yesterday I found him standing in the (clean) toilet. The other morning he had pulled the dishwasher door down and was peeing on clean dishes. Seriously, the kid just loves to get into things. How do I get the one on one time my oldest needs for help with learning to read without having to stop to get my son every few minutes? How do I balance it all? For the record, he does these things all the time; it does not appear to be a reaction to not having enough attention. He just really learns this way!
 

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OMG, we are living the exact same life!
:

My ds are 18 months and 3 and 1/2 years. And my youngest is a ball of pent up energy. We are going to begin homeschooling on June 1 (we are copying a theme that the preschool my oldest ds attends is doing, as a trial run)

Being able to teach my oldest and keep my youngest busy in a good way is something that I am a little nervous about. I am working on a few different ideas.

I was thinking about making a house out of a large cardboard box or even buying one at toys r us and letting the one who's not getting special attention go in there to read. I also tought about having special activity bags or buckets ready everyday so when I need one of them to be busy the other could open some surprises. I was thinking on the lines of pom-poms, stickers, colored paper,a juice box (hot thing at our house as they normally only have water) a toy they have lost touch with, a paper puppet, things that are free or very inexpensive and that don't get into the junky toy realm....
I also thought of having the other one sit and listen to a book on tape that are available at the local library (I have found taht even my hyper one will sit for a chance to listen on ear phones.) I thought that they would get a sticker to put on a patience chart everytime that they did not interupt their brother in his lesson and after so many stickers probably in the 10's or 20's they could cash in their chart for a special lunch, outing, snack, or toy.

Let me know if you think of anything else I don't know a whole lot of people who are homeschooling with kids the same age as mine and I would love to know what is working well for someone else.

Good luck!
 

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add me to the list -- that is life here too


We have started to spend more time in structured stuff...only like 5 to 7 minutes, but some days 8 to 10 -- i try to follwo his lead ..

we always do something when he asks,

i offer once a day -- when the time is good - and if he says no, ok nope it is

i have a little to do -- formal -- if he is still up for it i pull out more, if not, we drop it.

What is working for us now -- with a 3.5 yo and an 18 month old.

We do everything at the kitchen table -- so we are all in one big room.

I put DS2 in his high chair with a snack -- today i tried a crayon and paper .... uhhhh the purple smile he still has a nap time
:, says he is **** not ready for THAT
.....

Also Theo is not napping each day any longer (though i do require him to lay down with us so brother can go to sleep) so we get up and have up to 90 minutes to ourselves... 10 minutes then is pretty easy to find.

Also if I see the baby engaged in something -- a toy tractor -- or whatever -- i suggest to Theo we do something ....

I don't know what we will do as Theo's needs last longer than 5 to 10 minutes ... but as he grows so should CAP and soon he can join us or at least color with out eating the crayons.

I loove the patience chart concept -- but for us, even my 3.5 year old would not "get it"
...so that would not work, no chance to use it with the younger boy .. but i will save THAT idea for later.
 

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I'd like to jump in here too, though my house is nominally busier than those mentioned: My boys are 3.5, 2, and almost 1.
The kids can run and play together, and that is what we do most days. I have "centers" in that different areas of the house are reserved for different toys and activities. We always paint and do play dough in the kitchen, not the living room. Legos/mega blocks/trains are in the living room, along with books. Kitchen stuff, animals, etc, are downstairs in the playroom by the laundry. I loosely follow a Charlotte Mason approach, and I've been adding tools to my toolbox as I go.
Here's our ideal day:
We dress, eat breakfast, and complete our Bible reading before 9am.
Chore time: I pick either dishes or laundry (the only chores that count, because if left for a day they will take you twice as long tomorrow), and set the kids up to play nearby while I complete that task. I have them help as they are able: The older two put their breakfast dishes in the dishwasher (with lots of directions!), or they help fold washcloths or pull their own laundry out of the clean pile to be folded by me.
After chores, we go outside for pretty much the rest of the day. Here's where I've been focusing on learning more of Charlotte Mason's ideas related to narration, building collections, encouraging free play, etc. We eat our lunch outside, too. (I'm so glad it's nice out! Winter is not my favorite season).
After lunch, we continue to play outside until I detect the first hint of unreasonable behavior, then it's inside for naps. After naps, my oldest chooses his own quiet activity (as he typically wakes up before the younger two). His choices are reading with me, working on the computer (we recently discovered Starfall.com, though he thoroughly enjoyed the Paint utility prior to that), an educational video, or copy work (we have yet to begin this in earnest).
When the younger two wake, the "official" day is done, and then it's outside for more free play, or a trip to the store, or grandpa's, or whatever else the day has in store.
The most important part of our homeschooling right now is my education. I have a BA in education, but that really means I have four years of junk in my head that I must un-learn. I have been researching various philosophies of education, and I'm working on narrowing down my curriculum choices to match those philosophies. There are so many great programs out there. I'm also trying to discover how much control I want to have. There's fully automated homeschool "academies" where your kids get their grades from someone else. There are complete curriculums that I could follow to a T and be reasonably happy. I could pick and choose from the wealth that is out there. I could use the internet and develop my own "curriculum." Or I could start from scratch and make my own worksheets and everything. Anyway, that's where my focus is right now, not specifically on providing formal lessons at a young age.
 

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I forgot to include what to do with the baby! Simply put, we box up all the little stuff in the house, to be brought back out again when the youngest no longer makes a habit of putting every new discovery into his mouth. Sure, the boys resist a little to loosing their beloved playmobil knights, but the joy when they get them back with all of the pieces and my sanity is worth it. The baby can therefore safely play wherever the big boys do: In the living room with the Dulpos, trains, and blocks, downstairs with the stuffed animals and larger kitchen items, and outside on the grass. I keep board books out for all of the kids to read, and some of our school books are board books. The rest I put up high out of baby and destructive toddler's reaches. When the older two paint, baby has a snack in his high chair. The first crafts I let my older two do were the color wonders in the high chair, followed by old rubber stamps that I'm not fond of with washable ink pads, again in the high chair. When I read, all are allowed to listen, though baby typically hugs my knees and begs to nurse because I'm sitting down (sigh).

I will say that I used to personally disdain sitting outside while my boys played. I felt like I was wasting time that I could have spent cleaning, checking my email (I freelance, and I often get work via email), or researching stuff on the internet.

My iTouch is my new best friend. We have wireless internet at home, so now I can check my email, browse the web, make lists and more in the back yard. That, and read, and garden. I make up the "cleaning" time in the morning with chore time, and make sure to do something productive with my time spent out of doors.

That's what's working for us right now. I really look forward to reading other responses!
 

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My almost-3-year-old sits at the kitchen table with us, doing her choice of a variety of activities, while my almost-5-year-old does his work. This has been totally successful, but we almost never work longer than a twenty-minute stretch because that is how long the elder's attention span is. I'm still not sure how we'll manage once the K12 curriculum kicks in this fall and requires longer stretches of study. But I have the feeling it's going to be just fine as long as I am very, very flexible on timing and prepared to completely throw any preferences of my own out of the window in favor of what works for the kiddos.
 

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: Love the suggestions so far! I tried the Toddler busy book but whatever I got out to do, ds1 was interested in too so it never really "worked". Still it had some fun stuff. I keep wanting to make those 'busy bag' things but I never remember until right when I need them.


We get some stuff done at nap time and other stuff on the weekend or when dh gets home and a lot doesn't get done. I am saving it for when ds2 chills


Your ds sounds just like mine! Such fun and so challenging
I do get frustrated and worried though- for both the boys. I like the reminder though- that is just the way he learns. My new phrase to repeat
 
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