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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We "officially" begin homeschooling next year, but have been providing ds with a very rich environment all along, and I do provide structured activities. My younger child is now down to one nap a day and it has become less predictable as to when he will take it and for how long. So I'm finding it more difficult to do any structured activites with my older child as the younger one wants to sit on my lap, grab the pencils etc. Whenever it is hands on manipulatives, I certainly let him take part, but there are times that he really can't be involved and he's not great at playing by himself at this point.<br><br>
How do you manage it?
 

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You just do. Sorry I can't be more helpful but I would say the majority of us have homeschooled with a toddler around at one point. You have to get out of the mindset that school is a specific time of day that you do sitting at a table. You can be learning at any time of day in many different forms. Your toddler can be involved in almost all activities. I have a 4.5 year old and 6 year old that I am homeschooling and I also have a 16 month old who only naps 60-90 minutes a day. She is just there with us, a part of our family. I don't really know how to explain how we go about it. If the kids are doing bookwork we give her crayons and paper in her high chair. If I need to be doing something with them that requires my full attention we wait until Daddy comes home and either he does it with them or he watches the baby so I can do it. But most things we do with her around. When I only had two I admit I had the same question but now that I have 3, well there's always going to be someone needing something and interrupting what I want to be doing with them but that's life and you just deal with it.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes right-handed">:
 

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I don't have any advice, but I understand where you're coming from! I started homeschooling my 8 year old 6 months ago, and it's been really hard at times with my very active 2.5 year old in the house, wanting my attention all the time.<br><br>
My 8 year old really needs a lot of attention too, and really enjoys structured activities...she wants me to "teach" her, and help her with everything, and my 2.5 year old just wants my attention all the time. Add to this that I work part time from home, and it's really difficult for me. Especially when I'm talking to a client on the phone and my son is bouncing on the chair behind me, saying "1:45! Okay! Goodbye!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><br>
I don't think there are any good answers to your question. You just have to make it work, one day at a time. And you have to give up on the idea of doing anything perfectly, because it ain't gonna happen! You just have to do your best.
 

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I am still struggling with this but we try to take advantage of the naps when they happen. Having all the stuff you need in a central spot where you can pull it all together quickly is a MUST! Making sure that if you want to do a science project you have all the supplies put together so its ready to start as soon as you can sit down toddlerless. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> If she sleeps I ask the kids what they want to do and we try and do it. We are very relaxed homeschoolers/maybe even unschoolers so we don't have much of any sit down schoolwork unless they ask for it.
 

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<b><span><span style="font-size:small;">I feel your pain! I can't teach my 5 1/2 yr old with my 2 yr old around. He is very attached and wants to be on top of me or he's trying to take stuff and run <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> . What I do is give my oldest work he can do on his own (practice work) then he goes on the comp for other learning and when my 2yr is napping we do one on one. After nap time they have their snack and color together. Maybe you can write a work plan/schedule of what you want to do and follow it. When the younger child is up give them a toy/puzzle something that will keep their attention while still being in the same room. Good luck!<br><br>
Liz</span></span></b>
 

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I just posted this same concern last week <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
One mama here gave me some great ideas. One of them was to do your work outside. I fill up DS (22mo.) water table up and we do our work outside while he plays. We've brought out finger paints for him to play with outside, sidewalk chalk ect.<br>
Another mama said to put a bunch of rice in the tub and let him play. We did this too. He loved it and had to be naked (of course) but it was super messy. Im still picking up rice in the bathroom. When we get extra $. Im planning on buying him his own "supplies" for "school" like art stuff, puzzels, coloring book ect. to bring out only when DD needs my attention while doing work. We do have puzzles and stuff but I have found that ds gets board fast with his "everyday" toys while we work.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hip_mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8211771"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When we get extra $. Im planning on buying him his own "supplies" for "school" like art stuff, puzzels, coloring book ect. to bring out only when DD needs my attention while doing work. We do have puzzles and stuff but I have found that ds gets board fast with his "everyday" toys while we work.</div>
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I love this idea!
 

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I just sort of had to put things on "pause". I was in such a rush to "do" things with DD, and then would get frustrated when craft time or story time got disrupted by her rambunctious younger brother.<br><br>
I've come to realize that DS will not be at this stage forever, and DD will miss out on nothing by me waiting another 6 - 12 months until we can really sit down and do things together, like experiments in the kitchen, etc.<br><br>
Even if you are not an unschooler, surely you'll appreciate that there is no rush to teach kids certain things by certain ages. My DD knows pretty much all the stuff they teach in Kindergarten year anyways, but what she doesn't she can easily and quickly pick up a year later so waiting is no big deal.<br><br>
Basically just decide that you aren't going to "start" homeschooling until your younger one is old enough that you can do the things you want.
 

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I just want to add a cautionary note, or some food for thought. I was so eager to "get to work" with my then 6 year old (and his 4 yo brother who will do anything to be with his brother and works so hard to keep up--he thinks he's six too) that I'm afraid I made my 2 yo feel shunted aside.<br><br>
She's an assertive little girl, with a clear sense of her own value. So she protested very clearly--regression, aggression and generally growing increasingly and obviously unhappy. It took a lot of thinking and a little time, but after making her the center of things for a while--doing things she loves best, reading her favorite kinds of books, engaging in activities that she can participate in, too--she was back to her old, wonderful self.<br><br>
Sometimes we risk treating our littlest ones (or in my case my next to littlest) as if they are in the way. I just try to remember that her education and sense of belonging are as important as anyone's.<br><br>
What to do with the toddler is an important question, and I'm always interested in the answers this generates. I do think the best solution is inclusion almost all the time--even if that means slowing down. What I've learned is that I haven't had to slow down that much. I have spent more time with read alouds and less with workbooks (though my dss love math), and almost no time on science experiments, than I would have otherwise, but it has all worked out fine so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the suggestions mamas. I taught in the ps's for quite a while. It has been hard letting some of that go. I'm not going to let all of it go as scheduling fits my personality - and my son's, but trying to incorporate my younger child into our activities is going to be an aspect that I have to play with a bit! I'm sure it's going to be a challenge but fun at the same time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Piglet68</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8215773"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just sort of had to put things on "pause".</div>
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this is exactly what I am doing too - well, not really a pause, but an incredible slow-down. The kids love it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> so it must be the right thing to do ! And Mr Toddler here always includes himself in our activities anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Just wanna add another view point..We have put "school" on hold before. DD now hates being to relaxed! She has come to a point in her life where she wants to school. She likes researching things with me. She likes discussing math facts and doing work sheets<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Of course she loves all the other "fun" stuff too. It wasn't always this way tho. I think shes a little older than your homeschooler. She is now 9. This is really the first year we've started any "book" work. Years before she wanted to be more relaxed.<br>
Do what you feel is best for your family. If you've planned a whole weeks worth of "school" and you were only able to get through 2 days worth, thats ok.<br>
I don't even "plan" lessons. I do look through the weeks cirr. before it starts but I never write down a lesson plan. I do go to the library and get the weeks books just in case we decide to use them and I do have craft/art supplies always on hand. This way, I never feel obligated to do and we just go with the flow. You never get frustrated or disappointed in missing "something". There is always tomorrow. Of course their are days where im running out to the store to buy things for our studies the same day but I just use those trips as a part of school. She usually wants to pay or Weigh fruits and veggies anyway.
 

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I try to print out coloring sheets have toys he hasn't seen in a while available, a movie or two ready to go....it is HARD but manageablel
 
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