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I have been doing homeschool preschool with DD1 for several months. Recently DD2 has become very mobile and even more active. She is becoming very disruptive to our school time. School (formally) lasts only 30 minutes. DD2 grabs DD1's books, crayons, rips papers, pulls hair, etc.... It is becoming a huge chore and DD1 loves school so much. How do you manage at this stage without pulling your own hair out?
 

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We don't have a structured "school time," but we do have various projects that we work on, whether it's making something, cooking, or reading together.

Now that ds2 is mobile, it is SO hard to find time to find time to focus on ds1's needs. (Ironic, because it was totally the opposite when ds2 was a newborn.)

My approach...
1. I accept that I can't predict when circumstances will allow me time alone with ds1.

2. I always have a "next" project ready to go when opportunity knocks.

3. I look for things to do out of the house. While I hate for ds2 to spend too much time in the stroller, the fact is that they both really enjoy new places. (For example, today I found myself in the car with time to kill, so we stopped at a different park and walked around the soccer field. I was amazed at how much there was to see.)

4. If days go by between "official" projects, that's OK. He's still learning.

My motto for most things is -- 'the best I can do is going to have to be good enough.'
 

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Theo loves doing school like his older HS freinds, and CAP loves to help


What we do

1. do it at teh table when CAP is in the highchair with a snack.

2. if Theo doesn't sleep after the hour of quiet time -- and CAP is asleep-- we do something then

3. we do a lot of SHORT things -- 10 or less minutes, and CAP can play with us without getting too distracting ..if we do magent letters CAP gets maget animals.

4. we all read together.

5. Sometimes CAP will play alone -- 5 minutes or so -- in teh room qwith us with his own toys ..

6. CAP can go on my back -- he loooves that adn he can watch (and babble) and thus be part of it.

The boys are only 23 months apart adn will school together -- so i try to talk to Charles too when we do stuff so that Theo remember baby is part of this tii.

Aimee
 

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I'd grab any naptimes - and explore other ways to give the older one one-on-one time with the things she loves without having to set it up in such a formal block of time that's attractive to the little one. I wonder if it might actually be the focus and formality of the situation that's causing her to try to get in and stir things up - I don't mean consciously, obviously, but just in the sense of trying to take an active part in a segment of the day that's somehow different from what she's used to and is excluding her. Are there ways to still pay lots of one-on-one time throughout the day in those activities with your daughter without signaling to the little one that it's a special time? Can she have her own little pile playdough and toys and papers and block crayons to mess with, and a little cup of snacks - and occasional attention to what she's doing on her own? I realize you're the big attraction in all this - I'm just thinking in terms of some distractions...

- Lillian
 
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