Here are some questions I’ve been asked by busy homeschooling moms:
- My biggest challenge is keeping my 3-year-old happy and occupied while teaching my 8-year-old.
- I have a very clingy 9-month old. How does a mom get ANYTHING done with a baby, and how does one move a little one beyond this?
- And what do I do with my 2-year-old?!
Yup. A homeschooling schedule looks really good on paper. From 8:00-8:30, have breakfast and family devotions. From 8:30-9:00, do chores. From 9:00-10:00, have “together school” around the table, reading aloud and doing memory work, music, and art history. From 10:00-11:00, work on math and grammar.
Except that during family devotions, the baby decided to be very loud. VERY loud. So loud, no one could hear the Bible reading or others praying.
Except that during chore time, the 3-year-old hid in the corner and messed her pants. You found her when you were walking through with a basket of dirty laundry and (sniff, sniff) smelled something yucky.
Except that the baby discovered that dog food tastes really good.
Except that the baby crawled over to the bookshelf and, fascinated by the bright colors on the spines of your cookbooks, pulled them all off, one by one. Then pulled off all the Golden Books. Then mixed them up together. Very quietly.
Except that during “together school,” the baby reached out of his playpen, which was situated just an inch too close to the paintings taped to the craft cabinets, and pulled them off and sucked on them… and now the 8-year-old creator of the paintings is in tears.
Except that during music time, while you were playing a song on the piano and the children were all sweetly singing along, the 3-year-old climbed up on a chair to bounce along with the music… and fell down and bumped her head on the floor… adding a melody to the song that you weren’t expecting.
Except that, while you were reducing fractions on the white board with the 10-year-old, the baby cruised along the edge of the school table and used his tiny, little fingernails to remove the shift key, the caps lock key, and the control key from your laptop’s keyboard.
Except that, after the baby had been asleep for only 30 minutes, the UPS man delivered new homeschooling books to your front door… which is right next to where Baby is sleeping… and the dog barked… loudly… and now the baby is no longer sleeping.
Except that, when you decided that maybe the crabby 3-year-old needed a snack, and you sent the 6-year-old up with her to help her, you found that she peeled all the bananas in the bowl… and took one bite out of each.
And it’s only 11:30 a.m.!
So yes, I highly recommend having a schedule, reading with your little ones each day, and planning activities to keep them occupied. (You’re welcome to download my “I Have It All Together” guide to homeschooling with preschoolers here, by the way.)
But some days? (Many days?) Well… remember that you were a preschooler once, too — and someone showed you love and cared for you. As the saying goes, “Sometimes the baby is the lesson!”