There are so many questions that you have to answer when you tell people that you home school. One particular question that I am often asked is what do I do with my little ones during school time.
First, I start the older children on work that they can do independently such as handwriting, math fact review, etc. Then I spend time with my two youngest children first. We read from a basket of books that center around our theme and letter for the week. I then work with Sunshine Girl for about 15 – 30 minutes on her letters or numbers or other skills we are focusing on for that week.
I try to keep them busy with activities. Now here is where I have to be willing to accept the fact that they might make a mess. Actually, the activities that make messes are the things that occupy them the best and allow me more teaching time with the older children. Corn meal, rice, and dried beans are always a favorite around here. Not only are they fun because they are not your usual toys, they help build motor skills. We write in these items and we use different utensils to transfer the items from various containers to other containers. This is good practice for little hands.
Of course, I have to watch the baby like a hawk because many items go into his mouth. But he loves playing with these “big people” toys.
Thrift stores are a good source for different containers. I found this little thingy (sorry, I don’t know what it is) at Goodwill a long time ago and bought it because it had two little white pots and two little spoons. The Baby had fun putting things in and out of them.
In the hall, I keep a stack of puzzles and a basket of various activities for when I am in need of a quick fun activity. Our basket has pattern blocks, tangrams, an abacus, ABC puzzle, and a Magnadoodle in it. I only pull out these activities during school time so they are fresh and interesting for the kids.
Recently, I found some sites with amazing activities and file folder games to print. I will link to them in my preschool post coming up soon.
Of course, I must also mention starfall. It is an amazing, fun site for little ones.
Sometimes, though, the little ones want someone to play with. It’s not unusual for a big brother who is finished to step in to play with or help the younger ones. Many times, the little ones will also sit on my lap while I read or listen to someone read.
So that is how we home school with little ones. It keeps us busy but we have fun together.