As you order books, create lesson plans, and prepare for a new school year, it can be easy to forget about planning for the little ones (newborn to age 5). I encourage you to take some time and think about their needs and evolving abilities that will be present during the homeschool day. A lot of changes happen as they develop mentally and physically. You can eliminate some chaos ahead by just anticipating their changes into your school year.
1. Place your supplies and equipment away from little hand’s reach. Your baby might not be crawling/toddling around now, but they will be in a few months!
2. Set aside some toys, games, and activities to be used only during school time. Remember to have some items that they will be ready for later in your school year. A 14 month old may have lost interest with the toy that brought joy 4 months ago and get excited to see something new in the toy bin.
3. Consider their schedule or lack of one for taking naps, nursing, snacking, and playing when you are creating lesson times. For example, when the baby was nursing, I listened to my elementary kids reading lesson.
4. Plan for special time just with them. A 3 year old will be more inclined to be patient while you work with an older child knowing that in a few minutes he will be making a block tower with mom or a craft with an older sibling.
5. Allow them to help you as much as possible. Bring them along so they can put clothes in the dryer with you or make a family snack. My little ones have always enjoyed delivering graded schoolwork to their siblings, throwing away my trash, and eating my breakfast!
Remember your little ones are a gift to your homeschooling. They help everyone to grow in love, patience, kindness, compassion, understanding, and so much more. Plus they warm our hearts with their smiles, hugs, and kisses even on the hard days when we need it most.
What tips do you use to help homeschool with little ones?