Ways to Keep a Younger Child Busy While Homeschooling
Having a younger child around while you are homeschooling can be difficult. How well things work with homeschooling with a younger child will depend on how well you prepare for it.
First of all, you need to check your expectations. I know that homeschooling is not an easy job – but even though we have a lot of jobs to fulfill – cleaning, cooking, taking care of young ones and educating the older children – we have to realize the importance of each and every job we fulfill. Your younger child needs you – and when you are homeschooling and they are pulling on your shirt sleeves yelling mommy – mommy – mommy – it can be difficult to remember that your only job is not homeschooling.
Yes – they sometimes get in the way of homeschooling and they sometimes want to demand all your attention and they have that inexhaustible way of repeating their demands over and over and over again until their needs are met – and then they continue in this way all day. I am sure some parents may have much more difficult situations to deal with – depending on their temperament, their child’s temperament and their living situation.
The more you try to focus on homeschooling – and the less you try to focus on the younger child – the more demanding the younger child will become and the more negative behaviors will show themselves. It is only natural for them to want your attention and love – however, you can greatly decrease their needs for these things by giving them the attention and love they need throughout the day. I’ve mentioned before that starting your homeschooling day with reading to your younger child – or playing on the floor with them for just a few minutes in the morning can help. However, there are also many activities you can do with your child or activities they can do alone that will make them feel important and loved. As a bonus – since their siblings are “doing school” – these activities will make them feel like they are doing something just as important. My youngest was always disappointed that her siblings had all the fun “doing school” and when I purchased different manipulatives and books to help keep her busy – she started calling it “my school.”
I have decided to break down my posts into different topics. Why, you ask? Well, because I wrote a list of different things I do with my kiddos – and so far it is two pages long (back and front). This was not a detailed list – just main points.
When I wrote more information for the different points – I had eight pages of information for just one side of a page. I’m not kidding! So, I am going to add a little at a time here – but insha’Allah it will be enough to get you thinking and to get you started. My list is in no way comprehensive – but it is a start. There are many books out there that you can find that detail activities to do with children of this age as well. Here are a few I recommend:
Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready by June Oberlander
Teach Me to Do it Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child by Maja Pitamic
Learning Activities for the Young Preschool Child by Rita Watrin (couldn’t find this one on Amazon)
Montessori Read and Write by Lynne Lawrence
Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years by Elizabeth Hainstock
Montessori Play and Learn: A Parent’s Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six
Insha’Allah these books should get you started. As I’ve always said – take them out from the library if you can. Try out the activities and if they work for you – buy the book. Insha’Allah it will help you keep your toddler and preschool age child busy.
Sumayyah Umm SAA