Friday, October 17, 2014

Occupying the Littles - Part #2

I've embarked on a mission to share a peek into our school time, especially as it relates to what the Little Blossoms do all day.  I encourage you to check out part #1, as well as the humorous side of it.  Take a peek at what I don't do also!

Little ones just want to be a part of it.  Blossom3 gets regular preschool time and has had that ever since she could ask for it.  It's a much longer time than when she was younger.  (She is now 4 1/2)  Now Blossom4 does many of those things with us.  It may be sitting on my lap while we do flashcards or parroting what Blossom3 says.  It might be scribbling on a paper while Blossom3 writes or does workbooks.  They just want to be WITH you.  Just today, she scrambled from my lap saying, "Vowww, VOWWWWW," because I said to Blossom3 that it was Vowel time.  She then butted in front of Blossom3, pointed incessantly at the flashcards and said, "EEEeeee, IIIIIIiiiiii, EEEEeeeee, IIIIiiiii..."

#6 - Baby Gear/Equipment
When the Blossoms were younger, I used everything from a swing to an exersaucer to a bouncy seat.  Handy dandy doodads that they are, they don't replace an attentive Mommy trying to predict and meet baby's needs before they become a screaming bundle of school time chaos!

#7 - A Couch
My most favorite piece of furniture in our school room is our couch.  I can nurse a baby and have a child read aloud to me.  I can supervise math problems on a white board while I bounce a baby on my knee.  We're comfy, we're together and it's all good (mostly.)  And, there's room for everyone. 

Bonus tip!
#8 - Time devoted only to the Littles
Most of us tend to think that if we take time for them - say, 15 minutes in the heart of school time - we'll get behind.  However, I look at it as an investment.  Mommy has devoted time just for them.  This is why I will often get Blossom1 and Blossom2 going and sit down and read a few stories with Blossom3 and Blossom4.  It goes a long way toward making them feel as if they are not excluded and ignored.  Building a few block towers, coloring a few shapes on their paper with them or anything to spend time only with them is such a big help in keeping them happy while you work with your older children.  It always works for us!

If I had to sum it all up, I'd say that you can't ignore half your kids, for the benefit of your school-age kids.  It doesn't work.  The littles will be miserable and so will you.  (And, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!)  Sometimes things take a little longer because there are little ones around.  I've come to expect that and we take it slow.  Our school room is rarely "library quiet."  I'm okay with that.  Growing up in a homeschooling household with three other siblings, I learned very quickly how to concentrate with a lot going on.  I'm convinced that it's a useful life-skill, so I'm not worried about that.  Here's hoping a few of my tips have inspired you.  My list is by no means exhaustive, especially since our days are constantly evolving. 

Blessings to you!