Schooling your kids at home has its own challenges. Sometimes it seems as if the whole world is against you getting anything done at all! At least the world around you this minute. Sometimes it is. Little ones need your attention. The house needs cleaning. (desperately) Dinner needs making. Then there is basketball, football, volleyball. Dance class, art class, music lessons. Youth group, small groups. And the list goes on.
Sometimes we need a few ideas from those who have been there before, are still there and will be there for quite a while yet. A few creative ideas can springboard into ideas that can work for you and your situations. I hope these do that for you.
Homeschooling with little ones.
This one is always fun. (sarcasm here!) It can be, but generally, well, it’s just not. I read or heard someone teach that they should be taught to stay on a blanket and play nice with their own toys and stay there for the whole time school is being done. I don’t know who in their right mind came up with that one, but well, in reality, that does not work. Unless you also install a 6 foot fence around that blanket!! Maybe your kids will actually do that. Mine did not. Although mine consistently climbed out of everything, so maybe yours would.
I have taken toys and kept them aside just for school time. We usually do school wherever we feel like it, so if we work in the living room while the little ones are playing, no biggie. Sometimes we did our school work out in the yard. That way the little ones could play in the yard and we got our school work done. Win Win…
Some of my kids have actually sat at the table with us drawing or “writing” while we worked on our school work. One actually did that on her own from a pretty young age. ( I was actually shocked when I realized this was happening.) Sometimes I would draw a simple letter, number, or car and they would spend time coloring or adding stickers to the page. Usually, I would use something that they were interested in, like their first initial or age. It kept them busy for a while, long enough for us to finish, or come close to finishing what we were doing. For this, often I would have a little set of their own school supplies or allowed them to use ours. That adds interest for them.
2. Teaching the little ones to speak clearly and enunciate their words.
Some of my kids had a hard time figuring out how to move into clear speech. I didn’t really notice because I could understand, but when others around me still had to have words translated, I realized that they needed a little guidance here.
I would repeat what they had said clearly, enunciating clearly my words. Sometimes I would ask them to repeat a particularly troublesome word. One of the kids said, “Dat’s wat I sed Mom!” I didn’t get upset about it, but just laughed a little inside, while saying, “Oh… Ok.. Well then here is your Cookie.” I chose to let it go for a little while and worked on other things.
Don’t get worked up about these things.. It happens. They will not go to kindergarten not potty trained! (0k- I realize homeschool kids do not go to kindergarten, and I am not talking about potty training, I am talking about speech. However, the point remains, these things take time and sometimes it takes time for them to “get it”. )
We practiced sounds as we talked about letters. We practiced moving our tongues around our mouths. Yes we did them together. We played with our mouths. I found a cd called “Speechercise” that helped us to have more fun with our mouths.
In time, we figured it out and the kids are speaking clearly now. Well, most of the time. When they are not speaking “manspeak” to each other. Or mumbling in that awkward teen-ager speech. “Say it again in English PLEASE”
I will stop here for now and save up the rest of my important tips for another post. I want to have SOMETHING to talk about next week!!
Enjoy your week homeschooling with your little ones!! I hope I have given you some ideas to springboard into your own life. If you have any other ideas, please comment. I would love to hear from you.
If you have questions feel free to comment. I would love to help if I can.