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What do I do with my bored 18 mo. old while I teach my K and first grade kids?

Posted by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM
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My baby is 18 month old and is bored while I'm teaching my older two kids but the older ones aren't old enough to work very long on their own.  I feel like I'm constantly running from one kid to another and for the most part the baby wanders around bored.  When the other kids get all done with school I'm worn out and hoping nap time is soon for the baby.  This makes me feel bad.  Any suggestions?

by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM
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MentorMom1
by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 9:44 PM
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You don't say how old the older ones are, but I take it they're young. I can relate. I had a newborn, a kindergartner and a third-grader at the same time. I would save the one-on -one teaching for when the baby was happily occupied, or napping, and like you, I went back and forth. Homeschooling multiple ages can be a challenge. But your baby is in the middle of things, I'm sure, listening to your talking and watching everything.  That's not a bad thing.  

I had plenty of interesting distractions on hand for my youngest to play with, like building blocks, paper and crayons, dress-up clothes and play dishes and dolls. Half the time she ended up spreading my dish towels all over the furniture!  I didn't make it a big deal if she interrupted, but gave her attention and held her while going on with the lesson - plus she was still nursing. After that she usually wanted to get down and play a while longer.  She also loved it if I put sheets over the dining room table and made her a little fort. My older daughter used to read aloud to her, which she loved and was great for both of them.  At lunch time, I used to put on Broadway musicals and the girls would sing and dance, or go outside and get their "ya yas" out. I would just kick back and watch, and try to regroup for a few minutes. Those years were exhausting, but I would not trade them for the world.

Also, I realized the importance of eating super healthy, so I could carry on at that pace. Otherwise, I would have been a basket case.  

In other cultures, babies and toddlers are just part of the work day, and carried about  by their mothers or other adults in the community. As long as the atmosphere is calm and loving, I wouldn't worry that the baby is bored. 

MentorMom1 blogs at http://www.familyfieldguide.com/.

 

 

hotdog783
by Testing the waters on Mar. 8, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Thanks Mentormom I appreciate the encouragement.  My older kids are in kindergarten and first grade so they get distracted pretty easily.  I'll keep what you said in mind and try not to wish away these exausting years.  I know they will be gone soon and I'll miss them.

MommyMaile
by Welcome Squad on Mar. 16, 2012 at 11:31 PM
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my little one is 2 now, older is 3 1/2. when we work on math i just set up the younger one with a pile of unifix cubes and some crayons paper and safety scissors. 

aneela
by Neely on Mar. 19, 2012 at 1:10 PM

man it would be great if the 18 mo still napped and you could do the work with the others ones then

aneela
by Neely on Mar. 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM

i would also maybe try to sit with the baby with crayons or some sort of activity where you could sit with and interact with her too..and she would see you also doing work with the bigger ones and imitate some??

AmyG1976
by Helping Hands on Mar. 19, 2012 at 4:26 PM

k and first grade shouldnt really take that much time I would just school them during naps and if and when baby is up give him a snx in a highchair nearby or some toys or crayons

lovesgumbo.com
by Testing the waters on Mar. 20, 2012 at 7:54 AM

playdough, play with beans. stringing large beads. 

KickButtMama
by G.O. Shannon on Mar. 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM
Quoting AmyG1976:

k and first grade shouldnt really take that much time I would just school them during naps and if and when baby is up give him a snx in a highchair nearby or some toys or crayons




I agree, do more focused work during nap times. For fun work (crafts, experiments, and such) you could place the baby in the high chair w/ playdough, crayons, etc.

My rules of timing? Kids should need no more than 15 minutes of focused schoolwrk for every year of their lives....so a 6 y/o would only need about 90 minutes of school. So it can be broken down into smaller times. Also you can look into using a program like www.time4learning.com for some independant work. I don't think it is sufficient as a complete curriculum, bu great as a start to the kids learning a bit independantly.


*sorry for typos, hate typing on the ipad*

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   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

eniarrol75
by Welcome Squad on Mar. 20, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Try to include 2 year old as much as allowed w/in reason. If my DD (5) is doing spelling on whiteboad, the 2 yr old is the helper who erases when done. In the morning we do what we call "circle time", we all get around and sing songs, ABC, Days of the week, months of the year, numbers to 100 and other fun songs. We also do our flash cards which DS (2) has some as well, letter, colors etc

If we have a lesson for the day, we generally get to it when he naps. Thank goodness he is a good napper (2 hrs). Yes it makes for no break for you... but for now that is how it is. This too shall pass.

duttonwood
by on Mar. 21, 2012 at 1:40 AM

let the 18 mo do puzzles, snack or start teaching the abc/123 recognition. She's old enough to start learning.  I started mine off with colors at 6 mos and now that he is 2 he knows most of them.

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