I was just wondering, do you have any tips on how to homeschool 3 young children who all need my full attention ALL of the time? My boys are 7, 6, and 4. I am trying very hard to school them, but I am getting frustrated and I don’t want to be that way. I just finished reading Homeschooling the Easy Way. It was excellent!! I loved it and plan to use many of the ideas in it. I am trying to take a more relaxed stance. But it is very difficult to even read to these guys because they don’t want to sit and listen to a story. Help!! I am open to ANY suggestions!
What a wonderful question!
I know that I could write on this for days. In fact, if I leave you hanging, let’s dig deeper on this one! Deal?
First, I want to encourage you that it will not always be this way. I know that today it is very overwhelming. Those are some very busy ages! And…BOYS! FUNNNN! So, first of all, take a deep breath…stop everything…look at them RIGHT NOW…are they funny? Laugh. Just enjoy them! They will not always be right there so busy and demanding. 🙂
Secondly, I didn’t see what you are doing with your lessons. I do see that you are planning to use ideas from HSEW. You will love it! I think that what you wrote here is key–you are planning to take a more relaxed approach. OH! This will help you soooo much! Can I tell you something to remember so you can relax quicker? Studies show that your children will learn even MORE when the atmosphere is relaxed and less stressed. In fact, studies show that where there is stress, our minds shut down and CANNOT learn. Does that encourage you to relax more? To plan more fun things into your lessons? To just play a bit more–play games to get those facts down, let them dress up and “play” a character from the time period you are studying, let them loose with some projects to “build” models, on and on. Make it fun! Relax! They WILL get it! They will not always be where they are! You will get there! 🙂
I could go on and on…AND, I will gladly keep chatting about this if you want (just post a comment here–anyone else can too!)
I just had one other thing that I wanted to suggest about the reading time…
One thing that helped us more than anything was making our read aloud time each day at the end of the day–as a special family time. We end each day with a great book and family cuddle time. It is still sooo much fun! We all grab a cup of tea (or something that we like) and a snack…settle in for a bit…and enjoy!
This did not happen overnight. There were a few things that really helped along the way…
1…In the early years, allowing them something to keep their hands busy–legos…coloring pages (even paper to draw what they were thinking about as I was reading)…etc. Usually that “stilled” their busy little bodies and helped them to absorb amazing amounts of information from what we were reading.
2…Allowing them to have teatime…full bellies just helped them to not be as distracted during the reading time.
3…Choosing a time that was QUIET and as UNINTERRUPTED as possible. Bedtime was our pick! It was the best time for our family to all settle down with the least number of interruptions. Interruptions just frustrated my children SO much–especially when we would take the time to read and little things barge into our family time. Carving out time FOR THEM has spoken volumes to them through the years–communicating my priorities and my commitment to them.
Hope that these help! Sounds like this will be the best year yet for you! Keep us posted!
And…if you want me to dig deeper…just ask!