3 under 5 – homeschooling with 3 crazy kiddos all 5 and under

     Hi! Melissa here! When Valerie mentioned me writing a post about homeschooling with multiple small children at home, I was like “ Yeah, that’s right up my alley,” and then I actually stopped and thought about it. What am I going to write? I don’t think I really have a “how to.” We’re more of a wing it style of family right now. But after sitting down and thinking about it, here is what I came up with –

     As you may remember from our brief intro’s,  I have 3 littles at home with my eldest starting kindergarten this year. He has a late August birthday, so we decided to wait a year with his schooling and start this May, before he turns 6 and before McNeal baby 4 arrives. . (I’m SO glad we made that decision, but more on that another day.) His siblings are 3.5 and almost 2 right now, and we have another bundle due in June! So our days are organized chaos to say the least. No two days really look the same right now, and I’ve learned I have to just roll with it about 90% of the time. I’m sure when we start K in May, we’ll have some better consistency. Or so I hope!! This post will be broken into 2 parts – What we’ve done up until now, and what our plan is for next year, so stay with me!

     For a long time, we only did simple school work during our two young kiddos’ naps. (I should probably note that our school work consists of a few different workbooks right now and doing activities G enjoys.) We would usually do a page or two out of one of our workbooks during morning naps and then read together on the couch in the afternoon. Simple, but effective. Once little sister decided she would be no longer be taking her naps, things got fun. Ahem. Pacifying her with a coloring book was working great until Christmas, but now she wants her own work. I broke down and bought her a little math book that is primarily tracing and simple counting. I scored it for $.50 at our local dollar store, which is great because now when she scribbles or doesn’t do it how I think she should, this control freak mama can breathe. Now we sit at the table together while G man works on more advanced work and she traces her numbers. All of this usually takes place while little brother is asleep in the afternoon. Occasionally I will give little man a piece of paper and some crayons for him to color while G man and sister work out of their books. It’s not perfect as you can tell, but it’s real life and what has worked for us. I’m aiming for them all to learn together after all, so they should all get used to the crazy!

     If I’m honest with you, most of our schooling happens outside of the four walls of our home. We love that because then it can become an entire family affair without major modification. We do lots of nature hikes exploring different types of trees and animal signs, as well as getting lots of “recess,” especially when Daddy is home.

     I’m not entirely sure what our daily schedule will look like next year, but we have planned to start schooling in May of this year with G so we don’t get behind after the baby is born. We plan to school year-round so we don’t feel as pressured to get everything in with so many changes headed our way. Our overall plan is to school roughly 15 days per month with wiggle room here and there. For our curriculum we are piecing together G’s kindergarten curriculum, and for A we will be using God’s Little Explorers at our co-op and at home. It’s a great 3-4’s curriculum that you can find Here .  We used it for G when he was 3 going on 4 in the co-op and it is a great resource! Well written, full of fun activities, and extremely affordable!

     My main advice as a not very seasoned homeschooling mom would be to take it one day at a time and to have realistic expectations. Set up a schedule that you think will work for you, and be open to adjusting it. I’ll be making a post sometime this summer to update on how things are going with new baby and the start of kindergarten, but for now, my overall view of homeschooling with multiple littles would be that it takes a good amount of patience, A LOT of prayer, plenty of forgiveness, and just enough crazy to get through the day! Until next time, wish me luck!

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     What are your tips and tricks for homeschooling multiple kiddos? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

– Melissa

 

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