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Age gaps and juggling HS?
May 1, 2014 at 5:05 AM

Any tips on how to keep younger ones preoccupied while teaching older ones? Do you just keep flexible and accept little spurts of time when you get them? I have a 1, 3 and 5 yr old and need a clue as to what I am gna do in future hehe! Baby is SO BUSY! It is hard to get focused time with the older 2! 


  • bluerooffarm
    May 1, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    With a 3 and 5 year old, you don't need all that much time and you can pull in your 1 year old for some of it.  Singing the ABC's and some good rhyming songs (like Down by the Bay), some good spelling songs (B-I-N-G-O), some good counting/marching songs (the ants go marching) the older ones are learning and the baby will still be having fun.

    But when you do need some time (for handwriting or whatever) have little shoe boxes full of 1yo activities.  Jumbo pipe cleaners (Lakeshore learning has a great set with a picture book that your older 2 can use to make animals), chalk and a chalkboard, over-sized beads and string (there are some really big ones out there that are great for toddlers), a bag of beans or rice and a set of measuring cups and spoons, Duplos, cars and a map carpet.  This one may sound crazy but.... I would put my little one in a cardboard box with a bunch of crayons (he was about 18 months by then) it would occupy him for a half an hour!

    Mine are now 5, 7, and 9; but I did this back in the day.  You can do this!  It gets easier!

  • melindabelcher
    May 1, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    I have a 6, 4, and 2 yo. So very similar (also expecting #4 in Oct)

    The only way i could/can get anything done with the older kids is to occupy the youngest first. Even if its just for a few minutes so i can explain their paper and make sure they are starting it correctly. 

    Do you wear your 1yo? Thats been a big help here, as well as scheduling stuff around the youngests nap. 

    We are VERY flexible! Some days we do nothing, some days we get ALOT done other days are right in the in the middle. I found being rigid with schedules, expectations etc just frustrated me and the kids. 

    It will get easier but really try to enjoy these years they are so much fun and they go by soo quick :)

  • bcogoli
    by bcogoli
    May 1, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    My kids are the same ages!!! I let the baby play for the first part of school and then i put her in her high chair at the table with us, She has a snack and plays with blocks or puzzles. I usually only get about 25 mins out of it but that is just enough to do math. 

  • KickButtMama
    May 1, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I did the little spurts of time when I got them....also I did school with my youngest (3 years younger) the same as my I read to both of them. They both worked on 'writing' etc, even though the youngest was only a year or so old. I kept busy buckets on his high chair - with his own 'school' stuff he could do

  • Codysmom2106
    May 1, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Idk I have an 8 and 2 year old. The 8 year old is not self sufficient and basically needs me sitting with him the entire time. It's tough on the 2 year old. 

  • Jenn8604
    May 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM
    Beats me
    I have one.
  • mem82
    by mem82
    May 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM
    I have a dd12,ds9,ds4,and dd2. Keep it flexible and learn to take advantage of any time you have while your youngest is occupied.
  • debramommyof4
    May 2, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    My kids are all about a year apart, except for my middle two where there is 2 years.

    I have always taught the oldest two together, well at the same time. 

    I had a playroom right beside my school room in one house and that worked well for my busy little one because it was gated and he could see me. 

    When my youngest was one she always had to be right where we were and my school room was upstairs while the playroom was down stairs.  So we had to adjust.  She got printed out worksheets, the girls old workbooks.  I also had hads on learning toys that did not make noise and a portable dvd player she could take to her room.  I also did this for my son who was 2 at the time.

  • Mommy2Phenley
    May 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM
    I have a 5 and 1. We do school during nap time.
  • KrissyKC
    May 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM
    Count on an easy year and don't feel pressured to do a ton. A little hands on work, a little writing and fine motor crafts/games, lots of books and active play around the books.

    Early bed time for littles and special book time with olders.

    My prob when my older three were little, was my kids who were still little themselves would be more interested in toddlers fun stuff. So I incorporated a lot.

    Vocab words on plastic bowling pins. Match answers to knocked over pins... everyone plays.

    We also had bean bags for reading time and bible time, they alllll loved the bean bags. I had to ask a lt of questions t help them listen instead of just play, but it worked.

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