Homeschooling And… The Tater Tot. ~ 10 Days of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschooling

Welcome back as we continue our 10 Days of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschooling!

Click to go to first post.

Please welcome Meg from Homeschoolin Mama who addresses one of the MOST. ASKED. questions I hear about homeschooling: “How in the world do I homeschool with a toddler underfoot??” I love Meg’s answer; we think a lot alike. =) Enjoy!

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See Image Credit Below

Homeschooling and…

The Tater Tot.

I know I haven’t been homeschooling very long – I’m only on my third year!  But it was going great the first two years.  Roo was so attentive and anxious to learn every day and I loved watching that “I Get It” moment every time – it was wonderful.  Granted it was only Pre-School and Kindergarten but I thought we had a fantastic start – I was going to ROCK at home educating my kiddos!!!

It’s no secret that I want more kids – four to be exact (total not more)!  It just sounds like a nice even number.  So when we found out we were pregnant (when Roo was 4 years old) I was beyond thrilled!  Here we go!  We were adding on to our fabulous homeschooling family!  This was going to be great!

Finishing out the school year last year was great!  I nursed Boo and she took a lot of naps.  So Roo and I kept plugging away at school each day – she’s my hard working little sponge!  We moved at the end of the school year and it took me a little longer to get our school started back up this year than I would have liked.  But no big deal – I’m a Pro at this right?!

Well, let me just tell you (although if you are a homeschool mom you already know this) working around a baby is much more different than working around a mobile 1 year old!  WOW – I totally have had my “Pro” title taken away (if I ever really had it in the first place that is).  One year olds can and do get into every thing and with a lot of noise.  Plus, they have such short attention spans (like 5 min. at a time) that you can’t keep up with them.

I don’t know about you but my one year old is also very needy.  What I mean is she needs to be touching me at all times or she is screaming.  Seriously, even when my hubby is home she needs to be with me and only me.  My oldest was not like this at all.  She has always been very independent and wanting to play on her own.  So I have been totally thrown on how to parent this new little cutie patootie of mine.

Massive frustration set in when it came to our homeschooling.  We began to fall be hind on our lessons because I couldn’t get my head wrapped around this precious one year old and her new needs.  I mean, you have a little one screaming and you’re trying to teach your 6 year old Math – how do you do it?  I’m so not Mama Duggar – I don’t do well with all this noise and chaos going on around me.

Then one day it finally clicked – stop trying to work around her – work with her!  I am so ashamed to admit that this just recently occurred to me (like just a couple of months ago) – I’m just glad it finally did.  I was so busy trying to keep her busy and away from her sister it never occurred to me that she just might do great being with her sister!
Tot School

So I found some seriously awesome printables for Tater Tots with letters and fun pictures to color. Then I bought a package of those ginormous crayons just for her.  I set Boo’s chair up next to Roo and … Vuala – instant Tater Tot School!

Her attention span still only last about 5-10 minutes at a time for me but this has been such an answer to prayers in our house.  Boo feels like such a big girl sitting right in the middle of it all and Roo can actually concentrate on her school work.  I am so thankful (and a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t think to do this earlier on) that our school is back in session and moving right along!  I’m still not crazy enough to call myself a Pro-Homeschoolin Mama but I’m back to lovin my job – Home Educating my little chix!

 

Have you homeschooled older kiddos with a Tater Tot running around?  How have you over come the chaos that tends to come with them?

Love Life, Love God and Live For HIM …

Meg is a happily crazy Homeschoolin Mama (trying to over come her OCD side)!  She’s married to her best friend and loves home educating their two Little Chix (most days).  Though their family moves around a lot keeping God as their “center” is what really holds her awesome family together.  You can find her blogging about all of this and more at: Homeschoolin Mama on Facebook ~ Twitter ~ even Google+!

Image Credit:Attribution Some rights reserved by purplbutrfly

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Thank you for following along on our journey through 10 Days of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschooling!

If you’re just now joining in, you can start at the beginning by clicking here.

Or if you want you can go straight to the next post in this series.

“The 10 Days” Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

To find ALL the blogs participating in this run of “The 10 Days” Series, click the image below, a collage of photos for all 28 ladies participating. You’ll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much, much more. Many thanks to iHomeschool Network for organizing this fun blog hop!

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Rebecca
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Rebecca

OH, sweet Mama…that baby picture just rocked my heart. Yes, working with and not around. I haven’t homeschooled with anyone younger than 3….so, you Moms who do, completely inspire me beyond belief!

Amber
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Amber

Aren’t her kids adorable?
“with and not around..” Right! When does working ‘around’ toddlers every work anyway? 😉
Thanks, Rebecca!

Meg Hykes
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Meg Hykes

Thanks so much Rebecca! I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out! LOL

Theresa
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Theresa

what a great message, Meg!! My girls were older and in school before we homeschooled, but I often wish we had homeschooled from the very beginning!

I just love that sweet sleeping baby picture!

Amber
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Amber

If I could describe it, I would say homeschooling from the beginning is a lot like running a school, a daycare, and a cafeteria in your home simultaneously. Anyone else agree with that assessment? (But then again, so is homeschooling now that they’re not so little anymore…) 😉

It’s hectic sometimes but I wouldn’t trade it. Thank you for stopping in, Theresa!

Meg Hykes
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Meg Hykes

LOL Most days I’m glad I’m doing it from the beginning. Ha! Thank you so much for your sweet comment.

Nicole Anderson
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Nicole Anderson

Yes! This is what works for us too! And the little ones amazingly pick up on the bigger kids lessons. My son could recite his days of the week before his abcs because he heard his sister do it each day! We also incorporated things like playdough, shaving cream on the desk, pots of water and bubbles in the kitchen floor – those wonderful texture things – to keep little brother busy. Sometimes big sister would get jealous because “his school looks more fun!” He will start kindergarten this year…I am anxious about how to really school them together!

Amber
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Amber

Oh my goodness if I had a dollar for every time I heard “their school looks more fun!” I have tried to explain that they did playdoh and coloring pages at the same age. =p
Like you I’ve noticed that the blessing of including the little ones is the way they learn alongside the older ones. It’s very cool. =)

Meg Hykes
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Meg Hykes

Oh I LOVE the idea of shaving cream on the desk! So creative – I’m definitely going to use that! I do love watching her mimic her sister – its amazing!

Christine
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Christine

Oh, I love this post- and that picture is precious!!! I posted a ton of ideas for keeping little occupied during school time over at Heart of the Matter a while back —> here. 🙂

Amber
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Amber

Thank you, Christine! Even though my youngest is 5 now, he still needs some entertaining while the older two finish their independent work. I’m always on the lookout for good ideas. =)

Meg Hykes
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Meg Hykes

Oh thank you so much!!! They are so fun (and complicated) at this age but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I’m off to check out tips right now! I can always use more!

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Amber
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Amber

Exactly, Meg! I do the same thing. When my oldest was 5 and my youngest was 2 I realized that I was GOING to have to include her. So when they were 8 and 5 it just made sense to include the 2 year old then, too. I’ve been blessed that all 3 of my babies quickly moved to one big nap in the middle of the day and napped for THREE hours straight for quite a long time! There WERE times that we did school during naptime, but when that ran out — okay, here’s a crayon and a… Read more »

Meg Hykes
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Meg Hykes

Oh so true! I just wish I had figured that out sooner. It so would have saved he some major headaches! LOL
I’m not blessed with good napping kiddos! My oldest quit by 3yo and my baby fights me already. Little turkeys! LOL But the “school time” for her seems to be working well!
I LOVE MY JOB!!!

Lisa M (Farm Fresh Adventures)
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Lisa M (Farm Fresh Adventures)

Oh my goodness. Talk about singing my song! We have a 6 year old and a 20 month old. It’s been interesting to say the least! We started out pretty good, he wasn’t super busy–I mean he just turned 1 when we started school…but then he got more curious. And blanket time was NOT working. Then we suddenly had a crazy idea…what if we move in the second desk? See our main problem was that Baby Britches kept climbing into Little Briches desk–while he was in it! But that second desk. It was like a magic chair! Now he could… Read more »

Meg Hykes
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Meg Hykes

Oh thank you for commenting – you have made me feel so much better. Some times on those really difficult days you start to feel so alone. I am so grateful when I get to hear that I’m not (not that I want others to have difficult days).

Krissi
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Krissi

I love when the lightbulb goes on for me like that! My youngest was 2 1/2 when we first homeschooled, so that’s different than 1. The thing that I realized (LATER) was that since we could do our “school work” in a couple hours each day, she could be included in read alouds, fun in nature, etc. It’s not easy at that time, but looking back, it doesn’t seem like it went to poorly…those are some sweet girlies!

Mama @ the Heart Land
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Mama @ the Heart Land

I have homeschooled the last 4 years of school w/ 1, then 2, then 3, then 3.5, and back to 3 “Tator Tots” in Heart Land Academy; with my oldest ds being our 1st homeschooler and now our oldest dd joining him this present year. I learned before I ever became a mama to include ALL my kiddos in ALL that goes on in homemaking and homeschooling. Chores – School! I still am learning each year how to better do this! TRAINING is a BIG part of this!!! I alway urge Young Mamas to TRAIN their lil blessings EARLY! You… Read more »