Homeschooling Preschool and Older Children with Infants in the House

Need a little help homeschooling preschool and older children with an infant in the house?

Last year brought many new challenges for me as a homeschooling mom.

A newborn, who was sick for the first seven months of his life, made it difficult to keep any kind of schedule.

Every day was different.

The baby was unpredictable. My preschooler was energetic, busy, and constantly on the move exploring her world.

Keeping the family fed, clean and clothed was a feat in itself somedays, let alone doing any type of schooling!

Homeschooling with Little Ones.

If you have little ones and homeschool older children, you know how difficult it is to keep the little ones happy for any length of time while you focus on your school-aged children.

Homeschooling with preschoolers or infants adds an interesting mix to any home classroom. Some days, nothing seems to get done, while on others, everything runs smoothly.

As a homeschool mom of four kids, 17, 14, 5 and 1, here are my tips to successfully homeschooling preschool and older children together, while keeping your sanity and your little one(s) happy!

#1 You Can't Do it All.

Don't even think you can. Homeschooling with an infant poses some challenges. Doing too much will discourage and frustrate you.

Decide what activities are most important to your family. Choose commitments that complement your family’s goals or overall mission.

If something isn't in alignment, drop it - for a season or altogether.

#2 Enlist the Help of Older Children.

Incorporate your older ones into the care of the younger children.

My four year old was my official Diaper Changing Supervisor (DCS) (and still is). She hands me wipes and gets the diapers ready for her baby brother.

She brings him toys to play with and keeps his top half occupied while mom cleans up the bottom half! :)

My older girls take turns playing with the baby, or doing some homeschooling preschool activities with the DCS, while I spend time with another child, mark work or get some chores done.

#3 Use Naptime for Focused School Time.

When our little one naps, we get busy! I have time for homeschooling preschool, checking work, giving "one on one" tutoring or offering help with problem areas.

#4 Daily Quiet Time or Alone Time.

Have special toys available that can only be used during lesson times.

Choose fun toys, activities, books and games that preschoolers and young children can do alone, quietly. Put everything into a special box or basket and bring it out only during lesson time or when you need a few minutes of undivided attention.

Make sure they aren't easily accessible, so their novelty won't wear off.

Our little guy plays happily by himself in his Pack and Play for awhile each day. It took consistency on our part to get him used to amusing himself, but what a life-saver! We added some of his favorite toys that he can only play with while in his playpen.

Once my young ones outgrow naps, they continue to have quiet time each day, in the afternoon. Many times they fall asleep without intending to!

#5 School Around Your Little One's Schedule.

My older kids get up early and begin their school work before the rest of the family wakes up. By breakfast time, they have done their quiet time, and completed a couple of classes, before the "official" start of the day - i.e. the little ones get up! :)

When your baby takes a nap, your preschooler will enjoy your undivided attention to play a game, read or do some hands-on homeschool preschool activities.

Homeschooling preschool also happened while the baby played quietly on the floor next to us, or during feedings.

Babies constantly eat, giving you some great time to read with your other children or go over lessons.

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Homeschooling multiple children from different age levels is difficult enough. Throw a preschooler and infant into the mix and homeschooling parents can quickly lose their sanity. :(

Have you found success when homeschooling preschool and/or older children with an infant in your classroom?

What works for you? Please share it!

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