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Home > Support > Homeschooling > What can I do with my youngest children when I'm trying to work with my 5 year old and high schooler?
Question: What can I do with my youngest children when I'm trying to work with my 5 year old and high schooler? I have home schooled only high school age and they work independently. Now I have a kindergartener and pre-schooler. I don't feel like I can handle it. Thank you for your time.

Dear Mom,

You have made a very wise observation when you say that highschoolers work independently. This is a blessing, isn't it? A five year old is still a very young student. In fact some five year olds are not mature enough to handle kindergarten work. Not because they are not bright, but because they are still very active and find sitting still for any length too difficult. Evaluate your student. Remember that a young student really only needs a short amount of time in formal instruction. 1-2 hours done with focused attention is far more fruitful than scattered amounts of time. This is especially true if you find that you are chasing a five year old around most of the day trying to get them to work with you.

Sometimes when trying to occupy younger children while teaching it is best to have a special set of toys or books that are only brought down during school time. Some families reserve the watching of favorite videos for school time when they are teaching an older child. One caution, if you do use a video to entertain young children make certain that you limit the amount of time they watch the video and only use the video for school time. In so doing the entertainment will be helpful and continue to reward you with the freedom to teach. Over use just makes the entertainment boring and no longer helpful.

Pick a time that is good for your little girl. Perhaps when the baby is napping. Keep the school books put up and get them out only for school time. This will set the tone for the time you spend together. When school is finished then put the books away and if necessary reward your student when she has worked with you like you would like.

Remember that homeschooling is about a lifestyle. We must be ready to adjust our goals as our children's needs change. In the same respect we are parenting from an aspect that will serve us well as we journey into homeschooling. Each little progress in this journey is a gift. We must also look at the methods that do not work and not be afraid to change to more effective methods.

Again remember that a five year old is still quite young and there is a certain maturity level that must be reached before we progress into more formal homeschooling efforts. Purchase simple supplies, books and texts that are geared to the unique learning styles of children. I would be glad to speak with you about the options available through CHC.

Jesus, we ask that You empower this dear mom with the skills necessary to overcome the challenge of parenting and teaching young children. Please allow that she receive the inspirations and guidance that is of the Holy Spirit as she journeys this new juncture in her homeschool. Shower her grace and give her the confidence to go forward into Your will. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,
Rita Munn

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