Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Homeschooling Multiple Children with Toddlers

Assalm alykom:

I have four children. The ages are 10,8,3 and 18 months. Homeschooling this variety of ages can be very challenging. The biggest part of the challenge comes from the toddlers. This can be very distracting to the older children who are trying to concentrate and pay attention. During school, my toddlers have done quite a bit to distract everything. They have written on the walls, climbed on the desk,torn up the books, ate markers and crayons. Then there is the everyday tasks that involve todddlers. The tasks involve breaking up disputes amongst them, feeding them, change their diapers, potty train them. The list is endless. So, you may ask how do you do it? Well the first thing you have to realize is they are toddlers and that is how they are. You can do your best to limit the distractions but always keep in your mind that this is how they are. If you remember this it can relieve a lot of frustration.
Here are some things that I have done to entertain my toddlers:

I recently have bought several buckets of foam stickers. I found them at Wal-mart for around $5. They are big and easy to peel the stickers. My three year old will sit for at least a 1/2 hour and play with them. I also found large foam beads that she can easily string. She strings them and them takes them off and starts again. Recently, I found a box of 1000 little stickers at the dollar store. My daughter mixes them with her foam stickers and has fun.

I make my toddlers homemade playdough. I add food coloring or tempera paints to the salt dough recipe. I also add glitter sometimes to make it even more exciting. I have all kinds of tools such as cookie cutters and plastic utensils. I also found at the dollar store all kinds of neat tools just for playdough. I keep everything in a large closed tub and the girls play with it when they want.

Over the years, I have picked up things to keep everyone busy . The large Lego blocks are good. I have all sizes of wooden blocks also. I have wooden puzzles and foam puzzles with various themes. While they become bored with these items quickly, taking them out from time to time does help.

Making your toddler feel included in your homeschooling atmosphere is important. Give your child some assignments so your toddler feels included. The child may feel jealous when you are working with your older children. I give my toddlers some coloring pages and worksheets to work on. Here are some links that I use:

I use to be worried about the educational benefits of my older children with all these distractions. However, kids are very resilient. They can adjust easily. A teacher from the K12 program I am using informed me that kids have the ability to concentrate easily with many distractions. She said that an adult who sits and reads a book, has to concentrate on that book with limited distractions. However, she said a child has the ability to concentrate easier with many things developing around them. It must be true because my children do quite well considering all that happens in our homeschool.


Anonymous said...

assalamu alaykum sisters,it all sounds very familiar to me.I guess in the end you have to keep your sense of humour.My homeschooled children are 12,10,8,6 with a 3 and 1 year old to add to the isn't it!Alhamdulillah.

Edward Ott said...

Thanks for the links they are really nice. Must say you are much braver than me.

Anonymous said...

Yup its all true and fun to be with children. My kids are 7, 3, 2, and 9 months old. I have problem though my 7 yr old can not concentrate in distractions some how he is different. I let my little ones turn my house up side down and teach 7yrs old and spend night time fixing few things and leave the rest for them to turn other side up again the next day with some help from the oldest. That is fun too.

Anonymous said...

assalamu alaikum Umm Nour,
Alhamduillah what beautiful article. May Allah(SWT) bless you. Tell me about all that torn books, fighting with paint and brush, wrting on walls, eating on books and many more. May Allah(SWT) continue to give us the courage to deal with this as mothers insha Allah.
Umm Riyaadh

Um Nour said...

Assalam alykom to all those who commented to this post. I am so glad to see others experiencing the same things in homeschooling that I do. I am glad that you could relate to this topic. May Allah make it easy on all of us to educate or children pleasing to Him. Ameen

Nadia said...

assalamualaikum umnour,

I hope insyaallah I will be able to handle a baby while homeschooling three children.

ummu yaasir said...

Assalamu'alaikum sister umm Nour..

iam ummu yaasir from indonesia, still studying in psychology.

iam really interested with your blog.masyaAllah...WELL DONE !

sister, may i know your email address so we can discuss something related children education, personally?

jazakillahu khoiro

barakallahu fiiki

wassalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu

Anonymous said...


mashAllah, YOUR BLOG is very imformative.thanks for letting us know your experiences

umm s

Anonymous said...

JazakAllah Khairan for your kids are 15,10,4 and 2
I think sometimes at the end of the day I'm just happy to hear the word bedtime.

Ayesha said...

You Blog is absolutely wonderful.

As a muslimm revert and mother of five, I long for the opportunity to have a fulltime role in the rearing, training and EDUCATION of my children. Mine are 2, 3, 12, 14 and 18. I plan to homeschool the 2 an 3 year old. y 14 year old desires boarding school but will homeschool if we don't find a boarding school match.