The One Where I Keep It Real About Homeschooling With Toddlers


Well, folks.  Here I am a whole semester later with a weekly wrap-up!  I realize that this series is supposed to be, you know, weekly. I’ve been asking myself why I haven’t been able to keep up with it.  The reason that I have come to is that I feel like I never have anything schoolish to post.  I don’t want all you professional homeschoolers to think that I don’t teach Alex anything.  How could I go on with all of those judgmental judgments coming through the internet and staring me in the face!

Anyway, since that statement is pure nonsense, I’ve decided to be brutally honest for everyone and just show you what I got for the week.  Here goes…

Last weekend
We were supposed to have a Saturday at home doing some cleaning.  I had even planned on taking Alex with me to reconciliation.  It has been a good long while (late spring, maybe?) since we’ve gone.  Instead, the cold weather moved the last tailgate of the year to an indoor event, so we packed up the boys and headed over to a friend’s house to celebrate the slow and painful end that is our football season.

Snow day!  Not really.  Everyone in town had school, but Daddy didn’t have to go to work until about 10AM.  I think Alex did about 20 minutes of work before we packed up to go to PE.  I did not take the toddlers in this week.  They have started running off in opposite directions while we are there, and I didn’t much feel like chasing them this time.  Instead, we did some laundry and attempted to navigate the detour around the gym.  The city is expanding the road to four lanes, which is awesome because that is the road where our new parish will be built.  The bad news is that it is a little bit rural so in order to get to the next major road, the detour takes you at least 10 minutes out of the way.  I ended up using a few gravel roads which was VERY exciting for the boys.  Except for Josh, that is, he decided to sneaky sleep for half an hour and then not take a real nap at home.  Oh…school, right.  I think Alex worked for another half hour after PE.  So that makes almost a whole hour for Monday!

This is supposed to be a heavy school day, but I don’t remember getting much done.  We did laundry in the morning after Alex finished 30 minutes of independent work.  We usually would get back to school during quiet time, but I think I slacked off on my part.  I had good reason.  You are now reading the blog of a proud member of the iHomeschool Network.  Being excited about this new opportunity really kept me busy all afternoon.  Alex also decided to write a story in a new notebook that Dad gave him, and I was not going to squelch his desire to write.

This was a fairly productive day.  We stayed home the whole time.  Alex probably did two hours of schoolwork which included copywork, math, reading a chapter of Farmer Boy, going over his Greek & Latin root words, and practicing some spelling words.  He has also been assembling a rocket in his spare time and wanted to paint it that morning.  So, I drug out the paint stuff for everyone and snapped this picture showing how cooperative and happy everyone was for this fraction of a moment in time.  Once I put the camera down, Cooper wanted Ryan’s paint instead of his own, and Josh screamed because I wouldn’t let him eat crayons.  I spent the next twenty minutes darting around from kid to kid dealing with issues like paint that can’t be opened and raisins that were desperately needed right now.  All while trying to keep Cooper from dumping the water cup for his brushes and telling Alex for the fifteenth time that yes, son, your rocket looks wonderful.  And they wonder why I never let them paint.

Daddy was home again for a few hours this morning, but was out running errands.  Instead of morning schoolwork, Alex and Ryan were tasked with disassembling all of the Lego sets.  Ryan always wants to put one together in quiet time, but they are already complete.  If he tries to take it apart himself in quiet time, he has to come out and ask for help a dozen times.  All that traipsing back and forth in front of Cooper’s door makes Cooper want to come out and get into the action.  This makes it really difficult for Alex and I to get a lesson accomplished.  Sometimes homeschooling with littles resembles a highly choreographed dance.  Or a Rube Goldberg machine.  Let’s see.  Alex did about 45 minutes of schoolwork during quiet time this day, and then had a two-hour dress rehearsal for his play tomorrow evening.

Big Day!  Faith study group for me in the morning.  Family coming in by the afternoon to see the play this evening.  We won’t get more then thirty minutes worth of school work done.  In total, you are looking at a week where Alex did sit-down schoolwork for about five hours.

What you don’t see is that he played outdoors for at least that much time, constructed a rocket, made three meals (without wasting food), played for hours with his little brothers, and….watched a lot of TV.  Good and bad, this is our life.

So where does all the rest of our time go? If you’ve read Amy Lynn Andrew’s Tell Your Time (my affiliate link), she talks about margin.  Margin is that time in your day that you couldn’t possibly schedule, but that takes up your valuable time.  This is things like going to the bathroom, cleaning up cat yack, cutting grapes into quarters, putting toddlers in time out, etc.  In short, life with toddlers means living in the margin.

With Advent right around the corner, ‘tis the season for us to start thinking about personal growth for the new year.  If you feel like I do, that you need to step up your game when it comes to scheduling your day, then I highly recommend Amy’s ebook.  Even when I hit seasons in life where my time is not my own to spend, I have gained wisdom from this book that helps me focus on priorities.  (It’s only $2.99!)

I will hope to be back next week.  I might even take some pictures of Alex’s math worksheets or something.  You don’t want to miss that.


For more on the perils of homeschooling with toddlers and preschoolers, check out these posts:

Toddler Quiet Time – When They Just Won’t Nap Anymore

The Challenges of Scheduling One Student and a Bunch of Littles

This post is linked up to The Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I am an affiliate for Tell Your Time, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase through my links.  As with any affiliate, sponsored post, or giveaway, I only recommend products that I have personally used and believe that you will find beneficial.

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