Homeschooling can be challenging enough without adding in younger siblings needing attention. But you can’t leave them locked in their room, so how do you handle homeschooling with younger siblings needing you? Entertain them. Workaround them. Include them, as we do with our read-aloud each morning.
Homeschooling with Younger Siblings
*This post contains affiliate links, see my discourse policy for more information.*
I can honestly say that when I decided to homeschool I didn’t stop to think about the fact that I was going to have Austin’s two younger siblings at home with us. I didn’t even factor in what to do with younger siblings while homeschooling.
I also didn’t think about how I was going to homeschool more than one child at a time.
There are a lot of ways to include younger siblings
- workbooks/sheets of their own – they don’t have to actually do them, just have something to scribble on at the table with older siblings
- read aloud – encourage them to sit down and listen too. Gauge was very interested in listening to Charlotte’s Web, not so interested in Owls in the Family, but he still wanted to be part of “listening”
- busy boxes – these worked great for my son
- busy bags – same idea as the boxes, but usually with smaller items
If you are lucky enough to have nap times in your home, lucky you by the way, maybe schedule one on one time or work that needs more focus such as math for this time. Sadly naps ended here before we started homeschooling.
You can extend this into quiet time. Provide activities that your younger children can work at on their own quietly while you work with an older child.
Kids, in general, have a lot of energy and younger siblings with energy to burn are more likely to “bug” everyone around them. Try to start the day by getting active, take some time and get outdoors, go for a nature walk, walk the dog or just let them run around in the yard. They are more likely to settle down to listen to stories or work at busy bags/boxes.
Similar to busy work, having some toys in the room where you are working with older siblings can give your younger child something to do near everyone else. My son loves to play with our pattern blocks, read books, color, and such. Things he can do while his sisters are working.
How do you handle homeschooling with younger siblings under foot?