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If you have a baby, toddler, or preschooler in your home, you know how difficult it can be to keep them busy and happy while schooling your older children. Just when you sit down to help your older child with his math lesson, there always seems to be an interruption – a diaper to change, a nose to wipe, someone needs to go potty, or your 2-year-old has wandered out of sight. You don’t want to use the television as a babysitter, but let’s admit it – some days it sure is tempting! 

If you’ve faced this dilemma as I have, you know how frustrating it can be. I have experienced this problem three times! My children have large age gaps between them. We’ve done kindergarten and high school with babies in tow! Some days the tyranny of the urgent is still overwhelming. But I know that, with a little planning and organization, I can help myself keep things running smoothly while helping my preschooler learn – all at the same time.

A good daily schedule is imperative. Preschoolers who have an established routine all their own will be much easier to handle, and you can feel sure that they are “getting their fair share,” too. It has always been my rule to schedule time for my youngest children first. I’ve found that if I give them the time and attention they need, I can teach my older children with fewer interruptions. I try to alternate my schedule between the older and younger children throughout the day.

If your youngest is a baby or a toddler, nap time is your best friend. You may have to schedule lessons during nap time, even if it is short. Otherwise, try to work lessons in after a feeding or snack, when young ones are most content. Spend some time reading to your toddler or playing with him on the floor; get him interested in a toy or activity, and then you’ll be able to school the older ones. Your goal should be multiple short lessons.

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Source: Crosswalk | Susan Lemons

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