When mom has things to do……

One of the more challenging aspects of being a homeschooling family is what to do about school when mom has things to do.

Different families handle this differently. I always make sure our basics get done first, then I find something else to do with the kids. Sometimes it means a free play day. If the task is short, they might get to do a couple of things out of our 10 minute box. If the task is longer, we might watch a movie. Is the task is really long, we might watch a Science channel program I recorded earlier in the week.

Other times I use worksheets. Yes, worksheets. Not your normal boring worksheets, but worksheets like puzzles, brain teasers, crosswords, critical thinking exercises, sudoku…….you know it and I have used it – and do use it.

For instance, I found these great number puzzles. I have them printed off and into envelopes. When I am stuck on a task for a time, Nicholas gets some puzzle worksheets, and Abby gets these puzzles. I hand her an envelope and ask her to put it together. She then checks with Nicholas when she’s done and he helps her get it right – if it’s wrong. Then they work together to glue it or tape it (Abby gets to choose), and then show me. It’s a pretty nice deal for me because it covers a bunch of things – and I’m not involved in any of it until the end.

Still another activity we use is our iPads. I know, I’m goofy. But my kids have an iPad (Nicholas) and a LeapPad (Abby). Abby can also use my iPad. I’ve put games and stuff onto both kids technology. The kids love playing with them and I love that they like playing. Abby mostly does art on hers. She loves art apps. Nicholas tends to play games. Either science games or the free Lego games. He likes those. all of them teach the kids things – critical thinking and problem solving is top of the list. They have to figure out, in the game, how to work it. My general rule is that I don’t help with technology. I might show them if the controls are complicated, but otherwise, they can run the tutorial and figure it out. It makes them solve their own problems.

So, what do you do when you need time to finish tasks and the kids aren’t cooperating?

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1 Comment

  1. Elaine Rubrin

     /  April 16, 2014

    When my kids have to be occupied we totally sit them in front of a movie. I try not to watch TV otherwise so that the movies are special to them. I let them take snacks onto the couch and just chill out. Then I work.


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