Several months ago, I wrote a post listing 5 tips for homeschooling with preschoolers present. Since then, I have written a number of posts about different tricks I’ve tried to keep my toddler and preschooler occupied during school time. All of these posts have been my fulfilling Tip #1- to Plan Ahead- prepare toys, activities, crafts for preschoolers to use or do during school time. And I will get back to these again in my subsequent posts. But today, I am going to write about Tip #2- Start the day with Preschool Time.
The idea behind Preschool Time is that since there are good chunks of the day where Mommy’s attention must be on her school aged children, starting the day with quality time with the littlest ones is important for a number of reasons. We need to invest time in our relationship with each of our children and they are just as important as the older ones. Setting aside time -first- for them communicates their importance and helps you to not neglect the younger children. Also, they need Mommy’s attention and if you don’t give it to them in positive ways, they’ll find ways to gain your attention. Ways you might not entirely appreciate.
I’m not perfect at making sure I spend this time with my preschoolers every day, but it is my goal to make Preschool Time a daily habit. We actually do Bible first- with breakfast- because it is important to me that the kids see that God and His Word and our relationship with Him is our priority. Preschool Time comes after that- but before we get into the rest of our day.
We choose one of three different activities every day. Most of the time I let Z-urchin choose what he wants to do.
1. Books. Shortstop often chooses a book as well, and so I cuddle up with the two little boys (with the older ones hanging out with us because if Mommy starts reading, no one wants to be left out) and read a book for each preschooler.
2. Games. Zingo, Sequence for Kids, and Candyland are a few favorites. Again, the older ones tend to want to join in and Z-urchin’s opinion is along the lines of “the more, the merrier!”
3. Puzzles. We have a whole bunch of different puzzles we can put together, so Z-urchin will choose one and we’ll put it together… together. Occasionally, we will play charades with our foam animal puzzles. We will take turns choosing a puzzle piece to act out while the other tries to guess the animal.
The quality time spent with my preschoolers is worth the effort I put in to make it happen. They love the time with Mommy and Mommy loves the time with them. That’s a win-win!