I have three little people (6 months, 3yo, and 5yo) to balance during lesson time with my 3rd grader and I’d be lying to you if I told you they play quietly together in a different room while I work with Alex for his main lesson.
I’ve been trying to keep track over the past week or so and here’s what’s really been going on with the little ones during lesson time:
Day 1: I did circle time with them, which included songs, fingerplay, exercises, poems, and a story. They still wanted my attention during lesson time, but after explaining that they had their turn with mama and that it was Alex’s turn, they did indeed go off and self-entertain for a wee bit. Izzy continuously checked in every 3-5 minutes to see if Alex’s turn was over yet, but a decent lesson was accomplished.
Day 2: Busier day with produce co-op and I purposefully skipped circle time. Lesson time was done with morning snack, all kids present. Some talking over each other at times was done, for better or worse, lesson accomplished.
Day 3: Beautiful day outside and the little ones were riding their bikes on the back patio. I snuck in a quiet lesson time!
Day 4: Hot day, at least that’s what the kids said. I thought it was gorgeous with temps in the low 80s! I put the picnic blanket outside, read a couple of stories to the littles and then tried to have a turn with Alex for lesson time. This used to work, but it did not on this day. We had a case of “Mommy, look at this!” and “What’s that?” and an unmotivated 9yo who wanted to read his book and not do lessons with mom. Frustration quickly ensued. Work was done, but it did not come easily.
Day 5: Little ones were drawing with coloring pencils in their books “doing their school work” as they say. Good main lesson accomplished.
Day 6: Appointments early in the day. Lesson time was moved to afternoon. Lots of fighting for attention and talking over each other.
Day 7: Littles want to watch a movie so I plug them in during lesson time. Decent lesson accomplished, but Alex did keep trying to sneak peeks at TV in the other room, so we moved to the other end of the table so temptation was not present.
Day 8: Littles are playing nicely together in the bedroom still in pajamas. Thinking we’ll get in a good lesson together, but 9yo has other ideas and isn’t feeling the lesson love. He twiddles his thumbs, makes annoying noises and talks to himself instead of practicing recorder and writing, even with me sitting next to him. Doubtful that we’ll get to main lesson before lunch, so who knows what the littles will be doing then.
So just a real sample of our life. We have good days and bad days and I’m trying to learn from both so I can improve our chances at better days in the future.