If you are researching homeschooling or have been homeschooling for a while then you are probably wondering “How do you allow younger children and babies to nap?” OR “How do you keep your sanity when you don’t feel well?” I must admit I have never adhered to a strict naptime schedule. While this sounds nice it can be very difficult to teach older children while occupying your preschoolers. Having a loud house makes it difficult for a baby or toddler to get a much needed nap as well.
I have some very simple suggestions to help you manage a house full of active learners. I did some research and found a wonderful concept called, Busy Bags! Yes, they are just what they sound. Simple activities created to engage young learners and keep them busy. Now, this concept can become overwhelming unless you call on the help of a few friends or pinterest. I actually did a monthly swap with four other moms over the course of the Spring when Big Red was a young infant. Since that time I have swapped a few more times with a variety of mom’s as far as 1 1/2 hrs. away!
Busy Bags aren’t my only focus for Q is for Quiet Learning though, I also want to suggest some ways to keep your older learners occupied in a quiet fashion. Sometimes you need an entire house of QUIET for your sanity, a phone call, or while someone is recovering from illness or surgery. I’m going to give you a list of suggestions that my children use to keep quiet and still learn.
1. Reading– sounds simple and old-fashioned but sometimes a very engaging book is all that is needed to keep an older learner busy. I personally have been collecting Kindle books for free over the last 3 years and have over 1700 free books!
2. Drawing– again simple but can keep a child busy for hours. Art in any form can be soothing and allow a child to explore their world in a new way. Add in a box of new colored pencils, a how-to type drawing guide, or a comic strip book and time will fly by.
3. Journaling- does your child have their own journal or diary? If not, you should seriously consider adding one this Summer or Fall. A simple composition notebook decorated by the child would be a great addition to your “school”. Let the child have the freedom to write, draw, or glue things into the journal to make it their own.
4. Audiobooks (with headphones)– Yes, we do allow children lots of media time IF the right materials are chosen. We own three mp3 players and 5 tablets that have Kindle apps. We use mostly free resources from Librovox, Gutenberg, etc. I have collected lots of ideas for using audiobooks while “reading” and shared tons of links about Literature Classics.
5. Sandbox– moving to the outdoors offers a whole new set of opportunities. We have a sandbox on our front porch year round even though it gets too cold in the Winter to use much. I have been known to bundle up a kid during Fall or Spring, though.
6. Building Toys– Legos can be loud and obnoxious but can also be calming to a loud child. Eldest can be “lost” for hours building a set for a new stop-motion video. Other toys that could be “quiet” enough for my taste: Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Thomas the Train, waffle blocks,etc.
7. Handi-crafts– new hobbies or skills such as crocheting, knitting, knot tying, herb collecting, sewing, or first aid skills are all excellent ways to learn while being quiet. Most can be initially learned from a knowledgeable person or youtube video but once the basics are learning then they can be practiced until mastered.
Thaleia blogs at Something 2 Offer where she is generous in giving advice and helping others find free resources that meet their needs; be it for homeschool or life! She is a BIG researcher who wants to encourage families on their homeschool journey. Wife to high school sweetheart. Mother of four (including 2 little reds!), Sister, Daughter, Christ-Follower, Talkative, Creative. Moderator of a couple social networking groups and dabbles in blog button designs. Hoping to figure this whole life, blogger, social media thing out! So be sure to keep tabs on her journey of life.