Any homeschooling family with more than one child knows the
challenge of keeping "Baby Kong" from tearing apart
the house during school time. Now that we are teaching the oldest
two of our four children, my wife, Mary, has had to develop an
intricate strategy in order to have a productive day.
We would like to share with you some tips on how to deal with
those unruly toddlers and make it through this difficult and
often exhausting stage of homeschool life.
1. Get them involved.
It seems like our two youngest children save their worst behavior
for school time. We have found that many times they just want
to be included in on the fun. If we'll give them some "school
work" to do, they feel like they are involved. This could
be something as simple as a special coloring book that you set
aside as their home school book. Granted, this will only last
a short time, but it's a start.
2. Time their naps.
Most children in the pre-school years are still taking a daily
nap. We have found that we can accomplish quite a bit during
nap time. Save the most difficult subject for this time of day.
3. Baby swap.
Most home school families know of a few other families that
are also experiencing the same challenge. Consider trying a kid
swap. You take their younger pre-school age kids for a day and
let them teach a few lessons to your older children. The next
day switch places. This will mean a nice break for the kids as
well, being taught in a different environment by someone else.
4. Special toys.
Put aside a box of toys that are reserved for school time.
These toys could be ones that are more educational in nature.
A set of Lincoln Logs will keep their attention much longer than
the same old toys they always play with. The key is to make it
a toy that will not require supervision from you. Puzzles can
be good if they are simple enough for them to figure out on their
5. Tag team.
If you are teaching more than one older child at a time, you
may have one of them watch the young ones while you focus on
an individual. This will teach them responsibility for their
sibling as well as leadership. It will train them for the future
when they may be caring for children and possibly home schooling
themselves. Don't be afraid to put the older ones in charge and
instruct the younger ones to obey them. The older sibling will
gain great confidence and respect from the younger ones. This
will be invaluable when you are not around to keep an eye on
6. The playpen.
If there is one gift that I would like to give to each of
my children when they have their first child, it is a playpen.
Getting the child used to it at an early age is the key. There
will be times when they will wail to get out, but if you persevere,
you will have a great tool to use for half hour periods when
you cannot be distracted.
7. The dreaded video.
Many parents that were flooded with TV when they were young
have banned it completely in their homes. This is understandable.
If you have not quite reached that point yet, the occasional
video can be a great help in getting the young ones to focus
on something else besides digging through the garbage can. Why
are they so attracted to the garbage anyways?
Home schooling is not an easy task, especially when you have
toddlers. Millions of parents have done it and so can you if
you take some time to strategize. The main thing is to view these
little ones as the blessing that God says they are, instead of
the nuisance they seem to be at the time. I always tell my wife
to relax and focus more on the relationships we are creating,
because the academics will follow. May God richly bless you in
this rewarding adventure.
For a good laugh, check out HomesCoolKids.com
to see our new kids book entitled, "Baby Kong".
There is also an opportunity to order the book if you like it.
- Scott Stroud
- Contact Scott at