The hardest thing about learning how to homeschool, for me, has been teaching two kids at once. Oh, don't get me wrong...I've taught whole groups of children at once. But the age difference in my kiddos is large enough that they very rarely are doing the same thing at the same time.
Sweetheart (3rd grade) needs to do her school work in the mornings. I've done afternoon work with her and it's like pulling teeth. Her head hurts, she cries, she falls apart--it's not pretty. However, catch her in the morning and she's a totally different child.
Little Bit (Pre-K) demands attention. I would like to heed the advice of veteran homeschoolers and give the little one my attention first so her "love tank will be full" or whatever, but she is never satisfied. I can spend tons of one-on-one time with her and she loves it. I can accomplish everything on my to-do list for her school that day and she wants more. She won't just go play already and let me teach her big sister.
So I find myself at the table with a Pre-K student on my left and a 3rd grader on my right. Today the 3rd grader is writing a Proverb from dictation and illustrating it, amidst disscusion to make sure she understood the meaning, while the Pre-K kid has grabbed the pointer and is guiding herself through calendar. OK, I guess we are doing calendar now! Sweetheart is busy so I engage Little Bit in some questions about calendar. She doesn't know the months of the year so I ask Sweetheart to teach her the cute little song she learned in Kindergarten. This requires them to get up so they can do the proper hand motions. OK, back to the chairs. Now Little Bit is working on her Chicka Chicka Boom Boom lapbook. I'm discussing coconuts with her while Sweetheart is doing a 4 digit by 4 digit addition paper. I notice she has started in the thousands place to add. A bit rusty from the summer, dear? I correct her and get her back on track while I answer Little Bit's question about the hump at the bottom of the coconut tree. It's like a little island dear. Just color it red like the rest of the tree or you can leave it white. It's up to you. No, you can't carry the one that far. It has to go to the next door neighbor. See? Carry it to the tens place. Now, what does that equal? Good. No, you don't have to color them all today Little Bit, just finish this page and then we'll do your math.
See? This is Black Sea that's on your map. You will need to color all the water blue. No, I don't believe the sea is actually black. I don't know why it's named that. We will have to look that up. Yes, Little Bit...glue the coconut on the tree. No, not the trunk. See the book? The coconuts kind of grow up here in the green part. Yes, that's fine. It doesn't matter if they are named the Red Sea or the Black Sea honey, all water is represented by the color blue on a map.
Are you tired yet?
In case you are wondering....it's worth it!