Q. Do you have any seasoned advice for minimising distractions from younger siblings?
Q. How do you teach with toddlers or babies that are demanding time? What works?
Q. How can you keep an older child on ‘task’ when you are doing the ‘interesting’ stuff with a younger one?

A. Routine always helps when there are multiple ages in the home. I used to plan my older children’s activities around the needs of the baby. We would do interactive, busy, out of the house type activities during baby’s wake time, and focus or quiet activities during baby’s sleep time.

As the baby grew into toddler and preschool ages things did get interesting! Our family life though isn’t about homeschooling but rather about discipling every person – which includes the toddler. There comes a time when training the toddler to be quiet, focused and occupied needs to be our parenting focus. Once these habits are established then they join the family learning times. I used cot time, mat time, highchair time as specific training opportunities throughout the day, to help my toddlers gain self-control and focus. (A great resource is Terrific Toddlers).

During these training times I would have my older child/ren doing independent activities. This could be hands on like puzzles, games or art, or it could be their studies like typing, handwriting, math, and finishing notebook pages – and of course reading. Reading was always the activity I directed my kids to if I was caught up with the younger ones and they didn’t know what to do.

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