Have you ever wondered how to keep your preschooler busy while you are spending time (home educating or otherwise) with elder siblings? Kendra Fletcher has written a book, “Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the loving the little ones at your feet.”
Kendra Fletcher is half of the team of the Preschoolers and Peace website and blog. Kendra is a home educator and Mom to 8. One of her children graduated university at the age of 20, and another is in univerity now. She knows about preschooling at home, as well as doing it while breastfeeding and being exhausted.
Kendra wrote this book to help us parents (Dads can stay at home and/or home educate their children as well) learn from her experience. No matter how long you’ve been a parent, there’s always something new you can learn, and I’m sure you’ll learn a new trick or two in this 59 page kindle ebook.
Due to the length of this book, I was able to settle in and easily read it in an evening. Though of course you will want to return to Preschoolers and Peace again to better-absorb the content, jot down the ideas you’ll be able to use, and as a refresher from time to time.
The 13 Chapters of Preschoolers and Peace are:
- What a Homeschooling Mom Needs
- Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot
- Planning Around Preschoolers
- How Do I Keep Them Busy?
- What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?
- How Do I Get any Preschooling Done?
- How Not to Just Kill Time
- Circle Time, or How We Pull the Little Ones In
- Preschool Boys
- When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
- Preschool Chores
- Planning for Preschool
- When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
There is also a section on Meal Planning 101, A Final Word of Encouragement, and an extensive list of resources for each chapter.
Kendra relies heavily on a schedule, or at least a routine so that everyone knows what they should be doing and when. She advocates long naps, quiet time, as well as elder siblings spending time with the younger ones.
Routine, expectations, follow-through, and preparedness are key. But also give yourself time to relax and recharge.
The long naps wouldn’t have worked with my children as they would only sleep in the stroller while out for a walk, or while being breastfed. However, since mentioning quiet time to them after reading this book, they quite like that idea! My children are currently 4 & 6, and we’ve tried it out a few times. But instead of using this time to ‘teach’ we use it for us to all recharge and energise in our own ways. Tristan will usually play with Lego, and Kallista will either also play with Lego or be a Mommy to her baby doll. I use the time to lie down and read a print book, or sometimes to catch a light nap with one eye open. We have a small home, and this quiet time is just right for us all to find our own space for a while before regrouping and enjoying our company again.
Kendra provides lots of ideas to keep toddlers buy at the table or in a high chair while you are helping your older child with school work. A couple of the things she mentions are lacing cards, stamps, sock puppets, and colouring books. I like that the things she suggests are low or no-cost. I found colouring books were a good idea as it makes the younger children feel like they, too, are ‘doing school’ like the big kids.
Kendra gives a good reminder to be realistic with the time it will take for the preschoolers to complete their activities: only 5 minutes for colouring, for example. Always be sure to have enough to keep the younger ones busy as their attention spans aren’t as great, and they may not be in the mood for a particular activity on a given day.
Preschoolers and Peace has lists of chores for each preschool age (2 to 5) that they can help out with. I think that the younger children are when they start to help around the house the better. When they are young they will find sorting laundry fun! If only we all felt that way…. Hopefully as the children grow they will become used to the routine and will take pride in helping the household to run smoothly.
Older children can help more with housework and cooking responsibilities, and they will also be more independent with self-directed learning while you are attending to the younger ones needs.
I agree with Kendra that it is easier to homeschool with 2 younger ones around than it is with just one. They can keep each other company and be busy together instead of constantly seeking Mom’s attention. Don’t worry they won’t be forgotten, at circle time everyone will come together and spend time learning, reading, playing, or having fun together.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I’m glad to see that my own strategies haven’t been too far off a seasoned veteran (Kendra’s only a couple of years older than me, but she’s been parenting much longer). I like all of the practical examples she gives, and the additional resources. However, my one drawback was that it’s much more religious than I had anticipated. This doesn’t detract from the good qualities of Preschoolers and Peace, and you can skim over those sections quite easily, so don’t let that put you off if you think you could gain some insider knowledge.
If you’d like to purchase your own kindle copy of this ebook, it is available for $2.99 from Preschoolers and Peace.
To read more reviews about Preschoolers and Peace by the Schoolhouse Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions. You will find 100 honest reviews by the Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Preschoolers and Peace, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or YouTube.