Here’s a question from one of our readers who has just become a homeschool mom because of the coronavirus pandemic:
I understand that children in Grade 1, 3, and 6 (twins) will have different material, but how does one effectively manage different attention spans? My youngest boy was a good sport for about 30 minutes, and then he wanted to play but not alone, with me or his siblings. They had work, and I needed to help my daughter with music theory. I tried to redirect with a book and LEGOS and was successful, but I can see this becoming an issue day to day. A mom
This is where a schedule really helps. What about figuring out activities to keep the first-grader occupied? You could have each of the older children spend 1/2 hour playing with him. That gives him a playmate for 1.5 hours of academic time. They lose a 1/2 hour of school time but gain an hour of uninterrupted work time, and so do you.
You could schedule him for play alone time. While it might not be his favorite time of the day, doing it consistently each day should eliminate his grumbling about a playtime alone because it soon is habitual—simply what he does every day. You won’t have him pestering you to play with him at that time and you feeling guilty because you can’t. I expect that he would soon be creative and able to occupy himself for whatever amount of time you scheduled for him, perhaps 1/2 hour.
If you spent 1/2 hour with him each morning and if he had another 1/2 hour of book time, you would have filled a three hour time block for him each morning if his play alone time was 1/2 hour.
When each piece of the schedule happens at the same time every day and becomes habitual, it is easy—just like brushing your teeth. You aren’t having to tell every one what to do or telling them “no” when they ask to do something but should do school. Simplify your new homeschooling life with a schedule.
Trusting in Jesus,
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall
be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9