This is a book that was just for me.
Now, I can almost hear some of you out there saying to yourselves:
Why does she need this book?
She doesn't even have "little ones" anymore.
I will admit that while it is technically true that I don't officially have little people running around here all day, I am still open to having little ones underfoot. With this e-book, I figured I would brush up on some helpful things....just in case.
Besides, Kendra Fletchers Circle Time e-book has been one of my favorites, and we still have Circle Time at our house.
This book is full of practical ideas for keeping your little ones busy while you go about the management of your house, AND homeschooling your older kids.
Practical, yet creative ideas.
You will not just be killing time either.
I completely agree with Ms. Fletcher that homeschooling with little ones around is 100% doable. Your day may look a little different. Your older ones may do school like this sometimes...
Or, like this....
(This was music class!)
But, it can be a total success.
Ms. Fletcher shares in this book how this has looked in her household. Things she has tried. Things that have worked really well.
I will share a few of her ideas. Ms. Fletcher shares the importance of preparation. Yes, the general ideas of being organized and having all the stuff you need for school, scheduling, lists, but also personal, prayerful preparation.
When you have little ones around, you need to think through your day. When is naptime? When will they need to eat? Can we do this part of school with them or not?
I have found that you can actually get a lot more schooling done than you think with little people in the room. (You will also be surprised at how much they soak up and learn just by being nearby!)
Once you have thought through what you need to get done and what that will mean for the littler ones in your household, you can make your plan. As homeschoolers, we always have a plan, but, I have learned (and Ms. Fletcher agrees) over the years that we need to be flexible and not rigid when it comes to that plan.
She gives you a huge list of suggested activities and things for your little ones to do. The ideas range from room time/crib time to creating certain days for your big toys. The room time/crib time is just what is sounds like....learning to spend time in their room or bed....quietly entertaining themselves. Creating certain days for big toys is just keeping them stored away out of reach and then, for example, on Monday they get a certain thing, like, Lincoln Logs, Tuesday, they get the farm set, Wednesday, they get the trains, etc.
A lot of her ideas just simply made me look around my house and think differently about what I have laying around that could be utilized in this way.
I really liked her chapter on how not to just kill time. In it, she is honest and admitted that looking back, she saw a hundred things that she wished that she would have done when she just had little people running around her house. Things that I can totally relate to. Things for herself as well as for her kids. Things like keep up to date on photos and files of those photos (for me, I can say that I wish I would have kept up on scrapbooking....all those cute little things they said and did....I have probably forgotten, because I didn't write them down)
Happily, she didn't just depress me in this chapter about how many things I messed up by not doing, she is also encouraging and gives ideas of how you can do some of these things....even with little ones.
I mean, let's face it, your life can't just stop if you have little ones. You still need to do things. You still need to have fun. You still need to go to the store. You still need to get school in. You still need to fix things around the house.
Ms. Fletcher, with all of her ideas, and what has worked for her, just makes all of those things much more doable. I like her approach for including the littles as much as possible in most things going on around your house and life. Yes, I like it because that is what our approach has been.
(V-girl handing tools to our friend, Ronnie, when he was working at our house, during school.)
We keep the kids involved in the mess of our lives. To me, it is one of the coolest parts of homeschooling. If we go to the store, I don't get a sitter or even an older sibling to keep the littes at home. We all went. There are a plethora of things that are good about this. Too many to name here. The positives of this way outweigh the negatives of the trip taking a bit longer.
I think it is sort of funny that she has a chapter in her book dedicated to....boys....preschool boys, to be specific. Anyone that has a son knows why they need their own chapter! She gives real life examples of why preschool boys need their own chapter and stresses the importance of having enough activities planned to fill their time....or face the consequences....which usually involves lots of clean up....from their curiosity!
She even has a chapter for you moms that only have preschoolers right now. She gives advice on how to keep your sanity and come out the other side with joy.
One more things from the book that I loved before wrapping things up.
I love that she talks about chores. Yes, chores for your little ones. I am not sure if I had chores when I was really little, but my kids do. I think it is important, and I think kids are capable of doing a lot more than people usually give them credit for. To help get your thought process rolling about possible chores around your house, she lists chores that her own kids have done at various ages.
2 year olds: Clear plate and cup, fold pjs in half and put away, put clothes in the dirty hamper
3 year olds: Set the table, empty dryer, clean out lint trap
You get the idea. All things that they can do. Yes, initially it does create more work for you, but in the long run, it is great training for more advance chores and bigger help around the house.
The bottom line is that I really loved this book, and Ms. Fletcher's approach to life, with children. No, I don't have any littles around right now. But, I will once again be refreshed and ready for any little ones that God may bless us with, because of the great ideas in this book. Remember, we still use Ms. Fletcher's Circle Time at our house.
Here are the titles of her chapters just to give you a little more insight into what this book contains.
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
When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
Planning for Preschool
When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
Meal Planning 101
You can get a copy of this e-book for $2.99. If you have littles, I almost want to say that this book is a "must buy"......but I am afraid that I would sound too much like a commercial. But, it is a really, really good book, with lots and lots of great ideas for helping you through the baby and preschool years.
See what other TOS Reviewers thought of Preschoolers and Peace.