The Daily Mommy vs Teacher Battle ~ part 4

So far, the mommy and teacher in me are making progress!

The warring parties have come to terms with seeing the importance of outside time, providing time to strengthen family relationships, and seeing life skills as essential as the academics.

In part four, we deal with the battle that has been pulling the most at my heart strings.


Battle #4

Teacher – “The older students need time for their group science, history, geography, Bible, and foreign language during the week!”

Mommy – “The younger children God has blessed us with need to play, be read to, and cared for lovingly by me and not viewed as distractions.”

Truce #4
– Always have open arms and a free lap for littlest ones.

-Start the day giving some undivided attention to the younger children first.

– Plan to have older siblings take turns playing/interacting with the youngest child(ren) for 15-20 minutes if attempting to work one on one with another child and the youngest is not doing well on his/her own.  (This also is part of the truce for battle number 2 and the goal of building strong relationships.)

– Do a group lesson, like Bible time, near a safe and contained play area so the youngest one can still be close, hear, and participate if they choose to.

-Do some group lessons during the youngest ones’ afternoon naptime.

Some thoughts regarding Toddlers
(around 18 months – a little over 2 1/2 years)
-Place some special ‘school time’ toys in a bin especially for use by the toddler  that are to only be brought out during school – You might want to include items like large beads, lacing cards, and laces; larger sized sticky backed foamies and paper; contact paper and cut paper shapes or tissue paper squares; blocks; shape sorters; knob puzzles; etc.

-Create a simple sensory bin with larger sized items.  Sensory bins are great for younger children to explore materials and gain practice with pouring and stirring.  (Precaution:  You still need to be present and alert to make sure little ones don’t place the objects in their mouths!)  Preschoolers enjoy these, too!

While struggling with wondering how to help our youngest toddler this year, I realized that we’ve had many years with toddlers around!  So, I did some digging and reminiscing =)   Here is just a quick peek at the types of things our other toddlers have enjoyed at this stage…..

(our 17 month old playing
with pegs)

(our almost 2 year old playing
with the sensory bin materials)

(our 2 1/2 year old singing her Joyful Heart Tunes by looking at the pictures)

(our 2 year old
attaching cut tissue paper to
contact paper)

(our 2 year old painting with
‘do a dot’ daubers)

(while our 1st grader
was working with me, our 2 year 
old and PreK children were building with small blocks from the ‘school jobs’ bin as our 6 month old was playing in the exersaucer)

(our 2 year old playing on Daddy’s iPad – First Word Animals)


(our almost 2
year old lining up blocks)

– Place the toddler in a highchair or booster (for snack time or with some Color Wonder marker writing materials or with a few board books) as older children work at the table (regular work, messier projects, or a science experiment) during that time.


(above:   our 1 1/2 year old contentedly looking at books in his highchair as his kindergarten sister writes in her writing notebook and his 3 year old sister does her letter art)


Special thoughts regarding Preschoolers
(around 3 years old – 4 1/2  years old or so)
-For the preschooler, bring out the playdough, books on tape or CD; an art bin for encouraging creativity; floor puzzle; Lauri educational puzzles; small objects, a pair of small tongs, and a divided tray in order to freely sort and make patterns; a few carefully chosen educational videos (like Leapfrog or Bible songs); a stash of color, shape, and ABC books for easy perusal; chenille pipe cleaners and beads; a paint with water book; water color paints; their Joyful Heart Tune Bible verse binder to sing; Sticky Mosaics; Kumon early learning books; pattern blocks, etc.






(left:  our 3 year old completing a floor puzzle with ‘help’ from her 11 month old brother)




-Try to include the toddler(s) and preschooler(s) as much as possible!  Toddlers and preschoolers learn best by exploring, doing, and copying from others.  They WANT to be right where all the action is (and, as it just so happens, where a lot of the learning is occurring, too)!

preschoolandtoddlermessycraft(above:  our PreK and our 2 year old painting)


toddlerjoining  (above:  our 22 month old helping his older
kindergarten aged sister with a fall project)

– Most of all, be flexible and willing to break the routine in order to love on the littlest ones and to give them the attention and care they need from mama!

Our foremost desire should not be to complete the academics on our ‘schedule’ for the day.  Although important, school work has to come second to  demonstrating kindness, gentleness, and compassion to the younger children God has blessed our family with!

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  (Philippians 2:4)

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.   (Psalm 127:3)


Other homeschool moms, how do you love on and tend to the unique needs of your littlest ones while making sure the academic needs of your older children are being met?


Have you missed any parts of this series?
The Daily Mommy vs Teacher Battle
Part 1 ~ outside time
Part 2 ~ strengthening relationships
Part 3 ~ life skills
Part 4 ~ including the younger children (current post)
Part 5 ~ persevering

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  1. So encouraging! I am adding this to my Pinterest board so I don’t lose it. So many helpful ideas in this post, rooted in Godly wisdom. Beautiful!

  2. This speaks to my biggest struggle! My kids range in age from 3 to 16 and I constantly worry about whether I’m giving them all the attention they need. I guess what helps me most is to step back and look at the “big picture”–they’re all doing just fine! Thank you for these much-needed words of encouragement. I am loving your website and am happy to have just found this blog, too. :D Amy

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