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#1 CPSTAnne

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:42 PM

My DD9 has mild SN (ADHD, SPD, GAD), that necessitate a lot of hands-on from me. We struggled a lot through 1st and 2nd grade, so sent her to PS last year, which turned out to not work. I have been so thrilled this year because her and I have gotten into a great routine and we have been doing amazing. We are keeping up in all her subjects, we identified and changed out wrong-choice curriculums quickly, and she's not having major meltdowns every day. 

 

However, I've been letting DD5 fall through the cracks. She is a very stubborn child and I don't like to force school time at 5, I consider K to still be a partially optional year. But we report through a charter and need to be making some progress to receive funding. And she is clearly ready to read and wants to learn, so I don't want to leave that hanging. She's also excellent at math and could be making a lot of progress there. It just seems like most days, we simply don't get to her work. 

 

I feel like I have to go back to DD9 so frequently, that there's never a good block of time to sit with DD5. And if I try to make use of those small blocks, most of the time she's in the middle of something (like a puzzle or cutting and glueing something from a Kumon book) and wants to finish first. Sure I could make her stop to work with me that second, but it would not be worth it. As I said, very stubborn, and I don't want to create those negative feelings around school time. But we lose most or all of my few minutes letting her finish up. If she happens to not be in the middle of something, AND I have her work right there ready to go, we can get started. But I spend half of our time reminding DD9 to pay attention to her own work, not her sister's. I can't send her or us to another room because she will absolutely not stay focused, plus she has anxiety and gets upset if left alone. 

 

So it doesn't feel like we can make good progress. I say one thing to DD5, then have to get DD9 back on track, then back to DD5, then DD9 is watching us again.... back and forth. If I just sit nearby and casually watch, or get on my computer to work on something, then she can stay focused a bit better, plus it's not interrupting me if I do have to get her back on track. She doesn't get as distracted by DD5 playing on her own. And that's just those times we're able to start in the first place. 

 

Any suggestions, advice, or BTDT?

 

(PS, I feel like I'm totally missing something having such a hard time with this when I see so many sigs of people homeschooling several kids and I can't get it down with 2!) 



#2 Kiara.I

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 12:58 PM

Okay, reading for the K only needs to be about 5 minutes per day. Could you do it before starting with your older? Right after breakfast so that she's not involved in something else yet?

Likewise math, do it right after a transition, maybe after breakfast or after lunch.

I'm not sure if your older does any reading on her own, but she could start on that after lunch while you do math with the younger?

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#3 Hilltopmom

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 01:17 PM

My suggestion-
Have your older child watch an educational video or show or play a Game on the computer for a solid hour ( or listen to an audio book elsewhere in the House if she can’t do any independent work ) while you focus on book work K with the younger.
Instead of having them both sitting there trying to concentrate while u work with the other.
Don’t try to go back n forth the whole time, kwim

Next year, re evaluate.

Edited by Hilltopmom, 07 October 2017 - 01:18 PM.

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#4 sweet2ndchance

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 02:59 PM

I suffer from SPD and GAD and one thing that really helps with the GAD is routine and very clear expectations. She can't complete work on her own without being reminded and that's fine, (and honestly, even my neurotypical 9 year olds needed lots of reminders to stay on task as well) but can she do a fun activity while you are working with your younger child? A computer game, a video or audiobook with headphones, free time to work on a hobby or do an art project. Give her a timer so she can see how much longer she has to wait until she can have your attention again. That way she doesn't get anxious wondering how much longer she has to resist interrupting. Praise her like crazy for not interrupting her sister's lessons.

 

For kindergarten, you really don't need a huge block of time each day, just consistent little blocks of time. 3 fifteen minute blocks a day would be plenty. Get your little one up and ready before the older one, have special 15 minute picture book read aloud time with mommy while your older one is eating her breakfast. After lunch, while the older plays an educational computer game, do a 15 minute reading lesson with the 5 year old. For her cheerful participation in her reading lesson, she gets 15 minutes on the computer after her lesson while you draw your older one back into her lessons. After dinner, while your older dd clears the table or works on a hobby or listens to an audiobook, spend 15 minutes playing a math game or working in a workbook or just doing some oral math problems. If she was already playing a game on her own, join in her game rather than make her stop and use her toys to improvise a lesson.

 

As an example, my 4yo prek son was pretending he had 10 puppies in the cart with him at the grocery store. He told me two jumped out so I asked him how many were left in the cart and we used our fingers to figure it out (invisible puppies are notorious hard to count lol) Then I asked him if one jumped back in the cart, how many would there be? What if 5 jumped out? We just kept on like this all through the store. People who over heard us probably thought we were crazy or something talking about the puppies in our obviously puppy free grocery cart but oh well. We got some learning done and that's all that matters lol.

 

I've had up to 5 kids at home while homeschooling and I honestly think it gets easier the more kids you have, especially as they get older and they can take turns entertaining and helping teach the younger ones. My oldest daughter loved to read aloud to her younger siblings. Great reading and speech practice for her and it was wonderful watching them interact. She would always ask for simple lessons she could do with them so I would give her little activities to do with them. They were all entertained and I could work with the other kids uninterrupted. The fewer kids I still had at home, the less I was able to do these things. What works for large families won't always work with smaller families and different tactics are necessary to get it all done. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be too hard on yourself. I think it's much more difficult with only two children than it is with many more children. ;-)


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#5 MerryAtHope

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 03:26 PM

I would anchor your K's school time to some daily activity--for example, right after breakfast or right after lunch. It would only delay working with your 9 yo by about 30 minutes, and then your K wouldn't have play time that's interrupted. Let your K student know what the plan is ahead of time to help her mentally be ready for it, and build it up as a fun time to spend together.


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#6 CPSTAnne

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:08 PM

Thank you all for your responses and suggestions. I'm seeing more options now than I did earlier. It's amazing how sometimes you can be too close to a situation and not see the obvious. 

 

Okay, reading for the K only needs to be about 5 minutes per day. Could you do it before starting with your older? Right after breakfast so that she's not involved in something else yet?

Likewise math, do it right after a transition, maybe after breakfast or after lunch.

I'm not sure if your older does any reading on her own, but she could start on that after lunch while you do math with the younger?

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She does read really well on her own, but unfortunately she does this SO MUCH better when she's supposed to be doing something else vs when reading is what she's supposed to be doing! Typical, right? But maybe it could become a routine she'd accept.

 

My suggestion-
Have your older child watch an educational video or show or play a Game on the computer for a solid hour ( or listen to an audio book elsewhere in the House if she can’t do any independent work ) while you focus on book work K with the younger.
Instead of having them both sitting there trying to concentrate while u work with the other.
Don’t try to go back n forth the whole time, kwim

Next year, re evaluate.

 

Yes the back and forth is what gets frustrating. And doesn't work. She is always asking to play abcmouse and doesn't get a lot of time for it (because she's 9 and it only goes to 2nd, so it seems too immature for her age), but I'm sure she'd be happy to get some time on that every day. 

 

I suffer from SPD and GAD and one thing that really helps with the GAD is routine and very clear expectations. She can't complete work on her own without being reminded and that's fine, (and honestly, even my neurotypical 9 year olds needed lots of reminders to stay on task as well) but can she do a fun activity while you are working with your younger child? A computer game, a video or audiobook with headphones, free time to work on a hobby or do an art project. Give her a timer so she can see how much longer she has to wait until she can have your attention again. That way she doesn't get anxious wondering how much longer she has to resist interrupting. Praise her like crazy for not interrupting her sister's lessons.

I really like this idea. Something to remind her she needs to not interrupt yet, but also if she's enjoying what she's doing, let's her know how long before that ends. 

 

For kindergarten, you really don't need a huge block of time each day, just consistent little blocks of time. 3 fifteen minute blocks a day would be plenty. Get your little one up and ready before the older one, have special 15 minute picture book read aloud time with mommy while your older one is eating her breakfast. After lunch, while the older plays an educational computer game, do a 15 minute reading lesson with the 5 year old. For her cheerful participation in her reading lesson, she gets 15 minutes on the computer after her lesson while you draw your older one back into her lessons. After dinner, while your older dd clears the table or works on a hobby or listens to an audiobook, spend 15 minutes playing a math game or working in a workbook or just doing some oral math problems. If she was already playing a game on her own, join in her game rather than make her stop and use her toys to improvise a lesson.

 

As an example, my 4yo prek son was pretending he had 10 puppies in the cart with him at the grocery store. He told me two jumped out so I asked him how many were left in the cart and we used our fingers to figure it out (invisible puppies are notorious hard to count lol) Then I asked him if one jumped back in the cart, how many would there be? What if 5 jumped out? We just kept on like this all through the store. People who over heard us probably thought we were crazy or something talking about the puppies in our obviously puppy free grocery cart but oh well. We got some learning done and that's all that matters lol.

I do this with her when I think of it. We do more with reading than math. I have her help me identify things by their beginning sounds, like at the store, or even if she needs help with which button to press on a computer game. She loves playing Sleeping Queens, so we are getting in a bit of math play there. 

 

 

I've had up to 5 kids at home while homeschooling and I honestly think it gets easier the more kids you have, especially as they get older and they can take turns entertaining and helping teach the younger ones. My oldest daughter loved to read aloud to her younger siblings. Great reading and speech practice for her and it was wonderful watching them interact. She would always ask for simple lessons she could do with them so I would give her little activities to do with them. They were all entertained and I could work with the other kids uninterrupted. The fewer kids I still had at home, the less I was able to do these things. What works for large families won't always work with smaller families and different tactics are necessary to get it all done. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be too hard on yourself. I think it's much more difficult with only two children than it is with many more children. ;-)

 

That is interesting but makes sense. I have wondered before if more would actually make it easier (after baby & toddler stage of course!) because the one not working with me would always have someone else to be with. Too bad I doubt this extra reason would be enough to convince DH of adoption (which I've been trying for!). 

 

 

I would anchor your K's school time to some daily activity--for example, right after breakfast or right after lunch. It would only delay working with your 9 yo by about 30 minutes, and then your K wouldn't have play time that's interrupted. Let your K student know what the plan is ahead of time to help her mentally be ready for it, and build it up as a fun time to spend together.

One simple 30 minute block does seem easiest. I assumed at the beginning of the year that that's what we would have, I just have it placed after DD9's math and LA lesson, while she's working on the independent parts of each. So I need to accept that DD9 will not be doing her own work during DD5's time. 

 

 

 


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#7 Jazzy

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:14 PM

I start with my little ones (3, 5, 7) first thing after breakfast every morning. I spend about 30-45 min working with them on math, reading and handwriting, then we're done with "school" for the day, leaving me time to work with my older kids. It helps to be able to check that box and know they're getting all of the formal school they need before the day gets out of hand with me taking care of other things.

Edited by Jazzy, 07 October 2017 - 08:15 PM.

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#8 PeterPan

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:30 PM

My ds needs a lot of extra attention, much like your 9 yo. Our behavioral team thinks in terms of independent work and what can be done independently. It sounds like the ABCMouse would be highly preferred, so that would be good! To from 0 to 30 minutes might be a bit of a jolt. You might want to set a lower goal, like 10 minutes, and make a list that she can use to make choices. She's going to need to learn how to use the list, and she'll need to be able to do everything on the list completely independently. What you might do is put a bit with the choices beside the computer where she would do the ABCMouse, and put the paper or whiteboard with the list of choices there as well. So that way everything she needs is right there, and she comes to associate working in that space with working independently.

 

If you had 10-15 minute chunks, you could probably make some progress. Especially if she could do that 2-3 times over the morning. Do you find that after her bucket is full (after she has worked with you 2-3 hours), then she's ready to do her own thing for a while? If that's the case, then you could work on independent work only once or twice and plan on working with your K5er later, after you finish the 9 yo.

 

Nothing says you have to be wonder woman and do them both at once, kwim? Some kids just are not conducive to that. My ds is one of those who really sucks up ALL the attention from the adult. And I might be able to stretch that, but it just is where he is.

 


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#9 PeterPan

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:32 PM

As screwy as it sounds, you might want to practice independent work without your K5er around. That way there's no stress on your part. Do you have a grandma or auntie she could visit for an hour some days? That would let you practice with the older dc. Literally you say hey, now we're going to work on independent work, here is your list, while you make choices from your list I will (read, crochet, whatever). That way, if she's floundering with how to make choices and busy herself, you're not stressed. 

 

Once she can do it for the 10 minutes without needing you to help her, then you can stretch or increase frequency or try it while you work with the other dc.

 

That's just how our team did it.

 

Total aside, but does your dd have behaviors when waiting? My ds does, and I think the two are considered correlated. 


Edited by OhElizabeth, 07 October 2017 - 09:33 PM.

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#10 MistyMountain

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 02:12 PM

I structure my day to have one in one time with each of my kids and give the others something easy to do indepently during that time like listen to audio books, read a book or do practice problems on prodigy. They know the routine and expect it but there is some interrupting. For a 5 year old they do not need a lot of time but could you have your odd do some computer stuff, reading or listening to audiobooks, brain pop videos on areas you are covering or videos on topics you are covering etc. Something that they can handle independently more easily. You can make the time you spend with your younger a part of the routine like it occurs after lunch it after you work with odd on such and such subjects. I also structure it so they have breaks at different times and you can work with the little one while the older just has a little break.
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#11 happysmileylady

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 02:32 PM

For me, I do DS4 (who will be 5 next month) first.  It doesn't take long to get through his stuff, just a little bit of math, a little bit of phonics, some reading, so for actual specific work, I find it easiest to just get it done first.  He's the most morning kid of my 3, so by the time I get him done and out of the way, the others are ready to go. 

 

Then I focus on DD8, then DD7.  


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#12 Syllieann

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:21 PM

I love the idea to schedule k right after breakfast and/or lunch. While you are doing that, you might try some things to get your older more accustomed to doing independent work independently. My highly distractable child uses ear muff style hearing protection to dampen the auditory input. I also set a large, blank sheet of cardboard around her work zone to limit visual distraction. If I am standing, she can see my face, but not her little brother who is sitting at the table building rod monsters. I am right there if she needs help, but she’s not inclined to comment to me on irrelevant things because she’d have to go to the trouble of taking earmuffs off to hear my reply.

Another option to limit interruptions is give your older a list of 2 to 3 things that could be done independently if she comes up against a roadblock. Rather than coming to a grinding halt, she could at least be moving forward on something else until you are available.
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#13 CPSTAnne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:47 PM

As screwy as it sounds, you might want to practice independent work without your K5er around. That way there's no stress on your part. Do you have a grandma or auntie she could visit for an hour some days? That would let you practice with the older dc. Literally you say hey, now we're going to work on independent work, here is your list, while you make choices from your list I will (read, crochet, whatever). That way, if she's floundering with how to make choices and busy herself, you're not stressed. 

 

Once she can do it for the 10 minutes without needing you to help her, then you can stretch or increase frequency or try it while you work with the other dc.

 

That's just how our team did it.

 

Total aside, but does your dd have behaviors when waiting? My ds does, and I think the two are considered correlated. 

 

She does not wait well at all. It gets very, very hard for her, especially the more restricted she is in what she can do while waiting. Lines at amusement parks are evil. 

 

We worked on independent work for a while, even setting up an independent work station. This was over a year ago and I think it might have been you who brought the concept to my attention. I wonder if something like that for her during her sister's time would be good. Things she could choose from but all of which she can do on her own. There's just a few things I'd want as options but I can't set her loose with yet. Like brainpop, we have a subscription through our charter but we've never used it before. So it will take some time to teach her to navigate it independently. 

 

I love the idea to schedule k right after breakfast and/or lunch. While you are doing that, you might try some things to get your older more accustomed to doing independent work independently. My highly distractable child uses ear muff style hearing protection to dampen the auditory input. I also set a large, blank sheet of cardboard around her work zone to limit visual distraction. If I am standing, she can see my face, but not her little brother who is sitting at the table building rod monsters. I am right there if she needs help, but she’s not inclined to comment to me on irrelevant things because she’d have to go to the trouble of taking earmuffs off to hear my reply.

Another option to limit interruptions is give your older a list of 2 to 3 things that could be done independently if she comes up against a roadblock. Rather than coming to a grinding halt, she could at least be moving forward on something else until you are available.

I've used a barrier of sorts for her before and it did help some, but it also peaked her curiosity and she'd stand or peek around to see what was going on. So it kept her from getting distracted every time she glanced up, but she still just had to look any time we said something about the page we were doing, or if DD5 laughed at something....anything that got her attention she had to follow through. I don't know if she'd go for ear muffs but it might be worth a try since that would cut down on things grabbing her attention. We have some for DD5 who can't handle lots of noise in crowded places so we take those with us when we go out. 



#14 CPSTAnne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:59 PM

This morning I worked with DD5 first. For today, DD9 did solo play thinking games (rush hour, lazer maze, codebreaker) in the room near us. While she did often get distracted and come to peek at what we were up to, it wasn't taking her away from her work and she was able to also get absorbed in her own thing. It took me and DD5 50 minutes which I'm afraid might be too much. So I might have to find a way to split it up and do some of her work at a later time. It put us really behind for the morning as I really like DD9 to be finished with math and LA before lunch and she only did math. But we also didn't start until a bit after 10, so that would make a difference if we get going earlier. I was sick over the weekend and I'm still super drained so I had a hard time getting up and moving. 

 

DD5 was still content after 50 minutes and took her Kumon page to do on her own after we finished math, so I guess it's not too much for her at once, but it might be too much to leave DD9 on her own. Here was what this morning looked like:

10 minutes: word recall activities (She has some problems with word recall and I'm trying to work through it at home before trying speech therapy)

10 minutes: mind benders - she loves these and requested it as soon as she saw it

10 minutes: phonics with OPGTR

20 minutes: math using Singapore Essentials. She did 3 pages front and back. Several of the activities involved coloring or drawing, the actual content she could have gotten through much faster. 

I will still want to do read-alouds with her later for about 20 minutes. 

 

I'm torn on if I want to keep this block together and work on getting DD9 able to handle it, or split this up making it easier on DD9 but having to get DD5 started twice. I don't think I want to cut anything from DD5 unless everyone thinks it's too much for K. 

 

ETA: grammar fix


Edited by CPSTAnne, 10 October 2017 - 02:02 PM.

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#15 PeterPan

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:13 PM

This is dd5 or dd9 that has the issues with waiting? For ds, we get the DAS at Disney. It's not perfect, as you still have to wait in lines, sometimes even 40 minutes, but it's way better than without. We were in lines recently that were 40 minutes while the others beside us (non-fastpass) were 2 1/2 hours. There were 6-9 year olds behaving perfectly fine in those super long lines, while my ds was having astonishing behaviors even in the short line, sigh. We keep working on it. 


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#16 PeterPan

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:14 PM

Your new plan sounds really good. I mean, I'm a little fuzzy, but it sounds good. I wouldn't cut. It sounds like your 5 yo is thriving on the interaction, and sometimes that drives up what you do simply because the *interaction* is the goal, not just the academics.


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#17 La Condessa

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:37 PM

Is either girl an earlier riser than the other?  My ds5 is an early riser, often coming and crawling into bed with dh and I around 6 or 6:30 in the morning.  So I decided to take advantage of it.  I set his phonics and math books and pencils beside my bed at night, and when he crawls in with me, I ask if he feels like doing some.

 

Probably about half of his total Kindergarten work is completed cuddled up with me before anyone else gets up in the mornings.


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#18 Syllieann

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:44 PM

It doesn’t sound like one chunk of time is too much for her based on what you described. I would still try to split it up though, just to allow the older to split her work up more evenly. Maybe after a morning session with the k, she could listen to audiobook and snuggle with you while you get the older going. I know it’s not as good as mom reading, but it's still pretty good and wouldn’t spread you thinner.
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#19 CPSTAnne

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 05:26 PM

This is dd5 or dd9 that has the issues with waiting? For ds, we get the DAS at Disney. It's not perfect, as you still have to wait in lines, sometimes even 40 minutes, but it's way better than without. We were in lines recently that were 40 minutes while the others beside us (non-fastpass) were 2 1/2 hours. There were 6-9 year olds behaving perfectly fine in those super long lines, while my ds was having astonishing behaviors even in the short line, sigh. We keep working on it. 

DD9. We decided after our last disney trip we'd have to go DAS next time. We used ADA when we recently took her to comic con for a day and it was definitely the right way to go. She wasn't already maxed and melting down when she got to the table to meet someone. DD5 only has a hard time in lines if it's a really crowded and loud one. So she's fine at Disney where we are a bit spread out and have our own little space bubble with our family and it's outside. Comic con was another story. 

Is either girl an earlier riser than the other?  My ds5 is an early riser, often coming and crawling into bed with dh and I around 6 or 6:30 in the morning.  So I decided to take advantage of it.  I set his phonics and math books and pencils beside my bed at night, and when he crawls in with me, I ask if he feels like doing some.

 

Probably about half of his total Kindergarten work is completed cuddled up with me before anyone else gets up in the mornings.

DD5 generally gets up first, but usually only by a matter of minutes no matter what time it is. The dog sleeps in DD9's room, so when he hears DD5 up, he starts whining and that wakes DD9. 

It doesn’t sound like one chunk of time is too much for her based on what you described. I would still try to split it up though, just to allow the older to split her work up more evenly. Maybe after a morning session with the k, she could listen to audiobook and snuggle with you while you get the older going. I know it’s not as good as mom reading, but it's still pretty good and wouldn’t spread you thinner.

DD5 is content to go back to her own thing at any time, the harder part would be getting her focused again for her second block. I think I'll work toward the goal of an hour independent from DD9, but maybe split it up for now until we get there. 


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#20 CPSTAnne

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:30 PM

Turns out DD5 needs the solid hour with me. Her work went a lot faster today and I was about to transition back to DD9 after a half hour with DD5 and she said "what are we doing next? I want to do more with mommy." Now I'm looking back over the last few weeks and the behavior issues we've been having with DD5 and thinking she really wasn't getting enough 1 on 1 with me. :( 

 

But DD9 took to brainpop really quickly and seems to love it. She spent the entire time on there watching science videos. She only interrupted us three times the entire hour and once was a real computer issue. Not sure if I'll always allow it to be all brainpop every day, but really, it could be much worse. They're educational and she can never get enough science.  

 

The last two days have been much less stressful getting in time with DD5 without expecting regular work from DD9 at the same time. Thank you all for walking me through this! Seems so simple now, but I was lost last week!


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