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Babysitting while homeschooling your child?


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Well I have a three year old here while I school my nearly 9 year old. If he was not mine I would want him out of here. Maybe the 3 to 6 age difference would be better than the 5.5 years difference but three is a very hands on age and I find it challenging to meet my 3 year olds needs while doing school with my older son. I have it timed to do most of his school work while my younger son naps and when the nap is too short, it is not uncommon for the videos or starfall.com to go in for up to an hour if he is not in a mood to play by himself. :bag

Edited by kijipt
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I would only do it if you absolutely needed the money. It's hard enough to keep a 6 year old's attention ( I know) without a 3 year old running around. :glare:


Some things to keep the 3 year old busy could be puzzles, playdough, blocks, movies


Good Luck! :)

Edited by mommyof4AZ
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I have a just turned 4 y/o here while I school my almost 8 y/o 2nd grader. Training and activites are key. I tend to the younger one when he gets here- fed, drink, potty, do an activity or two together, read to him. This fills him up for a while and my ds has time to get breakfast, his chores done, dressed, etc. When I sit down to do one on one time with my ds I sit the 4 y/o at the table. He has puzzles, books, crayons, paper, Kumon books, small plastic animals, HWT wooden pieces, etc. I stack them across the back of the table and he picks one at a time. He has been trained to know that if he asks me something and it's an interruption that I will put my hand up. That means he needs to be quiet and wait. Then, as soon as I have a break (btw problems, sentences, whatever) I'll ask what he needs. Gentle praise when he does well. Time outs when he doesn't.


You can't train your new little one in a day, so patience is key. Just explain as you go. Include him when you can. Give plenty of high fives and good jobs. Do the same for your dc because it's also an adjustment for him/her.

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Maybe you'll get lucky and the 3yo will want to do schoolwork like the big kid. I would have some cheapo pre-K workbooks around in case of that.


Prepare snacks and drinks ahead of time.


If you can put a desk in a corner of a room for your 6yo and put a big trifold presentation board in it to block his view of the rest of the room, that would help him not be distracted by what the 3yo is doing.


You could also tell the 3yo that he has can only choose from a limited number of calm activities while the 6yo is doing whichever subjects he hates most, to keep him from being too jealous.


Good luck! I have babysat a 9mo, a 9yo, and two autistic kids who were 6 and 4, while I homeschooled my kids. It's totally possible and I actually enjoy it. That "professional mom" feeling helps me deal with my own kids better too. You're not crazy for taking it on.

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I'd also consider how much the parents of the child are paying you and what they expect. If I was paying a person to do quality daycare, I would be annoyed to find that she was just keeping him occupied in the background while focusing on educating her own child.


On the other hand, there's also the kind of babysitting where I just need to run to the shop and might ask a friend if she could 'keep an eye on him' for an hour... and that's where an episode of Sesame Street and a responsible adult nearby is all I would expect. In that circumstance - sure, I think you could homeschool and babysit.

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I have been asked to keep a 3 yr old niece next year full time. I had to say no. I take her to co-op with us right now and am responsible for her there that one day. That is a great day. We get to spend time with her, but for certain classes, I get to leave her in the care of others while I am teaching or helping elsewhere. I am not fully responsible for her, and she is getting quality activities at her level while I am busy elsewhere.


But now my sis wants me to do it full time, and my answer has to be no. But my kids are older than yours. I have agreed to try it once a week at home the rest of this year in addition to our co-op day. I anticipate that day to be a "get little done day" with the others. We will be increasing our workload on the other at home days I am sure. Since it is only for a couple of months I will try it. Through the summer it will be fun to take her to the zoo and park on those two days a week. We will 5 without her to do bigger kid things.


The age span between yours will not be so bad. I had a 3 yr old when my older was 5 and doing 1st grade work. She came to the table with us in the morning and played playdough or colored. Sometimes she was into cheapie school workbooks matching or circling things.


But a lot of the schooling time she had to spend playing alone. Her attention span was short. She got to play in water tubs I set up in the kitchen (which made my 5 or 6 yr feel left out and want to do it too!) or something like that. Luckily K and 1st grade work doesn't take more than 3 hrs or so.


Now that my kids works off and on throughout the whole day, I dont' think I can give a 3 yr (that wasn't my own and brought up in the hs setting) the attention she needs plus keep my kids on track educationally.

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You can make a box of special toys that are only to be played w/ during school time. That way they are novel and will (hopefully) keep the child busy while you are doing school. Also, you can try to include the 3 y/o whenever possible. I print worksheets off the internet for my 4 y/o to trace and color when I am doing school w/ my 6 y/o and it usually keeps him quite busy. You can expect interruptions. Lots of them :D If the 3 y/o naps, you can get lots accomplished then. You may need to spread your day out more, taking advantages of quiet time or do some "school" in the evening after the little one has left for the day.


Good Luck! I find the preschool age group to be harder to homeschool w/ than toddlers. They chatter so much and seek so much attention :)

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I would only do it if you absolutely needed the money.


Or if it were a relative or very, very good friend you were trying to help out.


I took care of my niece from the time she was 4 weeks old until she was 20 months old. My three were 6, 8, and 8 at the time.


It was doable until my niece started walking and really getting into things, around 15 months. We all loved having her, but by 18 months, it was clear that all the time and energy I was putting into caring for my niece was seriously impacting the amount and quality of schooling I was doing for my own children. My daughter was at an age where she was still working on getting the basics down, and I felt like I was really shortchanging her.


If you do it, WRITE down exactly what you are committing to. You could email it to her as a sort of "Here's what I'm thinking. Will this work for you?"


What time will the child arrive?


What time will the child be picked up?

When the mother is late for pick up, what consequences will there be? (It WILL happen & if you don't state up front consequences from the very beginning, it will get worse and worse.) Late pickup from after school care around here incurs a $1/min charge.


Will the mother either be sending food for the child? Or giving you a certain amount/week towards food costs? (It will be much easier for you to feed the child whatever you feed your own child than to deal with food from home.)


What days off will you be taking? (Ie, does the mother expect you to take her child according to her work schedule?)


Will you be taking the summer off?


Do you agree to take the child "after hours" or on weekends, if the mother has to work those times? (Again, how bound to her own work schedule does the mother expect you to be?)


Those are some of the things I'd want to be absolutely clear on up front, even for (maybe especially for?) a relative/close friend.


Good luck to you!


Edited by yvonne
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