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Help! Teaching K, 1 and 3


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We are 2 weeks into school and I'm exhausted.


They all need me at the same time. I feel like one of them, sometimes even all of them, are getting the short end of the stick by the end of the day. We are schooling nearly all day long.


They argue and have a hard time staying on task. One of them has a hard time sitting still and whines about most of his work. Then stomps off and gives up when I won't give in or make a "bargain" with him. Another is accelerated, and yet another seems behind.


I don't want to do this, if I can't do a better job than ps or even private.


My patience is very, very thin, and I'm strongly considering private school.



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I would suggest doing as much of your day together as possible. In your shoes I would do the following:


-Story of the World together

-Mr. Q's Science (free download online) together

-Journal time for practice with writing and thinking of things to write (together)

-Read alouds for reading (Magic Treehouse is fun, Junie B, Charlotte's Web, Harry Potter, whatever you want)

-Art: free projects that go along with what you're doing already (paper dolls for ancient times, for example)



Math and Phonics/grammar/spelling would all have to be separated. I'd go to http://www.aaaspell.com and get the right list for the right grade there and then plug them in to spellingcity.com and have one play games with their spelling words while I did math with another.


That's just my two cents. Hope it helps! Hang in there! It WILL get easier!!

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I have k, 1 and 4. Feeling what your feeling at times. I have all 3 do a calendar note book together. Awesome. Each child traces days of week, month, numbers, etc. I put these sheets in page protectors and they use dry erase markers. No reprinting. I have my oldest do the same sheets but a cursive version. I found all of them on a blog http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/2011/11/i-have-wanted-to-create-daily-calendar/ these have been a great help keeping everyone on same page. I then do word family and sight word practice with both k and 1. I typed out a schedule for my 4th grader to follow. I am trying to get him to be more independent. He works on things he doesn't need my help with first, while I work with the littles. For me the key was to do things together and get organized. My 4th and 1st do science together. Apologia zoology 2 and a lapbook. I hope this helps, some days are better than others. This year is going alot smoother for us after implementing some of the above.

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Get a good schedule.


Plan head so you can stagger subjects- so you can PLAN who you are with when. Assign times for the kids to work together, i.e. 3rd grader reading to K, First and K playing play dough, 3rd reading to 1st.


Combine as much as possible.


Check out these to help the kids know what they need to do when, and to know when they will be DONE. https://onlypassionatecuriosity.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/planning-our-school-day/

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I know your feelings of frustration!


One thing that has helped me, which may not be for everyone, is that I let them get out a toy or project to play with/work on while I am teaching the other child.

Example from my household today :)


Math - I worked with each one while the others played and colored with their 17 month old brother.

English - baby brother is asleep, so I worked with each one individually, while the others played legos, worked on a project ( today was friendship bracelets) etc..



What I have found is that I had to lay down the line with my kids to never interrupt while I am teaching the other. I always make sure they have a book, project, or toy to play with during that time. If not, they get bored and even get in trouble at times.


I know that some would object to kids playing during the off time of school, but it is the only way I have been able to give each child individual time and not feel overwhelmed.


That being said, we do school most of the day, and I am exhausted.

It works for us now, and with 4 kids, I am just glad we make it through each day! :D

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I understand where you are coming from! I have a 2 year old, K and 3rd grader. There are days when I certainly feel very overwhelmed and that nothing gets accomplished.

We are slowly starting to work out the kinks in our daily routine. What is working is that I combine some lessons for the K & 3rd grader. Story of the world, art lessons, US History...just to name a few. The more I can do with them together really does help. Also, I have "focus" days. For example, on MWF's I will do more hands on with my 3rd grader. On T,Th's I will do more hands on with my K student. Every day, they have something to accomplish/ things they can work on independently while the other is getting my full attention.

We have been doing this for 4 years now- and although I have only been homeschooling 2 children at the same time for one year, I can assure you it takes a little time to work out the kinks. It will get easier! Hang in there!

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I have a 3rd, 1st, 4 yr, and 2yr. It takes us most of the day to complete everything, too. For what it's worth, I've found that since I've been exercising in the morning, I have much more energy to persevere throughout the day. It also helps that my 3rd grader is good at working independently. This is what our schedule looks like:


In the morning my 3rd grader works independently (piano, math, bible study, handwriting, CLE reading, Latin). Meanwhile, my 1st grader does xtramath on the computer and then handwriting. During that time, I do a little bit of seatwork with my 4 yr old, while the 2yr old is playing with Lauri toys, puzzles, etc. I then let the little ones go play.


I then turn my attention to my 1st grader and do spelling, writing, grammar or anything that needs my direct attention. He does math at the end because he can work on it independently. He's usually done between 10:30 and 11:00, and he goes and plays. If he works diligently in the morning, he gets Wii time later in the day.


For the remainder of the morning, I work with my 3rd grader on spelling, writing, and grammar.


Their lunch break is from 12:00-1:30. Sometime between 1:00 and 1:30, I go read with my 2yr old. We do this on her bed away from everyone else. She really likes this one-on-one time. Then she goes down for a nap.


At that point I send the oldest two off for independent reading. From 1:30-2:00 or so I sit and read with my 4 year old. He then gets computer time.


From 2:00-2:30 I do phonics/reading lessons with my 1st grader while my 3rd grader continues her independent reading.


From 2:30-3:00, I do history reading and read-alouds with my 1st and 3rd grader.


From 3:00 until we're done, we do either geography & art (Tues), science (Mon & Wed), music (Thurs), or notebooking (Fri).


The times usually are not exact, but that's the basic flow of things.

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Last year I taught 3 kiddos and this year I'm teaching 4 grades 3, 2, K, and Preschool. Last year with three it just worked to rotate them. I had an order of subjects and I did each one and when then weren't working with me they were working independently. They were not supposed to interrupt if at all possible. When I was done with that child's lesson I would see to their questions or whatever. Of course, sometimes I had to step in to discipline little ones and such or get bigger ones back on track, etc. but it worked pretty well.


This year because I have to add in a fourth kiddo I am planning to start with her very early and try to knock out her work first, followed by my K'er. If they can't do their math and phonics lesson back to back and still pay attention I'll have to rotate between those two. That way, by the time my older two have their worksheets about done I will be ready to start working with them one on one and they always have independent work they can be doing when they are "finished". We will do memory work some together and some in pairs. We plan to work until 1:00 and then the rest of the afternoon they should only have their reading assignments and literature guides to do, which is also independent for the most part.



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These might be of some help to you. I wrote these blog posts because it was how I planned out who needed to be where when.


How I Plan Our Homeschool Day


There are others in this planning series that are linked at the bottom of that post if you want to see how I schedule our week and year. :001_smile:


Good luck finding a system that works for your family!

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I have a toddler, one in pre-k and my oldest in 1st grade. I rarely have them working on lessons at the same time, unless it's our "morning meeting" when we do our calendar books and counting. When I'm working with one of my older two, the other one's job is to play with the youngest.

If you do quiet time, you could stagger their rest times, so that you get a solid chunk of time with each child with no interruptions. I will probably end up doing this when my youngest stops napping at some point.

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First of all :grouphug:


I have a K'er, two in 1st (using two different math programs), one in 2nd, and one in 4th.


Our day looks something like this.


Help K'er first with her work and phonics. While she is working, the eldest two are starting their independent work. They are not permitted to interrupt my time with K'er. If they get stuck on something, they put it aside and work on something else.


When K'er is done, she helps one of the 1st graders with flashcards (she loves helping to do school with her big brothers). While she does that, I work on math with the other 1st grader. We switch students when they are both done.


The 1st graders do their independent work (workbooks, copywork, reading) while I check in with the eldest two to see if they have any questions. This takes only a few minutes, then I can rejoin the 1st graders while K'er does puzzles or plays with her dolls.


When the 1st graders are done with their work (they take 1-1.5 hours total), they can play with the K'er or watch an educational video.


I finish up with the elders (spelling, timed math quizzes, grammar questions.) We try to be done by lunch time.


After lunch we have the "fun stuff" together. This year we are doing hymn study, drawing, nature study, poetry, composer study, Expedition Earth, and a couple other things thrown in for kicks and giggles). The EE and FLL gets done daily, everything else is assigned one day/week. Easy peasy. They then do a quick clean up and have time to play and do creative projects.


We have consequences set up for interruptions. The dc know what the plan is. They each have a laminated schedule of work they need to complete each day at their desks. When they complete each task, they put a star (with velcro on the back) onto their schedules.


If a child is acting up or needs an attitude adjustment, he or she is assigned to five laps around the downstairs (where we do school) on a hoppy ball. It always helps becaue we cheer him or her on to go faster and clap upon completion.


I hope this can help you in some way. It took a long time for us to get in the groove, but it's working for us now.


:grouphug: and keep us posted.

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:grouphug: For what it's worth - you aren't alone. I have went down that rollercoaster several times in the 4 years we've been on this path. Firstly, I want to remind you, that even if you feel pulled in many directions, you are still giving your kids more one-on-one than they would get in ps.


We are struggling with scheduling this year and we're only on day 3 and not doing a full course load yet. That's a bad sign, right? :lol:


I have a 3rd grader, a 1st grader and a 3 year old. I seriously don't know how we are going to get everything done. I sat down and made up a schedule, ps style, baby! I know that we will get off track, but I needed something to follow to see how to make our day work best. I also made up charts for the kids (worbox variation) so the kids could see what they had to do each day. It also helps them to know what they can work on without me, so they aren't just milling around doing nothing.


I still don't know what to do with my toddler. He is very used to having his sisters to play with and is NOT into solo play at all. He wants to be in the room with us, which is supposed to be what I love about homeschooling, right? Sadly, I just wish I could convince him to play in his room for even 10 minutes at a time.

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