The Age Gap:

Keeping pre-school aged children engaged while their siblings learn

familyIt’s not uncommon for cyber-schooling families to have pre-kindergarten children at home with their school-aged students. Keeping younger children engaged while making sure students have interactive, educational time with their Learning Coach is critically important. In order to achieve that with babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers  involved, a little planning can go a long way.  Here are a few tips that might help you keep your little ones busy learning and playing all day long.

Keep goals in mind

Create goals focused on purposeful learning activities for the younger children. Are you working on learning to tie shoes? Reading alone for 15 minutes a day? Cleaning up after playtime? Try making a lesson plan and setting your goals in writing.  The plan can help you stay focused on educational activities and provide a clear roadmap for teaching patience and long-term rewards.

Establish rules and good habits

Little ones benefit from rules. Establishing a few ground rules for conduct during school time can go a long way in developing good behavior in the future. Remember to have patience and to be consistent! Check out this blog for some great ideas.

Include the younger ones whenever possible

Depending on their age, the little ones may be able to take part in some of the older sibling’s school work.  Sensory tubs can be a great way for little ones to get an introduction to a basic concept, practice those all-important motor skills, and play with their new ideas. While they explore, learning coaches can move on to more in-depth concepts with their students. Try one on weather or snow, or look at some ideas for really young learnersRead more on why sensory play so important.

Keep activities fresh

Young minds are very active, and they need a regular flow of new ideas to remain stimulated. Keep some educational toys stashed in the closet, and make them special by only bringing them out during classtime.  Rotate toys and games regularly to keep the little ones interested and excited about their learning time. Check out this blog for more ideas.

Utilize that naptime!

If the little ones still take naps, use that time to focus on older children and their more in-depth academic content.

Do you have some thoughts to share with other families on how to keep younger kids engaged during the day?  Share your ideas in the comments here!


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