Friday, October 10

How Do You Do It With Three?

I'm not going to lie to you. Homeschooling two and managing a toddler at the same time is NOT a walk in the park. So, when a new friend (with two who is thinking of making it three) asked me today how it works for us I gave her a pretty good look at my reality. And my reality is that we live a very interrupted life.

  • S is LOUD. He just talks at full volume and then he screams the rest of the time. So, you can imagine how many sentences I DON'T finish in a day.
  • S is a boy and he likes to wrestle and push his brothers out of any chair they are (finally) sitting in.
  • S is a complete mess-maker. He can open the fridge and turn the Brita spigot on, splash in the puddle of water, climb up on the counter to get a paper towel to clean up his own mess (he's a smart mess-maker), find his brothers' unfinished cups of milk, walk them into the living room and pour them on the couch, leaving the paper towels unrolled and the refrigerator door open all in about twelve seconds.
  • S likes to do what the other boys are doing even though it goes against my better judgment to give him the markers...
  • S is incredibly cute and when he cracks his highly-distractable brothers up I have to tell myself that it's o.k. to stop and laugh with them.
You get the picture. I am thinking of setting up a video camera to see just how crazy our days can actually be. But I've learned a few things.
  • Highly distractable boys CAN still listen above the fray of a disappointed toddler --it's okay to just press on.
  • A boy can move to the next chair if the toddler wants the one he's sitting in.
  • While mopping up water, blotting milk off the couch, and re-rolling the paper towels I can still give basic math instruction, listen to a prayer recited in Latin, and tell someone how to spell a word.
  • Toddlers are completely washable.
  • Laughing is okay and will not detract from the education of the day.
And perhaps the most important current lessons of my life at this stage are...

There is absolutely no reason to be impatient with the boys because the toddler is being unreasonable.


A first grader is probably better served playing with the toddler than spending three hours completing school work that will not reciprocate the relationship.


  1. I hear ya! I have a 7th grader (girl)doing 'traditional' homeschooling (the mish-mosh of curriculum we picked and chose), 2 boys (grades 1 and 3) doing a virtual charter school, and a 3 year old...doing anything and everything!! And, oh, yes...we just added a PUPPY to the mix!! Some days I do question my decisions...

    Thanks for the encouraging reminders!

  2. My husband just referred me to your blog. I really enjoyed reading this entry. It gave me hope as I plan to homeschool my kids. I have a 4yo, an 18mo. When I think about having a 3rd, I get pretty scared thinking about getting my 4yo started on homeschooling. This entry gave me some hope for the future! Thanks!

  3. I'm glad you both found this helpful. We often think that homeschooling should be sweet and easy. Those days do happen, but they are not every day!


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