Monday, September 21, 2015

For New Moms: Extracurricular and Homeschooling--What to do With Siblings

All three of my kids are currently in different activities. None of them are in the same classes, which means I do a fair bit of running around AND 2 kids are always sitting through one of their siblings class.

Buddy and Squeaker coloring away during the Bear's tumbling class.


This is what I do to manage siblings during extra-curricular activities:

 

1. Have a plan: if you have a plan for how things are going to go you will be less stressed out. Figure out how long it takes you to get to the activity so you can leave in plenty enough time. If you don't leave on time, you'll get frustrated with all your kids and that's not going to make it any easier to keep it cool once you get to the class. Keep calm and plan on!

 2. Activities: what are your kids going to do while they wait for brother or sister? Is there a playground nearby or a corner with books and toys? For Squeaker I usually bring a coloring book and a box of crayons or let her play Starfall games on my phone. Buddy and the Bear usually bring along math or a library book.

 3. Food: every mom knows that when kids get bored they are either going to get crazy fussy or mysteriously hungry (Seriously? We ate 30 minutes ago!). When are your kids going to eat? Is there time before, in the car or after class? If you have a plan then you can quell all the begging for food. You should also prepare your kids for their food schedule. I tell mine what the plan is so I don't have to listen to the incessant questions about their next meal; they already know that after gymnastics we eat a snack or that between on-site classes and martial arts it is time to eat in the car.

The Bear and Buddy doing school work during Squeaker's gymnastics class.

4. Take a Deep Breath: honestly, you're going to have days where you think you must be crazy: your kids are wild, you have no patience and you feel like exploding. Take a deep breath. You are all going to survive the next hour! And don't let older moms (your neighbor, that grouchy old man, etc.) who have forgotten how hard it is to have littles make you feel bad. You're a great mom trying to give her kids great experiences who is just having a rough day.

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