Mom-to-Mom Support/Keeping the 2-year-old busy while working with the older one

Keeping the 2-year-old busy while working with the older one


I want to say that I am thrilled to have found your website and materials. I have been looking for a Catholic curriculum for a while and only stumbled onto your site after much looking. I wish I had found you sooner.

My question is that I have a 2 yo and 3 1/2 yo. I have started homeschooling the 3 1/2 yo and the 2 yo is usually around while we are “doing school” as the 3 1/2 yo says. My problem is keeping the youngest busy while trying to work with the older one. Any suggestions? I appreciate your time and help.

Dear Mom,

What a joy to read your letter. It is always a holy witness when a mom desires to find creative ways to work through the delightful challenges that are ever present when little ones are in the house. It is evident that you will be able to do very well with the homeschooling lifestyle as you are beginning early on to discover ways to adjust your teaching to meet the needs of both of your students. Good for you.

I would suggest that you try and find times when your little boy is napping or otherwise occupied. (Perhaps there is a favorite movie he likes to watch, although I would not rely on this for more than 30 minutes or so. Instead, check out this free list of activities that CHC has compiled to help you keep little ones occupied: Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers.) Remember that your little girl really only requires approximately 1 hour of one on one time. It is important to keep in mind that for her, 30 minutes of quality time introducing school materials is worth more than a day’s worth of distracted teaching. It is perfectly acceptable to do one discipline of study a day. It is not necessary to use all of her books each day.

I feel quite certain that you are probably already reading aloud to your dear children. The reason that I mention this is to underscore the great worth in this activity. Reading aloud to both of your children is the first step in ensuring that they develop a lifelong joy of reading. Do not concern yourself with the mechanics of “school” to the point that you may inadvertently neglect all of the wonderful activities and joys that are so much a part of the preschool experience. As I have often said, children are learning machines, and each day’s round of discoveries fuels them for the thrill of learning.

I admire you very much and sense that you have a heart for your children. This heart is of the Lord, and it is indeed the Holy Spirit that is guiding you and inspiring you to seek the best way to handle all the challenges that will arise.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

About Rita Munn

Rita Munn is a veteran homeschool mother of ten. For many years she was a popular speaker at Catholic homeschooling conferences. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember, and she loves to use her writing skills to share her homeschooling experience with other parents. Her “family journal” reflections are featured in CHC’s Educating for Eternity e-newsletter.