Now that the two youngest are getting older, I am having to find new ways to keep them busy during school time. I confess that I am not always a picture of patience and creativity with them, especially when Jacob is struggling through a lesson. It is helpful for me to put away distractions and to be very focused during our designated school time but sometimes THEY are the distraction. More often than not, it is not them that is the problem but my own attitude.
I have our school room set up in the play area of our house. They are free to play, build or read during school. Some days, that's not interesting to them. I also have a closet where I keep activities that are only played with during school. I have special puzzles, playdoh, building supplies, etc., but even those seem unappealing at times. We usually accomplish the most during Austin's morning nap. That leaves Nathan, who is very active and who mostly wants to play with his big brother, who is busy doing school! Next year, he will be doing some school as well, but for now, he has free playtime. When I set Jacob up with busy work, I try to use that time to focus on Nathan. We like to read together, learn our ABC's, paint and color.
It's a very fine balance between needing to teach and needing to stimulate the little ones. My motto for all work at home is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Even in this area, I have to trust that as God has called me to teach my children diligently at home, He will equipt me for that calling. So it goes in another day as a home school family.