I get them started on "school" projects of their own. That can be shared story time, coloring, playdough, etc. Just little projects that look similar to big sister's school. Also, don't underestimate the value of naps. You can get a lot done with her while your littler ones take a rest.
I think this is the number one question of homeschoolers.
Let me start by saying, It is not easy (depending on the personality of your younger kids).
My kids are 7,5,3 and 5 months.
One thing I have done with my 3 year old (boy) is made him a binder of his own. Inside is pre printing pages where he can trace letters, shapes and numbers. I put them in page protectors and he uses a dry erase marker to trace. He does this every day and loves it. I also have another binder with mazes in it. I bought a book of mazes. Tore each page out and put them in page protectors. All of my kids love doing these mazes.
Just be sure to wipe off the sheets before putting the book away. It is much harder to wipe it off if it has been sitting there a while. Worst comes to worse. Rub on a little rubbing alchohol.
Sometimes, I have him watch a netflix show in the other room or set him at the table with playdoh while we do school on the floor.
With the little one, put him/her in a highchair with some toys or a snack. And hope for the best.
I know.... easier said than done.
Some days none of these things work. Then we do school when dad gets home or skip it all together.
I also use page protectors , lol I didn't know of anyone else who did, very cool. I was looking for a way to be able to save my Saxon phonics and math worksheets for my next child and this was the solution the Lord lead me to. I just put them in a folder and it works really nicely. Also, window cleaner works well to clean them after they have dried, it will just wipe right off.I like play doh and puzzles, also, math manipulatives work very well if the child is not to small( choking hazards) ,you could print out some tanagram pictures to go with them .building blocks are also very good and coloring books.
Yes, math manipulatives! My kids love building towers with unifix cubes, sorting the counting bears by colors, etc.
We have the Melissa & Doug beginning pattern block wooden puzzle set, and my three year old LOVES that! We also have a Plan Toys wooden shape sorter that my 22 month old and 3 year old both enjoy. (You don't put the shapes through holes - you fit them on the correct pegs.)
Colored pompoms, small plastic tongs, and a muffin tin are good open-ended fun/learning for young ones, too. So are plastic milk jug or juice bottle lids - sort by color, push through the opening in a baby wipes container, etc. When my middle son was 2, he could sit for an HOUR with small plastic lids and a wipes container!
If you keep these items in a bin and ONLY bring them out during school time, it's a special treat.
It's really tempting to try the page protector thing with our math workbooks...good idea! A pack of page protectors is far less expensive than purchasing the same math curriculum two more times for my youngers :)
That's a good idea about making the little ones their own notebook, I think I'm going to make one for my three year old. I think he would like that very much
My two oldest are so close in age that they have been homeschooling together at the same level. The big challange was kiddo number three!
When my wee one was born my older two were 6 and 4. We worked on 5 subjects a day. I changed our schedule around so that lessons were done while the baby was napping. When he was not napping I'd have him snuggled in a front carrier (front/back pack) or stretched out on a blanket with toys near us.
I think the best thing you can do is get on a schedule as soon as you can.
With my 3 year old I have a worksheet activity for her, if she chooses to sit with us and do it, great, if not, fine too. That time may be when the T.V. comes on and she is allowed to watch a show, OR she may just color. when she is being extra busy that day I may have her take a nap or put her up in a baby carrier. I try to include her in as much as a I can. Daily reading, arts and crafts, most science activities, are all things she can be included in and feel like a big kid and she wont be so distracting.