I have 4 kids (10,8,3,2). While I am teaching the older two, the youger two are playing nearby, but they are so loud. No matter what they are doing, whether it is talking, singing, playing … it is all done loudly. I feel like a broken record because I am constantly telling them to be quiet. I feel guilty for constantly shushing them and frustrated that it is so noisy during school time. I have never come across one blog post on this problem so I am feeling like my little ones are the only ones who are this noisy. Does anyone else have this problem and what do you do about it?
I have this problem! Ours are 14, 12, 11, 8, 7, 5, 3, 2, 3 months – it is so noisy here sometimes I want to hide. Looking forward to suggestions. Now that it’s nice out I send the littler ones out at intervals to let off steam – we live on an acreage.
(hiding whiile saying this) I have resorted to a movie or TV that is educational. But while doing math and spelling they need the house silent. I need this to happen for about an hour a day. But it’s the end of the year and my patience is at it’s end.
That said i do send my little ones out with an older one now that it’s nicer out and that is nice. They take shifts.
Not sure about your kids, but I find when mine were little I often had a very quiet home when I pulled out the play dough or paint. Even if they had play mates over, it suddenly got very quiet as they put all their energy into being creative. Of course this may not work for you, especially if you are worried about mess. One thing that really entertained my younger for quiet a while was those paint with water books. I loved that there was no real mess involved — just a bit of water and some paint brushes, or even q-tips work.
I second the play dough! I have a 4 year old chatter box who cannot stay quiet for more than 1.5 minutes:-)
I keep toys seperate just for school time including play dough and that helps him stay quiet while the others work.
I have a box that I rotate with things for him. He loves trains, so I have a little electric train with tracks. He does tangrams, puzzles, play dough, not too much painting though as he can’t keep his hands from touching everything:) and once in a while he watches a show for 30 minutes on the television downstairs. If it is nice I try to send him out side but he doesn’t really care to go out by himself. Some days, if he is really bad I have him play in his room with the door shut. But he is getting older and not into so much trouble as yours might.
I hope others have more suggestions for you.
Thanks guys! I will try dome of your ideas. It helps knowing that I am not the only one who has noisy little ones. Sometimes my brain hurts more from trying to figure out what to do with my 2 and 3 year old than from teaching my older ones I am so glad I found this message board.
legos are great too! Coloring works. We usually make it a coloring page that coordinates with the lesson. If there is none it is an animal picture. When they were younger I would let them play in the sink. I would fill up one side and let them sit on the counter with their feet in the water. I would give them cups ect… I told them they could play as long as the water stayed off the floor. I heard a sand table works great too. I guess this all depends on how worried you are with a mess. I heard of one mother that put a sand table in the bedroom. I can’t imagine doing that but if they are quiet and you can get more done then why not… hope this helps….
Iit can get really noisy here too. I have sensative ears. So I don’t like it to loud. They know this so I think they try but seem to fail. see what happens if you whisper. Maybe they will notice…. maybe they won’t. I like to check this sometimes to see if they are paying attention. LOL Sometimes I just stop talking and see if they look my direction. Then I give them the LOOK Sometimes I just smile and whisper what I was going to say before being interupted…. You might try it just for fun… Sometimes it is just one child that asks the questions to get the other one talking out of order.
Good luck (whispered)
Rambunctious little ones are such fun and such a distraction at school time! I remember when my two 11-year-olds were 3 and we were trying to do school – oh my! I have a really low noise tolerance and am trying to remember how I dealt with this. I know we had lots of toys that only came out at schooltime – Melissa and Doug puzzles, lacing toys, playdough, dish “washing”, rice bin to dig in with scoops(but only outside, believe me!), etc. We also had an older child take turns playing a game or doing something entertaining with a younger child (quietly!) and we did use things like starfall.com or pbskids.org when they were a little older for a short time during school hours.
I wonder if habit training could help with this – I like the suggestion above of whispering. Maybe you could start a period of time each day that is “quiet time,” where they need to do a quiet activity. You could talk about “indoor voices,” and make sure you’re all using REALLY quiet voices at this time. Perhaps if you do this for a bit, it might be easier to call upon those words at another time, and extend the quiet time throughout much of your schoolday. Perhaps a small reward after doing a good job of being quiet and using indoor voices could help as well – we love Yummy Earth lollipops for this sort of thing. Indoor voices save my life, LOL – that and “the look” chocodog mentioned!
As an aside, when my kids are goofing off during school or read-aloud time (or church), I clear my throat to get their attention, and shoot them “the look.” I realized how well this worked when I had a cold and had to keep clearing my throat – cracked me up see them all turn to me questioningly, saying, “what?” and I had to tell them, “I have a cold!”
Jenthorn, I found those ages the most challenging when I had to HS an older sibling. Hang in there, this too shall pass, and all too soon. It helps to remember that some day, you’ll suddenly realise they’re grown and it’s got easier.
Two things I found useful- one was to write down a list of activities to keep the little ones busy in school time. I posted it up so I could see it. When it was noisy I couldn’t even think straight.
Then I would pack a little chest full of activities each evening, a lot sealed in ziplocks. (we made it a big deal, and let our little one decorate the wooden chest and paint her name on it and let her choose stamps it with paint stamps to make it more special) Realising that a 2 yo does not have a long attention span, I’d have several things lined up in the chest.
I tried not to repeat activities too often unless it was a winner- like my one child loved to past old fashioned runny glue all over paper with a glue stick. It was a real mess and a waste, but it “bought” us plenty of time each day. This same child painted the driveway and the deck with water and a paint brush singing to herself or played with maize (dried corn off the cob) in a basin on a piece of canvas for long periods, just pouring and scooping with spoons and little cups etc. I only allowed paint once a week because set up and clean up time took too long.
I also hid some containers of toys and hauled them out at needy moments. It helps to rotate toys and not repeat them too often.
I got a lot of ideas on this site: http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/preschool_activities.htm
And lastly, Anne, from Anne’s Homeschool Place has a lovely book called Foundations about habit training and preparing the preschooler to obey and behave calmly during school time, which helped me a lot. Actually I wish I had it earlier. It was gentle, and full of good advice.
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