I am always surprised when people ask me what I do with the girls (G. and L.) for school... and they follow up with a second question asking if they go to preschool. They are two for Heaven's sake! They don't need school. They need to follow their Mommy around all day and watch and play and learn. (And get lots and lots of hugs and kisses and conversation.) But that isn't to say they are not learning.
On a regular day, I will spend some time with them first, either reading stories or playing games or singing songs, before I begin with the older people. Then the little girls are still in the room, but they are playing with toys while the rest do their schoolwork. Sometimes they will join us in what we are doing... coloring a picture, building something, tasting food, listening to stories. But it is very informal and they are welcome to come and go as their interest dictates. (The pen is still in use, believe me! Currently, we have it across the doorways to keep them in the same room as the rest of us.)
It doesn't seem as though they are paying much attention to what else is going on, since they are often engrossed in their own play. At least that's what I thought. For the past two days, both girls have been very interested in doing their 'work'. (Work is the word we use to describe the schoolwork that each child is expected to complete on their own each morning.) This involves carrying around coloring books or pieces of paper and taking pencils and very carefully 'writing' things in or on them. This is often accompanied by very serious looks and announcements of, "Me doing my math" or "Can't now. I busy doing my work." Once the work is completed, they each follow me around asking me to check it. (And following and asking and following and asking if I haven't paid attention right away.) I discovered that for it to count as checking, I have to look at it seriously and then take a pen and make a check mark at the top of it. (I put a check mark at the top of each page of work that I check for the olders. It merely tells me that I have looked at and discussed it with the child. I don't grade.) This makes each of them very happy and they show it around proudly and then sit down to do more 'work'.
The only down side? I need to hide the printer paper and come up with a good storage place for the scratch paper because of the amount of 'work' that has been going on. They are very prolific.