Homeschooling with a Toddler
How to Make it Work
Having a toddler in the house will keep you on your toes, and homeschooling while having a toddler in the house just seems impossible at times.
These tiny tornadoes run around destroying everything in their paths. They are utterly determined to get every ounce of attention. Especially when momma is sitting down to teach a lesson or read a book to the older children. It is like they know that you are trying to do something important… so they make it their goal to interrupt at all cost!
My daughter always seems to grab the loudest toy during story time, and she runs through the house with it, yelling as loud as she can. (Oh the joys of having a toddler!)
We are about 12 weeks into our school year, and I think we might have finally found a groove! My daughter is constantly on the go so I have to be creative when keeping her occupied.
Don’t get me wrong… we still have our days that are really rough… but here are some of the things that I do to make things run a little smoother. Here are some ways to make homeschooling with a toddler work!
Tips for Homeschooling With a Toddler
Tip #1 Make sure she always has someone to play with and keep her company.
If she doesn’t have a playmate, mine will run wild! And I mean wild! We are talking getting into the pantry, pulling all the books out of our book closet, dumping out every last toy in the house…. you get the picture. So I rotate which child plays with her throughout the day, while the others work on school. This is my #1 go-to for keeping her occupied.
Tip #2 Let her draw and color!
I’ll be honest, this is SO MESSY! So be prepared for clean up of the house and the child! I try to avoid markers and paint as much as possible with her for now, but I will pull out dry erase markers sometimes, chalk, colored pencils, pens, and crayons.We have dry erase boards, a little dry erase desk, chalkboard doors in the homeschool room, and I keep coloring books in her reach.
Crayola Color Wonder is awesome for toddlers!!
Tip #3 Keep her well hydrated and her tummy full!
If I make sure she has some snacks and milk, she is a lot more calm. I also let her nurse throughout the day… sometimes during reading time. (She is 22 months old, and still loves to nurse at all hours… You can read my blog post on extended breastfeeding here.)
Tip # 4 Use your sunroom, playroom, or other designated play area!
We have a sunroom right off of my dining room and homeschool area, so it is the perfect place for her to play. She has a Little Tikes play house, a toy box full of toys, and an easel and dry erase board in there to keep her occupied. She also has a toy box in our homeschool room for playtime in the house.
Tip # 5 Wait until nap time!
Sometimes I wait to do school work with my first grader until my toddler is sleeping. It helps out a lot. Nap time is also a good time for story time with the kids. (It doesn’t always work though, because she likes to boycott napping some days.)
Tip # 6 Turn on a movie or an educational game on a tablet.
I try to make this is my last resort. We do not like her to be on much technology throughout the day. I like to try everything else first before we do this, but it works every time!
What have I learned from homeschooling with a toddler??
What I have learned through my experience of homeschooling with a toddler is that you have to expect the unexpected. Be prepared! Have plenty of things to keep them occupied.
There will be days when things don’t go very smoothly. And there will be days you will want to throw in the towel. There will be days that all craziness breaks out. And then there will be the ones that you just have to drop everything. But trust me, if I can do it… so can you!
Now it’s your turn!
I want to hear what you do to keep your toddlers busy during the day!
Let me know in the comments.