I often get asked about homeschooling (specifically tablework) with a toddler. Honestly, it was easier when she was a baby. But I have a few tricks to make lesson time run smoother!
Whether you have a more formal style, or you are unschooling, there will be times when your older child needs your attention, needs to be able to concentrate and work free from major disturbance, and needs not to have their work/project manhandled by tiny fingers. Here’s a few things that have worked for us ?
#1 Start with a movement game.
We always do this before we sit down to do any work at the table. Wynter-Rain may not be able to do the same actions, but she gets caught up in the enthusiasm and loves to stomp around and yell with Nikolai. This helps Nikolai concentrate better and allows Wynter to join in so she doesn’t feel left out.
#2 Toddler’s own school supplies. When Nikolai is drawing or writing, Wynnie wants to too. She has her own stash of scrap paper and old crayons ( Pro tip! These are often eaten so buy or make non-toxic crayons. Remember the unicorn poo incident I posted about on facebook ?). If Nikolai is making models or using maths manipulatives we give her some blocks of her own. We always have homemade playdough at the table to keep her fingers busy.
When Nikolai wants to concentrate on some independent work, this is the time for one-on-one mama and toddler fun. Don’t try to squeeze in your housework now. It’s a recipe for disaster. I know! Sit down and enjoy cuddles, fingerplays and picture books. It’s too easy to get caught up in facilliatating the older one’s learning and forgetting the little miss needs her own time too. Leave housework for when the kids are playing together or naptime. Likewise, if Nikolai has a science experiment he wants to try, I usually ask him to wait until Wynter is having her nap.
These are my top 3 tips for homeschooling with a toddler in tow. What are yours?