Homeschooling: Toddlers

I had an interaction on Instagram that asked how we homeschool when the Sweet Peas are between 2 – 3 years of age.  My answer is simple: play with them!

Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t play with intention.  We have toys that involve sorting, stacking, and identifying.  We talk about shapes, names, and colors in English and in Spanish.  We also work in the ASL words, and now that Puma is exploring French, we add that name in as well when she is playing with us.

You know how toddlers repeat everything they hear?  We read books and books and more books – they are absorbing everything that they see and hear.  Is there any topic that they love?  Is there something in particular you want to explore with them.  The key here is access.  We ask Otter to bring us a book, and read whatever she chooses.  If she chooses a book that is a little older than her attention span, we look at the pictures and make up a brief story and pick out things from the illustrations to talk about.

Then there are times when kiddos want the same book read over…and over…and over.  Those days we choose different voices for different readings, or I ask her to tell me what happens next by the third and fourth reading.  If I can find it, I will link a great resource that talks about reading a book four times through as a general practice.  I printed out sheets for our playgroup and now I can’t find the source…grrr…

The last thing we do as we “homeschool” our toddler is a lot of art!  We have crayons, markers, scissors, glue, paint, colored pencils, stickers, yarn, beads, pasta…so many textures to explore and use to create.  There is no judgement, and usually no examples…I just lay out the materials and let the kiddos do what they are going to do.  They are so proud of their creations, and in the process they are learning gross and fine motor skills, getting used to holding a line maker and making lines in all directions, shapes and sizes.

Before you know it, you are going to have a little person that knows their stuff and did it without tears.  It is so much fun…and as Otter is joining us in the school room every day, it is slowing us down.  However, it is making school more fun for everyone because if she is crafting, then everyone is crafting.  What a great way to start the day…music…art…and learning.