How To Homeschool With a Toddler In The House

The house is quiet. Too quiet. You suddenly realize that you have not seen your toddler for at least 5 minutes. What is he/she into now?

Toddlers like to explore, investigate and get themselves into some rather messy situations. And that leaves a challenge for the homeschool parent. How do you keep a young one happy and content while trying to teach their older siblings?

Having homeschooled for many years, I can tell you that if you keep toddlers busy they will have less time to get into mischief. Workboxes and creativity on your part will help with this. When you finish reading this, you should have some great ideas to start with on how to homeschool with a toddler in the house.

First, if a child has nothing to do, they will find something to do. So keeping them busy is important. Often a younger child will want to “do school” with his older siblings. Encourage this. Give them easy coloring pages, puzzles, paper to cut, a glue stick if you are brave, and let them have fun. Have educational toys that only come out at school time. Look up “activities in a bag” and get some great ideas. One way to organize these activities for your younger child is with workboxes.

Workboxes is a system set up by Sue Patrick. Look it up online and you will find tons of information on them. Basically it is a system of numbered boxes or drawers which you fill with activities each night. Your child is then taught to go through them in order. For example, my 3 year old has 6 drawers and she might get a coloring page in one, a cutting/scissors activity in one, a matching game, a simple puzzle and some books to look at. Perhaps one of the educational games I have in the last one. It helps me be organized and it gives her 6 things to do before she needs me to occupy her some more.

When she is done, then my creativity is comes in. Is one of the older children ready for a break so they can play with her for 15 minutes? Is it time for everyone to take a break and get outside? Perhaps it is time for a nap. Or maybe she gets a reward for finishing her boxes and gets a video. This varies day to day, but it helps to have some basic ideas in mind. Make a list of the things your toddler likes to do and use it to help your creative juices flow.

Keeping toddlers busy is definitely a challenge, but well worth it when you are homeschooling other children. Having special things for them set aside for “school time”, using workboxes and being creative are all helpful in occupying your toddler. Enjoy those toddler years – they do grow up so fast!!!

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