By Christina Humble Paulden
Homeschooling a toddler is going to look different than homeschooling an older child. Babies and toddlers are constantly learning, so this is a great time to introduce them to a few key educational concepts. The “how” is where most parents get tripped up, but no worries! Keep reading for 4 practical ways to homeschool a toddler.
Steps to homeschooling a toddler
1. Figure out what to teach your toddler.
When trying to decide what to teach your toddler, think about what your he or she currently knows and what you would like them to learn. It is ideal to start with the following concepts:
Fine motor skills
Gross motor skills
The concepts will become building blocks for what your toddler will learn a little later in life.
2. Create hands-on activities.
As tempting as it may be, there really isn’t a need to spend a lot of money on educational resources for your child at this age. You can create many activities - especially for hands-on learning - with just a few supplies. Consider using these resources for inspiration:
Teachers Pay Teachers - there are tons of free resources that can be printed and used.
Kind Academy has curriculum guides that are great for that age as well. Check out the shop to see if any of these would be helpful for your family of homeschoolers.
3. Create a learning area.
A learning area serves many purposes. This area will become familiar to the child as the place they go to play with certain toys, and partake in certain learning activities. It also helps keep things organized. Here are a few ideas of what to stock in your learning area:
Educational activities such as:
Puzzles: Toddlers learn so much from working with puzzles. Things like finger strength, perseverance, and problem solving skills are just a few of the ways puzzles help children develop.
Books: There are so many amazing children's books out there! Just having a good amount books in your home correlate to children growing up to be better readers. Here is a list of some of our favorite authors and children's books!
Blocks: Oooh we can't say enough about blocks! Block play uses imaginations, builds stem skills, and teaches cause and effect to learners of all ages! Check out some of our favorites here!
4. Keep it simple and have fun.
Two things to remember when homeschooling toddlers is to keep it simple and fun. In most cases, toddlers do not need a rigorous schedule packed with planned-to-a-t lessons. At this age and stage of development, they are always naturally learning with what is going on around them.
Introducing a soft schedule would be most ideal, and using the tips above are a great place to start. Keep the following in mind as you begin to homeschool your toddler:
Toddlers learn best by playing. Give them plenty of opportunities to play naturally.
Keep lessons short. A toddler’s attention span can range between 3-6 minutes.
Do more observing. You can learn a lot about what your toddler likes, dislikes, knows, and wants to learn by simply watching them as they play.
Switch things up. Every so often, it is a great idea to switch up toys and activities to give your toddler new learning experiences.
Overall, homeschooling your toddler doesn’t have to be difficult. If anything, it should be a joyous time of learning. Always remember this acronym - KISS (keep it simple sweetie) - and give yourself grace for the journey!
CHIME IN: Are you homeschooling a toddler, or looking to start? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!