Motherhood

How I Home-School my Toddler

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Okay, before I begin talking about how I home-school my toddler, let me just say not every day will be the same! Not every day will work out perfectly! Life can get a bit chaotic at times but we just have to remember we are not perfect and just have to keep chugging along for our little ones!

There are some days I will feel like Super Mom: house chores get done, each meal gets made and cleaned up right away, little man doesn’t beg to be held twenty-four/seven, and it’s just wonderful.

Then, there are days where I don’t get a chance to do the dishes because my teething son is fussy, or the dog threw up on the rug, or I slept through my alarm and didn’t get my quiet time. These days are hard and long, but, I just remind myself that this is okay. There will be great days and there will be rough days, but on both of those days, my son loves me and I love him, nothing changes. Tomorrow will be a new day.

I chose to home-school my toddler because it can be such a beautiful journey! Your little one is just yearning to learn and to have fun, and who better to have fun with than your mama! These precious years will go by so fast so try your best to enjoy them! It can be difficult at times, but here is what I try to do… hopefully it can help!

Homeschooling an under tw0-year old

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I plan my days out but I also know it may not go the way I want. So, just roll with it! Homeschooling a toddler, more specifically an under two year old, can be frustrating due to their short attention span, but don’t stress out! And, never force your little one to do any of these activities. Simply offer and try, but never force.

Okay, so here I go…

Tips

  1. Don’t spend all your free time {because I know you don’t got much mama!} on looking up and planning a full day of activities because odds are your little one will probably end up doing only half of them for only three minutes!
  2. Don’t spend a bunch of money on materials such as crafts and books! –> Try to do as much activities as you can with the same craft materials. For example: you can do and teach a lot with your own DIY felt board!
  3. Try to enjoy this time with your toddler and take in every moment! Right now they may not be able to say a sentence. But next thing we know, they’ll be off to college!

Curriculum

Trust me when I say, LESS is MORE!

I tried going off of other people’s curriculum but after weeks of frustration, I realized that one curriculum set up is not going to work with every child. Every kid is different, along with his needs, wants, and interests!

For example, my son is a BUSY BODY! He does not like to stay still for long. He does enjoy books! But, mama can only read The Lion King so many times in one day! #amiright ?! Therefore, I can’t get him to pay attention to any poetry or sitting down games. So, I have to improvise a bit and do activities more to his liking.

These are the categories I focus on for this age group! They are still little so it’s important they get a lot of movement & play! We want to strengthen their fine & gross motor skills along with their imagination!

Bible Time

You can either read scripture directly from your Bible which will even help you memorize if you stick to the same verse for a week or two!

Or, you can get your baby a child’s bible! The Easter Bunny brought him his first book of Bible stories last year so that’s what we read. I try to read him a story that goes along with the rest of the activities we do for that week.

For instance, this week we are doing water crafts, so the bible story we read every morning is Jonah and the Whale! Last week, we focused on colors, so we read the story of Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors!

We do this every morning, that way he gets used to starting his day with Jesus! This is the Baby’s First Bible Boxed Set: The Story of Moses, The Story of Jesus, Noah’s Ark, and Adam and Eve (Bible Stories)""” data-wplink-url-error=”true”>this one! This set is nice because it expands 4 different stories.

Get Movin’! {Exercise}

This can be dancing to some music, exercises suitable for toddlers, or songs that involve movement; ie, Hokey Pokey, Head shoulders, knees, and toes, etc etc.

Depending on the weather, going on a walk is a great option as well!

I try to do this every day, normally after we clean up after breakfast. Doing it earlier in the day helps him get all his built up energy out!

Games {Indoor & Outdoor}

I get a lot of my ideas for game ideas from Brightly Beaming! She has wonderful and easy games to do right at home for your toddler!

They are categorized as ‘outdoor’ and ‘indoor’, but some can be switched around! One of my son’s favorite game is bowling – you just need empty containers such as milk, creamer, or oatmeal and a ball!

It’s good to try doing a game everyday as well, to get that energy out and to use those motor skills!

Literature

Reading to you child is a great way for them to learn words, to see art, and to bond with you! Repetition is wonderful for them so feel free to use the same book over a weeks period! Maybe ask them to repeat certain words or point at certain pictures!

Don’t worry about not having the same books as other parents or what the curriculum says you should have. At this age, they’ll just be happy with you reading to them!

Don’t forget to check out your local library! FREE books!

Some of my son’s favorite books include: The Lion King, First 100 Words, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear!

Foreign Language/Culture

When I was in college, I wanted to branch out so I joined a club! It was the Asian Pacific Islanders Club! No, I’m not Asian but I always had an interest in the Asian Culture! I loved being a part of the club! Then, wanting to further my interest, I chose to study abroad and traveled to Japan to study there! I ABSOLUTELY loved it! In my opinion, it’s important to learn about other cultures and to even try to learn a different language!

I believe this is so vital and helps understand one another more, it helps open your mind to something so different than what you’re used to! Learning a language can DEFINITELY help with your child’s future; employers are always interested in bilingual employees!

So, choose something you’re interest in/know or something you’d want to know! If you know Spanish, teach it! If  you always wanted to learn French, what better way then to teach it to your child!

I’m sure you guessed it, but I am teaching my son Japanese and a little bit of Tagalog here and there (my husband speaks it). I use flash cards and songs and aim to do it 3-4 times a week!

I am currently creating a program for this so stay tuned!

Arts & Crafts

When they are younger than 18 months, you can stick to crayons! However, when they get older, you may want to start introducing them to colored pencils, glue, etc.

I get ideas from Brightly Beaming, Pinterest, and myself! Arts & Crafts are a fun way to get your child focused on one thing, even if it only lasts 10 minutes, it’s good for their brain, and mommy’s!

I try to do this 2-3 times a week, depending on our plans. Sometimes he asks to color and sometimes he wants nothing to do with it! It is what it is! Be careful though, they may try to bite the crayons or colored pencils so keep your eye out! And, at this age they should NOT be using scissors!

Nature

I love seeing my boy be a boy! Watching him play in the dirt, finding rocks and pine cones! I don’t follow any specific curriculum for this, I just try to get my son to really BE outside, to feel the sun and play! For examples; searching for pine-cones, finding lizards, or helping mommy in the garden!

This falls in the category of exercise!

Our Daily Schedule {Attempt at One}

  • 5:00am: Mama wakes up, coffee & Bible time, get ready for the day, go over schedule/meals {This is the devotional I have been using for the past couple of years!-perfect for if you’re short on time!}
  • 7:00am: Get little man, Bible Time, potty training (just started! He is definitely over the diapers). We have breakfast and then get ready for the day!
  • 9:00am: Vacuum! Vacuuming every day is a MUST in our family! With hardwood floors & 8 furbabies….Yeah, a MUST! Plus, he loves to help mommy vacuum and normally yells at me until I get it out! Haha **NEVER leave child alone with a vacuum!
  • 9:30am: Start school!
    • This week we are focusing on colors! We sing the Rainbow song, and Happy & You Know It color edition! {Get Movin’!}

      Color Song for Toddlers
      Picture by Angela from Teaching Mama
    • We then do a color game! (I didn’t get this from anywhere, just made it up as I went.) I put his colored rings around the living room, say a color, and then we run to the correct one! {Indoor Game}
    • We also went on a nature walk yesterday and found pine cones! {Exercise.}
    • We are also learning how to do somersaults! {Exercise!}
  • 10/10:30am: Snack time! I use this time to switch laundry, pick up toys, etc etc
  • 11:00am: We did our first glue project today that I got from Brightly Beaming!
    • I cut out shapes from the colors we have been focusing on: Yellow, Red and Blue. (They should not have scissors yet!) Then I showed him how to glue them on paper! We went over the colors, shapes and even some words in Japanese! After, I gave him a yellow, red, and blue colored pencils to let him color the paper! Although, at this point he was over crafts!homeschooling toddler with crafts Shapes and Glue Arts and Crafts for Toddler
  • 11:30/12:00pm: Lunch Time
  • After lunch is nap time and after nap time, I normally read him another book, normally to go with our week. So this week I have been reading him Brown Bear, Brown bear!
  • The rest of the day is filled with free play, laundry folding, and maybe even some Bubble Guppies!

Tot-Schooling at it’s finest

Homeschooling a toddler isn’t supposed to be stressful! There will be time for stress later! Haha, let kids be kids! If your week is too hectic to plan out, just aim for one activity a day!

If you are interested in what I said about teaching cultures, please email me or contact me through one of my social media pages!

Life with a toddler can be chaotic enough, let alone to add some schooling! Try to see the grace in it – the look in their eyes when you’re reading their favorite book or when they try to repeat words! Watching my little man grow up and learn is truly a blessing! Remember, no one knows your child more than you! Don’t let curriculum stress you out, life is too short!

Speaking of things going by fast, Summer is almost here so check out my list of summer activities and 4th of July crafts for more ideas!

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