Our three children cover a ten year age span, so I know just what it means to try to keep a VERY active toddler busy while the older kids are studying. I learned to plan our school day around the toddler’s nap schedule. When he slept (or was supposed to be sleeping), I worked one on one with the older kids with subject areas that required individual attention with each child. When the toddler was up and roaming, and yes – he was a very VERY busy toddler – I learned how to entertain him while we worked on unit studies. He might be busy with building blocks or rearranging magnetic letters on a cookie sheet, or he might be enjoying a math lesson with an older sibling from books like “M&M Addition” or “M&M Multiplication.” Matchbox cars were constantly zipping across the floor during reading time, as he couldn’t sit still for long, but he would quietly send the cars flying across the room or around the Hot Wheels track! I learned to remove many of these toy cars and only leave a few out at a time – recycling them so that there were always a few he hadn’t seen in a while.
I also made sure that some of our school projects included things for him to do – whether it involved log cabin construction with craft sticks or creating Plymouth Plantation using modeling clay on the kitchen table. After teaching several ages at once, I learned the importance of keeping a toddler involved with the big kids – better learning opportunities for everyone. And memories more precious than gold, with plenty of pictures to keep us laughing for years to come.
This is a FANTASTIC time to be homeschooling – there are so many opportunities to share and learn, and people are much more encouraged about homeschooling families. I write unit studies that take advantage of 21st century technology and interactivity to help captivate your child and keep them wanting to learn. Join us!