Preparing Your Toddler for Homeschool
Keep it fun!
Your goal is productive learning and that can be accomplished through many fun methods. But if your child is not easily making the transition to being required to accomplish something, don’t hesitate to bring out some motivators.
A few ideas we’ve used are:
- Make a chore board of all the different tasks you would like to accomplish in a week with your child then let your child choose which one he would like to do next. Flip over the finished task card once it is done and this way you will move through all your goals for your child while still enabling him to have some options.
- Let your toddler earn a reward for finishing the tasks. For us, it worked well to have the toddler pick out 6 tasks to do, and when the tasks were finished she earned the privilege of watching some Signing Time (which is also educational).
- Use even more immediate rewards. When the toddler we were working with had some difficulty with tracing, we brought out fish crackers and set up a story where the fish needed to get home and as she traced the line, the fish followed, when she reached the end she got to eat the fish.
Keep it short
Keep the structured projects short and varied. Your toddler is much more likely to stay engaged for an hour if they have 6-10 short projects in that time, rather than spending all that time tracing letters. You can set them up for longer periods of time with activities they already enjoy such as water play or coloring, but for the structured learning begin small.
Use all their senses
Don’t get tunnel vision and focus only on “workbook” type tasks, there will be plenty of years for that later. Work to incorporate all their senses as you do different activities.
Some activity ideas:
- music (dancing, rhythm, listening, playing)
- art (painting, finger-painting, gluing, cutting, using wiggly eyes and drawing “happy faces,” markers, pencils, play dough)
- thinking skills (bambinoLUK, puzzles, shape sorters, reading and talking about the what, when, where, why, and how)
- movement (spinning, running, swinging, hammering, jumping, climbing, dancing)
- counting (as you put toys away, objects in books, grapes, goldfish crackers, train cars going by)
Keep it flexible
Living for a toddler is learning. New things, experiences, and skills to be learned surround them. Structure is good, but you can relax and enjoy the moment. If you don’t get to puzzles this week, don’t sweat it! If your toddler loves to paint, encourage and expand it! All of life is learning. Have fun and relax!!