Homeschooling with toddlers and preschoolers can be challenging, and definitely takes some extra thought and planning. However, the time you spend planning what to do with the little ones, will save you some stress and make for smoother days.
Even with planning, some days the toddlers and preschoolers aren’t exactly cooperative. On those days, I suggest making the most of nap time!
HERE ARE SEVEN TIPS FOR HOMESCHOOLING WITH TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS
1. Include them in some of your school activities when possible.
When the older kids are all having their Bible time, get your toddler & preschooler excited about their “Bible time”. Have them watch a Bible DVD, or listen to a Bible story on CD.
They will feel like they are big by being able to have their Bible time like the siblings do. Even more important though, is that they will be developing the habit of daily spending time in God’s Word.
2. Include toddlers & preschoolers in your Bible/Character lesson.
They may not understand all of it, but you would be surprised at how much they take in. I always allowed the little ones to play quietly with little cars or blocks during this time. Even though their hands were busy, they were listening, and they were included in this most important part of our day.
The sooner those little ones start growing in character, the better it will be. If possible, use a character curriculum that has activities that the little ones can be included in. Those are the lessons that they will remember the most.
3. Schedule time slots during the academics when older siblings will play with or read to the younger ones.
The older siblings love getting a break from the books, and the young ones love having the older sibling spend time with them.
4. Have special school time only toys for them to play with.
Keeping special toys that are reserved for only certain times will help your toddler/preschooler look forward to that time.
5. Change their activities about every 30 minutes.
This will keep them from getting bored. Some of these activities will be in assigned areas, such as the rec room, or the kitchen table.
6. Based on their age, allow them to “work” at the table by you quietly as you help or supervise a sibling.
You can give them coloring sheets with letters, numbers, or animals, etc.
7. Have a regular daily routine for them to follow.
Kids function much better with a routine and schedule to guide their days. They know what to expect each day, which leads to fewer struggles about doing what they are supposed to. When left on their own with no routine, they tend to get bored and develop bad attitudes.
Here are just a few ideas for activities that we used with our toddlers & preschoolers:
- Duplo blocks
- Play in water at the sink with a funnel and some plastic eggs, or toys
- Make a tent in the living room for them to play in
- Magnetic letters or numbers on the fridge or a cookie sheet
- Buy or make some little beanbags, and have them try to throw them into a bowl
- String large macaroni noodles or cheerios
- Stack plastic cups
- Cut out coupons that you aren’t going to use
- Play with cars on a car rug
- Play with boxes from the grocery store.
- Play-Doh and accessories
- Coloring book and crayons or washable markers
- Stencils and stickers
Take the time to plan for the little ones, and you will find that your home school days run much smoother!
Looking for more homeschool encouragement? Grab a free copy of
60 HOMESCHOOLING TIPS FROM 60 YEARS.