I’m pretty sure I’ve been in the Baby Season or the Toddler Season or the Momma’s-Pregnant-And-Cranky-As-An-Old-Mule Season for as long as we’ve been homeschooling. Today I’d like to share with you my top ten pieces of advice for surviving homeschooling with a toddler.
It’s Okay to Play First
Give the little ones some one-on-one time first. Around here, that usually means they get bored with mom and wander off to play on their own for a bit. Our Bubbagirl is less jealous of the big girl’s time with mom if she’s already had her turn.
Come Bearing Snacks
This doesn’t have to be junk food! Fruit slices, carrot chips, or Cheerios are great to hand out in small doses. It also helps keep normally loud mouths quiet during a read aloud.
Carisa from 1+1+1+1 has an amazing blog full of great tot tray ideas! We have little trays and big trays (huge restaurant trays from a warehouse store) that we use for bubbles, beads, sorting cotton balls and more! They only get to play with them during school time.
It’s OK to Take a Break
Just too much chaos today? Someone teething? Don’t fret over taking a time out. Take a day off, a week off, or a month off of formal work and do it without worry. My friend Heather (Sprittibee) wrote a series called 10 Days of Accidental Homeschooling where she shares how her children STILL learned even though her plan and method was altered by the seasons they found themselves living…including toddlers.
Never Underestimate the Benefit of an Empty Bathtub
**This is only a suggestion if you know your kid will be safe!! Please take age and development into consideration** Bathtub crayons, Homemade Bathtub Paint, Shaving Cream…rinses off easy and can entertain for … well, several minutes at least! I have held story time in the hallway by the bathroom door while the two little ones decorate the walls.
Don’t Waste Your Money on Fancy Stuff
They really don’t need all those fancy Montessori toys. Some basic items like pipe cleaners, pool noodles, egg cartons and cotton balls can be very entertaining. I wrote a post recently about taming the chaos makers. Most of those items were from yard sales, goodwill, dollar stores or upcycled containers.
Love Your Crock Pot
You don’t have to sacrifice good food every night just because you’re in a toddler season. If you have a crock pot learn to love it. If you don’t have one, get one. My kiddos won’t touch most of what comes out of my crock pot, but it at least fixes the Mr. and I something yummy and grown up and provides for lunches for the next day. Some recipes, like chili, can be made in a larger quantity and leftovers frozen for busy day.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
I’m going to step on my own toes here. I don’t ask for help. I don’t even like to ask the Mr. for help. I wait until I’m at the end and really frustrated and I snap. *sigh* Don’t be me. Ask for help, and for goodness sake’s TAKE IT when it’s offered! I often assume the other person is just being polite but doesn’t really WANT to help and lie and say I’m okay…..I’m not. I needed that help and I should have taken it.
Include the Little Ones
Some days they just want to be a big kid too. If they are big enough to color, let them color while you read to the older ones. If you’re building a model out of clay or marshmellows, let them build something too. Do the big ones need reading practice? Let the older ones create an audio book for the little ones and then let them sit and listen to their special book while you teach.
Do you see a trend yet? Keep it simple, don’t be afraid to slow down, and relax. This is just a season. Like all seasons, it will fade away and a new one will take it’s place.
This post is a participation in the “10 in 10” link up with iHomeschool Network.
This blog hop is inspired by our dear friend and sister Angie of Many Little Blessings. We would love to have you join us during our ten week adventure. Please link up at Angie’s blog by clicking the image below.