When the kids come inside from playing in the snow, I always let them have some hot cocoa to help them warm up. I decided to sneak a tiny bit of learning in on a day when it was too yucky to go outside! We practiced “marshmallow math” at the kitchen table. Marshmallow counting was perfect for a preschooler. Marshmallow addition (and subtraction) keeps my older child busy. Continue Reading
Baby Strawberry is already 20 months old. I don’t notice homeschooling a toddler as much as homeschooling an older child because the things the toddler learns appear so simple. But as I watch her progress from hour to hour, I am amazed at how her every moment provides learning opportunities that will build on each other.
When my son was that age, I was going through a rough time. My husband was traveling weekly, my son was completely unintelligible, and I faced long days alone with a screaming toddler. I had no intention of homeschooling him, and I lived for the days when I knew I’d have a break.
It wasn’t until Raisin started reading to me (at age 3) that I began to think of homeschooling. I had read to him by the hour some days, and I had nurtured his natural ability to learn, but I had never considered keeping him home, and I’d never considered myself as a teacher.
Now that I am actively homeschooling Raisin, I see toddler Strawberry in a completely new light. Of course, my situation is a little different (my husband is around every evening, for example). But as I teach my daughter sign language and then hear her begin to speak words, I see her development in the light of education. I see progress from day to day. I hear her learn a word one day and use it in conversation (one-year-old conversation, that is!) the next. Being able to watch her learn is a blessing.Continue Reading
I’ve been absent from this site for a few weeks, and mostly that is because I’ve been getting the hang of school! I think I’ve figured out what works for us and what does not.
My main struggle was figuring out what to do with Strawberry, now 20 months old, while Raisin and I do school subjects together. I tried doing school down in the play room so Strawberry could run and play unobstructed. This did not work because Raisin was too distracted by the playing and the toys! He’d whine about everything I asked him to do and not respond well. I don’t blame him: seeing and hearing trains and cars all around him does not provide a good learning space.
We moved back upstairs to our school room. While Raisin does his math pages, I sit with Strawberry and direct her in an activity: drawing on the doodle pad, stickers, and so forth. Then, I try to distract her with a certain toy (rotating through them over the course of the week) so I can give Raisin direction. He has some subjects he can do independently, and others we must wait until Strawberry goes down for a nap or definitely gets distracted by a book or toy. It is not easy but it works.
Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays are days like this. We try to finish long before lunch so we can go to the library for a break. Other times we eat and then go to the library. On Tuesdays, we school in the morning, and then after lunch, we have a park district homeschool P.E. class (swim and gym). We return at dinner time. Wednesdays we leave by 9 a.m. to go to co-op. We won’t return until mid-afternoon.
On Fridays, I’ve been trying to make sure we’re finished in enough time to have a fun time at the end of the day. Last week, we had Raisin’s birthday party with friends! It was a blast to pull it together (it had a train theme) and it was lots of fun to see the kids enjoying themselves so much.
And that’s a week! I’m still constantly revamping our curriculum choices…but more about that another time!
How does your homeschooling week typically look? How do you one-on-one teach with little ones underfoot?
My son resists handwriting practice so I have been pondering ways to get him to practice his writing. I also am teaching a writing class at our weekly co-op so I thought I’d list some ways that we get writing around here, both handwriting practice and story and creativity practiceContinue Reading