What do you do with a toddler during homeschool?
It's one of the most frequent questions I see from homeschooling mamas, and I understand why! Toddlers can be incredibly disruptive and difficult to manage while you're trying to homeschool. I wanted to share a few ideas that have really helped us.
1. Spend time with the toddler first. Before you begin homeschooling, sit on the floor and play, read a book, play "tickle monster" to get their energy out. I've found this one-on-one time to be crucial to fill their little love tanks and help them be less disruptive when it's time to focus on older siblings.
2. Provide something for them to do: magna-tiles, duplos, puffy stickers that they're able to pull off by themselves, a train set. Play with them for a few minutes to help them engage with the activity before beginning to homeschool older children.
3. Encourage older siblings to help. While I'm working on math with one older child, the other is occupying his little brother. Then when it's time to do math with the other, they switch. This has been so helpful when I need to really focus for a short period of time.
4. Lower your expectations of how much you're going to get done during a set period of time. This used to really frustrate me... if we weren't able to finish homeschooling before lunch each day, I felt defeated. I've learned, though, that sometimes it's better to just wait until the toddler is napping, until Daddy is home and can help, or on weekends. Homeschool doesn't have to happen within set hours, and sometimes it's way less stressful outside of those morning hours.
5. Go outside! If it's possible, sit in the shade with your homeschooling children to read aloud or work on math while the toddler plays outside.
I hope these are helpful ideas! We are certainly still navigating this season and some days are better than others.