Homeschooling with a toddler in tow

By Jessica Pilton | jessicapilton.com

Alannah is focused. There is a certain ‘zen’ about her level of concentration as she circles and draws in her maths book. Usually things don’t look totally 'schoolish' here but Alannah really enjoys maths worksheets – something she didn’t get from me! She asks what the words are and I read them to her, or we read them together. Her little eyebrows crinkle as she thinks about the answer. Her hand makes the move to circle the pattern then – Watch out! Toddler alert!

“Mum! He’s coming! Get him! Get him!” she yells.

Homeschooling with a toddler is fun…

And slightly chaotic.

My lovely blogger friend and fellow homeschooling mama Kirstee over at Forage and Forge recently penned a post on homeschooling with a toddler. She had some fantastic tips, so when you're done here, do yourself a favour and go read her post, it’s really good. Her post inspired me to write some of my hints and tips for homeschooling with toddler, or as we say in our house 'The Destroyer'.

Get outdoors

This is what has been working for us lately. The girls will bring their work or colouring and drawing to a table I have set up just for them. Mason is enthralled by nature and the will to conquer anything taller than him, and this overrides his need to be up in their space.

Why not try working outdoors? A change of scenery could not only help your busy toddler, but give your child a fresh burst of inspiration and a change of scenery.

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Connect with your toddler first

Filling their little love tanks before jumping into work with your older children can help. Imagine you're a tall glass of water and they are thirsty. If they have a “drink” (quality time) before you dive into the day with your older ones, usually they are inclined to play by themselves for sometime before needing another “drink”.

Accept the chaos

This might not be the answer you were hoping for. But accepting that things will be a bit crazy while having a toddler in the family is your best bet to enjoying the homeschooling experience a whole lot more. There will be good days when everything flows and everyone gets on well. And there will be bad days when the toddler tips out the jarred spices while you're reading books to your older ones (yep, my house smelt of cumin for days. Days.) It’s part and parcel of homeschooling with a toddler. Some days setting up activities to entertain your youngest will work, other days the repeated TV show will go on again so you will feel like you get something done. I feel your pain. I really do.

In the end, I was too late to save Alannah from 'The Destroyer.' Mason, our 2-year-old, got on the table. He loves ‘helping’ his sister. He loves drawing in her books. Loves throwing her pencils on the floor.

Yep.

He also loves throwing her concentration. After he threw her pencils it was all over, red rover and she was off, on to the next thing.

Homeschooling with a toddler is fun… It is chaotic. But I’m accepting the chaos each day as it comes, or at least trying to enjoy these days that I will probably look back on fondly. Probably...

What are your tips for homeschooling with a toddler?

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Jessica Pilton

Contributor

Jess is a wife and homeschooling mother to three. She blogs about her life homesteading on a nine-acre property in Perth, Australia, with a focus on grace-based parenting and home education. You can find Jess' writing at jessicapilton.com and on Instagram and Facebook.