Friday, April 19, 2013

Toddlers and Homeschool

Toddlers are....entertaining. My toddler is entertaining and a little bit evil; just kidding...mostly. I give him props for being the most destructive/creative out of my six kids. His sweet angelic face is the best disguise I've ever seen. One of his recent favorites is nail polish; he has painted a lot of things. I put a ban on all nail polish and made the girls throw everything away, but the sneaky little guy found some more and painted his sister's fingernails in her sleep. Oh, and then painted her drawers, her bed, his clothes, his body...this could go on for a while.

So what does one do with a toddler while homeschooling? I've tried the "let them run wild" method, and it doesn't work out so well :). Honestly, some kids are easier than others. Some kids are content to just sit by you and color; I don't have one of those, but I'm sure they do exist. I have the "I want to jump all over you and color all over the walls" kind of kids. Those kinds of kids make for better stories. 

Several years ago when my six year old was only two he was a wild one as well. He even ran away down the street buck naked, unfortunately more than once. I felt so exhausted and desperate I came to my husband in tears and asked if it was OK to tie him to me? My husband didn't think that was the best idea.

Luckily for my wild baby, I've learned some better ways to homeschool while raising a toddler. What I've noticed that helps the most is making sure the toddler feels included. When we play a game, he gets his own game piece and dice. He likes to pretend to take a turn and pretends to count. If we're making lap books or working on a painting project, he wants to make one too. The more I include him, the happier he is, and the less destructive he is.

Another great way to homeschool while having a toddler is to have one of the older siblings take turns playing with them. On warm days the baby is so very happy to go outside, or loves to sit in someone's lap while they read to him. 

And when all else fails and they're still naughty, just take their picture and laugh. Come what may and love it!

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