Full disclosure: Rohan is not homeschooled full days. He attends a p/t Montessori place where he basically learns through play with a bunch of other adorable 4 year olds. Kaya is thoroughly jealous of Rohan going to “school.” She stages sit ins at her own personal picket line every time I bring her to drop off or pick up. It’s to the point now that I just drop her at my gram’s house, go pick up Ro, then scoop Kaya back up…just to avoid her protests. But, we felt sad that she felt left out so we have started “homeschooling” her. That wasn’t enough. She still begged to go to school, so she now attends “Library School.” (And she will tell you about her school, proudly.) It’s tricky having two different ages/stages to handle while helping them learn through play.
Here is how I handle homeschooling my toddler (2) and preschooler (4):
Remember that everything is homeschooling:
This is key for me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Everything you do at home is homeschooling whether you label it that or not. Our lilspongeybrained kids are always watching and soaking up what we do, say, and don’t say. Play and interacting with us as parents is about 99% of their days and that’s how they learn. So I intentionally make everything a learning opportunity. Whether it’s decorating the bathroom, or doing laundry, we find a way to make the task fun and educational. I also narrate my moves telling the why behind what I’m doing and ask the kids for input on it to get their wheels turning. (Most recently Kai asked me why I was going outside to shake the dirt out of a rug, I asked her why did she think I was doing it outside? She said because the rug is too cold in this house. -… I took the hint and turned down the A.C. hahaha)
Make a dedicated school zone:
Our old kitchen table has been moved to the family room and has been dubbed the “activity table” where we do our arts and crafts and “school” work. I help one kiddo at the table while the other one uses The Touch & Learn Activity Desk™ Deluxe by VTech®. We then will do an activity like clay play or kinetic sand together. The Touch & Learn Activity Desk™ Deluxe by VTech® is a hit in our house. Rohan absolutely loves the desk and calls it his “station” and it really is. It’s an interactive play center that has nursery rhymes, games to teach him concepts, reading, math and more as he goes along. It also transforms into an art center with an easel that he can use chalk on, or clip paper to, and it can even be a music center as well. Kaya likes “the station” and when it’s just the two of us at home she will pull it over to wherever I am and start doing her “school”work. (It’s very light but very sturdy.) It’s also easy to switch out the activities so the kids can be independent and play on their own.
Be creative (or…just lie.):
Remember that “Library School” Kaya goes to? Yeah…well that’s just story time at our local library. They lead a group of kids in singing songs, reading a few stories and doing a craft. It’s twice a week but when it’s not in session (or when we’re late) Kaya and I go and she does “puzzle class” using all the puzzles in the kid section, and we discovered the computer area for younger kids so she’ll start “computer class” too (Basically whatever computer games they have while mommy uses her laptop to do some work beside her.) So….yeah…we got a little creative with the titles… or maybe we just straight up lied to our two-year old… either way, she’s happy and learning through play!
Have special items for each child:
We share a lot in our house and try to instill sharing as a value with Rohan and Kaya…to an extent. We also know it’s important for them to have their own special items. So, with The Touch & Learn Activity Desk™ Deluxe by VTech®, we let them know that they have to share it. They each get a set amount of time with it each day. However, we also made it special for each of them by giving them both their own proprietary extension packs. Rohan has the Getting Ready for Kindergarten pack and Kaya has the Getting Ready for Preschool pack. I’m going to buy the Math pack for them both to share, though. They have 8 extension packs to choose from for ages 2 through 5 so it’ll take a long time before your child “ages out” of the desk. This was one of the best educational toys purchases I have made in a long while. I really love that both my 2 and 4 year old are able to get so much out of it. I really love that the volume has more than just high, low and off like so many other toys that talk and sing. The kids know to keep the volume lower when they’re using it next to mommy while she works. #win. Another great feature is that the legs can come off without too much effort. Kai prefers to sit down and use the desk as a laptop toy. Rohan likes to sit at the desk “station” using the stool that’s included. So not only can we customize the skill level, the subjects and transform the desk to an easel, we can also cater to each kid’s comfort preference.
Check out The Touch & Learn Activity Desk™ Deluxe by VTech®! If you have a curious toddler or preschooler I am certain they’ll love it and learn from it!
What subjects do your little ones love to learn about?
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