How to Homeschool a Toddler and Preschooler


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)

kaya peek

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!

library school


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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Laundry Homeschool – Learning Through Chores

“This post was sponsored by NEW! Tide purclean as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. 

cute mixed toddler holding bottle of detergent with a smile

You know I often share my Learning Through Play posts, but today we’re switching up to learning through chores. I’m a believer that with children, everything is learning. Even before Rohan could speak we’d do little games to teach him his shapes, colors and concepts on the low. Well I did the same with Kaya and one of the ways we work on colors and matching is through laundry!

Here are 4 ways Laundry can be a Homeschool activity:


Having the kids help separate laundry is great as a time-saver for me, and helps with learning colors. I started them with lights, darks and brights. They enjoy helping, and I enjoy not having to do it myself! As they get older they can start to separate further when items have multiple colors, or don’t fall exactly in one of the categories.


After the laundry is clean it’s awesome to have a little helper match up socks, or make piles of white tees or blue jeans. It’s fun for them, they love to help. And it also teaches them how things happen to make their way from the bathroom floor to clean in their drawer/closet. I like that my kids know that work goes into keeping up the house, and clean clothes don’t magically appear in their rooms.


Big vs small. Mommys vs Daddys. Wrinkled vs Smooth. Dirty vs Clean. ….heck even Stinky vs Smelling good! As you handle the laundry, seperate clothes, match them up and put them away there are plenty of opportunities to have little ones learn the concepts above. Simply asking “who’s is this?” and then “why?” can help them learn big/small or who things belong to.

Gym Class

When we’re finishing up the laundry I have Rohan run through the house to do a final check. I ask him to find any clothes that may be on the floor or on a bed, and bring it back to the laundry room. He gets a good workout and feels like an extra special helper (since it’s usually his job and not Kaya’s.)

target shopping cart filled with food supplies and tide

We recently started using Tide purclean (it’s new to the market but you can find it at Target stores) to clean our clothes because it’s a greener option. It has 65% bio-based ingredients. I feel better about having the kids help with the laundry when we’re using something less toxic since they take turns pouring (and always….all. ways. spill.)

If you want to try Tide purclean you can save $1.00 using the neckhanger and also save 10% on Cartwheel (you BETTER be using the Cartwheel app when you go to Target.)

tide logo purclean at target

Do your little ones learn through chores too?

Summer Camp at Home – Health & Fitness For Kids


I’ve joined forces with other mom bloggers to bring you the Summer Camp At Home series to inspire you on how to make an interesting, educational and (most importantly) FUN week by week “summer camp” while your children are home for the summer.

Here are the other subjects in our Summer Camp At Home series:

Check them all out when you get a chance.

Today’s subject is Health & Fitness!

Health & Fitness is an important subject for kids of all ages. The resources below are how to get kids active and teach about the body/food, as it relates to health and fitness, in an age appropriate way for young children. I broke it down by the different “times” we have each day in our house:

my 2 kids

Story Time:

Here are some books that can help teach health and fitness to kids:

healthy nutrition books for kids

Snack Time:

Snack and meal times are great opportunities for teaching the principles of healthy eating, and how food impacts the body. For young kids you can tell them how what they’re eating helps them.

Being specific helps, instead of saying “eat your greens so you get big and strong” you can say “this milk has calcium which helps keeps your bones hard and strong!”

Here’s something you can use to help facilitate that, mom:

foods in your body what foods do in your body

For days on the go, or when you want a quick healthy snack you can pick up treats from FreshKids (one of our fave brands for nonGMO snacks for the kiddies), or have fresh fruit and veggies readily available. We always have “grab and go” fruits available like berries, grapes and peeled sliced apples.

Making smoothies, fruit salads and bento boxes together is a fun way to make snack time an enjoyable learning opportunity.

fruit salad

(click here for fruit salad recipe)

greensmoothie lunch bento box

(bento lunch ideas here)

Be sure to talk about each ingredient and the benefit it has on your body as your child adds it to the dish. Great crossover learning opportunity with colors, textures, measurement, weight, etc.

Time to hydrate!

summer fun outside okdani


Drinking water is crucial for kids and adults alike. I’m grateful that my kids will chug whatever I give them (for now at least) but if your little ones are not fans of water, have them make their own fruit infused water. Get them their own infusion bottle to make it more special.

(click images below for details on each bottle)


Lesson Time:

Making learning fun is key to having lessons absorbed and retained in little brains. Learning through play is everything at younger ages.


(Get them all HERE)

Screen Time:

I used to be against TV and screen times but I have loosened up a lot. I’m glad we have screen time (in moderation) because Ro has learned so much from youtube. You can find fun active games and activities by a simple search. Also you can find learning songs about nutrition, the human body and any health subject you wish!

shaun t fit kids

Shaun T’s Fit Kids Video – Perfect for rainy days or too hot for outside play days. Shaun T takes kids through fun “workouts” helping them stay active, learn to love exercise and enjoying every minute of it. He emphasizes the importance of staying fit and healthy and teaches as he goes.

Play Time:

Here are some fun playtime activities to help kids get active for increased health & fitness:

Things we do in our house: 


Old School Games: 

  • Tag / Freeze Tag – indoors or outdoors
  • Duck Duck Goose – indoors or outdoors
  • Trampoline games
  • Playground time
  • Hopscotch – You can do this indoors using tape on the floor on really hot days
  • Roller Skating / Bike Riding
  • Neighborhood walks

My kids see me working out a lot so one of our favorite games is to let each child take turns being the “personal trainer” and leading the workout class. Whatever silly move your child makes up, you have to do it. Everyone gets more active and your kids get to be creative and feel empowered.

Toys that promote health and fitness: 

balance board

Duck Walker – Agility Balance Board This helps kids with agility, balance, and it’s just fun. You can set it up as part of an obstacle course, or just have it as an item available for indoor/outdoor play.

ROX – This game is geared to #getkidsmoving and is tons of fun – Kids can use their imagination as well as their bodies to create many game varieties with the Rox pods. Find it Here


Gonge Riverstones – Great for balance and agility, coordination, and can be used as part of a game like tag or on its own.


Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper – It’s a pogo stick….’nuff said. Let your kids jump themselves silly!

Fun Activities to Get Active: 

25bfe0c4d287e46677f8b6608f60cf48    bd3897b7642bacf1ecd84b1d6c0602c5

An alternative to making the paper dice above is to:

  • write different moves on pieces of paper and place in a jar
  • write different times on pieces of paper and place in another jar
  • have each child pick one piece of paper from each jar and do the move for the amount of time indicated

Nap Time:

blissful silence

Explain to kids why nap time is important and helps them stay healthy. Remind them that their bodies heal and grow while they’re asleep!

A couple books that can help with naptime are:

  1. Naptime
  2. The Rabbit who Wants to Fall Asleep

Doing a bit of yoga to wind down before nap is also a fun and healthy activity for summer and all year round. Choose 5 poses from the image below to get kids stretched out and relaxed before they head to dreamland:

As a quick before nap sequence I’d suggest: Standing fold – Standing bend – Cat – Cow – Seated Front Bend – Lie and Rest

kids yoga

If you have older children/teens you can expand the Health & Fitness “lessons” to include biology, anatomy and physiology while still being fun!

  1. Nutrition Lessons for ages 10+
  2. Digestive System for Kids


How do you get your kids active during the summer?

6 Ways To Encourage Reading in Kids

My little readers and I are partnering with Speakaboos via Type A Parent for this post.

my 2 kids

My mom made both my brother and I into bookworms and I’m grateful for it. I want to do the same for my littles. I want to encourage a love of reading (and a love of words in general) in them and not just while they’re little bits. I remember turning down party invites because I was too close to the end of a good book. And then trying to force everyone I know to read it so we could talk about it. I hope my kids get big into reading and I’m doing everything I can to foster it.

If you’re down, here are some ways you can do it too:

Read to them often

Reading to them at bed time is almost a given these days. It’s great for bonding, and helping kids love books. Reading to them throughout the day is a great bonus. (random book-reading is one of the ways I bribe them for good behavior)

Have them to read to you

You’ve never heard “Go Dog Go” until my son reads it to you. There are dragons, volcanos, children eating dinner…no dogs. Haha. His imagination goes wild. Once in a while he will truly “read” the story from memory. I know with older kids, switching the bedtime routine from you reading to them to them reading to you is a great way to keep the night time bonding going strong as they grow up.

kaya loves speakaboos

Encourage them to read on their own.

We are about to start a literature-based homeschooling curriculum with the kids that has us reading tons of books over and over. We have a “quiet time” each late afternoon where we do our independent reading. They can choose books from the bins or use the education and/or reading apps on one of our tablets. We recently started using Speakaboos which is a great tool. The kids can read on their own and interact with stories, learn languages, or be read to. (Did you see my instagram vid of the two monsters getting along peacefully using the app?! *glorious*)


Use technology

I love using screen time to encourage a love of reading in Kai and Ro. We have the Speakaboos app on my phone, John’s phone, his tablet and mine just so we’re always covered to avoid a meltdown. Both kids can use the app on different devices at the same time, and they both can click on things that interest them. Sesame Street, Sid the Science Kid, Little Pim and Thomas get the most play but they’re starting to branch out. The app was really intuitive too. I just opened it and handed it to Ro to see what would happen and he immediately found his homeboy Elmo and picked a song, then some stories. It was great to see he (and his sister) could be independent with it.

3 lil pigs

Let them pick their own books

We head to the library often. I will choose a few books that I think the children might like, but for the most part they pick their own books for the week. Rohan’s almost always have vehicles, space or lego represented. Kaya picks anything with a picture she recognizes… We’ve gotten the same autumn hello kitty book over and over.

Let them see you reading independently

I’m always reading something. (You already know) and if the kids see me reading they will grab their books or a tablet and come next to me and “read” too. I also try to read out loud if I’m following a recipe (like almost never…but still) or reading the directions on something.

Any exposure to reading the written word is good for kids this age. I figure if I start early (like…we started at birth lmao) they’ll know no other life other than a life of reading.

And now…. a giveaway!!

speakaboos giveaway

Speakaboos 1 Year Subscription Giveaway

We are big readers here and embrace learning through screen time so I am excited to partner with Speakaboos for this post and giveaway. Opinions are all my own.

We’re Learning Spanish!


So a couple months ago, I was having a really rough day with the kids. I had a migraine and it’s like Rohan was a shark smelling blood in the water. His behavior was so horrible. Bad language, hitting, defiance, destroying stuff… I wanted to punch him. Kai was no better. Whining, and instigating stuff with Ro… And the both of them were so loud and just little menaces.


In a last ditch effort to get them to be rapt for a minute while I got some coffee and hid from them…I turned on Daniel Tiger, which usually works.
Not this time.

They both were just on me. Wrapping around my legs, hitting and pushing each other, pulling at my clothes, whining in that annoying tone…you know the one tone that just slices your patience to shreds….

im gunna kill you

I snapped.

I don’t know where it came from.

I just started buggin out, yelling at them… in Spanish. I walked over to the couch and slapped it with both hands and said Ninos sientate aqui! They legit looked at each other like…um…what the F is going on? and just kinda dawdled in the kitchen, so I shouted AHORRRAAAHHH!!!! and slapped the couch again and again like a crazy lady.

They both ran over and sat their little confused butts on the couch tho. And they were quiet. Stunned to silence no doubt. Eyes big as hell. So, for the rest of the day I just spoke to them in Spanish. I’d gesture to let them know what I was saying, and I’d make them repeat what I wanted them to say “por favor” “gracias” etc…

I’m not 100% fluent yet but I’m pretty good. Definitely understand way more than I can say, and that’s mostly confidence-based vs knowledge-based…KWIM?. I’ve learned a good amount from friends and family, school and Guatemala….and living in Washington Heights for years :). But I know enough to get by. Once I’m in a Spanish speaking place it’s like everything I know kinda rushes back into my accessible memory.


Later that day, I really needed a break so I turned on youtube on the TV and just said “learn spanish for kids” into the controller and something I’d never heard of (but now totally love) popped up. Little Pim. Do you know it? I put the kids back on the couch and they watched little pim and repeated the shapes and colors and numbers and whatever little words they were learning with the panda on the screen.  Well… Rohan did. Kaya just watched.

It was actually really amazing to observe Rohan during this. When I was talking to him in Spanish, he was looking in my eyes, at my body sooo intently. You could see him trying to get all the clues of what was going on so he could understand. His gears were totally turning and he was full engaged…it was beautiful.

By the end of the day Rohan was “speaking Spanish” to Kaya. It was gibberish….sounded like “esca dasca esca dasca” over and over with different intonation lol, but it works. He points and gestures while escadasaca-ing and she responds in English with what seems to be the right answer!

Next day, after breakfast I was playing with them as usual and Rohan was like “No mommy, talk spanish.” So I started doing Spanish mornings from there on. We’d be mostly spanish in the mornings until after their nap. I let them watch Little Pim, and we got some Spanish DVDs from the library.

I realized how limited my Spanish is from doing this little exercise with them. I have to look up vocab words a lot and I’m crap at talking in the past tense. I picked up Pimsleur from the library (but honestly haven’t played a single cd yet lol.)

Honestly, over the past month it has waned….I got lazy and eventually Rohan stopped reminding me. It wasn’t until I was planning for my Hispanicize trip that I got my renewed intention to improve my Spanish and teach the kids some more. John knows a little bit of Spanish from friends and his travels to Ecuador but he’s way worse than me so he needs to step his game up too.

So for the kids here’s my plan:

  • Watching: Plaza Sesamo, Little Pim, (and if I can find one of their fave shows in Spanish)
  • Reading: Spanish books from the library (we started this and both kids seem to love it!)
  • Speaking: Talking to them only in spanish at least part of the day (and making them repeat and try too)
  • Listening: I’m going to play spanish music throughout the day (will they love ricky martin too?!)

That’s it for now. I’m not going bucknuts with it. I have no idea how to teach kids Spanish other than letting them get immersed in it like they were with English. #unschool?


I want it to be fun, but I want their ears to get used to Spanish as they memorize some basics. Ro knows his colors and numbers 1-10 in Spanish. Kai is just soaking it in for now.

(When I point to something blue and say Que color es? She’s like “Blue” So I respond “Dime en espanol Kaisy, tell me in Spanish”  She looks at me like I’m slow and says “BLUE” louder.  So…we’ll work on her slowly. lol)

For John and I, my plan is:

We have Rosetta Stone… but… I know myself…. I’m not going to use it right now. (I may let Ro try it instead)

So I figure we’ll listen to the Pimsleur CDs during the day and in the car at random. I’m going to find a telenovela to get sucked into also. And find a great movie in Spanish. (Y Tu Mama Tambien is one of my faves!) That helps me remember how much I actually know.

I look forward to being fluent and truly bilingual. I hope to do the same for my children.

Hablas Espanol?

Any tips, ideas or resources for us?!