Though it may seem futile to “homeschool” a toddler, I fully intend to do just that with my Squeaker. I’ve already talked about how I’m preparing to homeschool my toddler and I’ve finally gotten around to figuring out what we’re going to do. When we finally get around to formal homeschooling, I do intend to do a year round method. I think this will just work better for us but that won’t be until we’re ready for kindergarten or first grade. Until then, I want to keep our homeschooling informal, fun, and playful with a hint of education. So here’s how we’re planning our tot school year.
First things first, I want this to be about learning through playing, exploring, and every day experiences. We’ll take walks, go to the park, read books, play with toys, dress up, make messes in the kitchen, and just enjoy the every day. That doesn’t mean that I won’t try to sneak some educational things in there, of course.
But we don’t need a lot to make a lot out of our first year of tot school.
With homemade items and things that we have around the house, we can do plenty of learning projects.
Not to mention the wealth of information to be found on homeschooling blogs and Pinterest. And if you’re looking for an introduction to Tot School, be sure to check out 1+1+1=1 … she’s the creator, after all and she offers a free eBook to help you get started!
If Squeaker is agreeable to it, we’ll do informal units. Things like farm animals, our community, food, colors, shapes, etc. This isn’t going to be anything that’s rigidly planned out because I know it won’t work.
We will do some things regularly like our calendar and reading. But I want to keep our schedule flexible and open. I know that I can at least start to introduce some semblance of routine and structure into our homeschool but I also know that I want to keep it open enough to allow for a spur of the moment trip or activity.
Planning our first year of tot school isn’t that involved.
We’ll do a few things around themes based on her interests. And if she decides that she doesn’t want to work on that, we’ll move along.
She’s a toddler and for me to plan out a day is unrealistic. I need to let her be young and to let her play.
I’ll set out stations for her to explore and we’ll incorporate elements of Montessori and Reggio Emilia into our tot school.
But will we have lesson plans? Absolutely not. That may come into use next year or the year after that, but not this year.
Because she’s a toddler. And I need to let her be a toddler.
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Hi! Thanks for sharing this. I too am planning Tot School this fall for Gianna (20 mo). I found several posts on the Spielgaben method on livingmontessorinow.com and think I will make up some of the manipulatives since I can’t afford the real thing. So we’ll work on colors, stacking, abc’s. I really like the idea of focused learning through play so there will be certain toys only for Tot School Time. =D Our library here has a wonderful storytime with a craft each week and Gianna loves it. It’s free and takes up about an hour of our time… Read more »
I’d love to do some of the Spielgaben stuff with my daughter but there’s no way I could afford the real thing either. It does seem like a very useful multi-tool to have though.
And that sounds like a great plan 🙂
Great ideas! I have a 2 year old and I agree. You seem to have a good balance of intentional vs. responding to your child’s needs. I am shocked how much learning my child does just based on spur of the moment conversations. We go to the library about twice a week and so we check out books and then go from there to explore different concepts.
It really is amazing how much they soak up at this stage, isn’t it?
Yes, usually good things but sometimes habits you wish they wouldn’t learn. 🙂
My Bright Blue House
So very true 🙂
Congrats on being featured on Tot School!