Homeschooling is a wonderful experience (most of the time). However, when you have a toddler/preschool age child home while you are trying to homeschool older children you will without a doubt have a few stressful days.
Between the ages of 2 and 5 a child’s work is his play. Most 2 to 5 year old children do not just want to be set in front of the television, nor should they be. But it is hard for a parent with so much to do to sit and keep a young child busy. Here we will discuss a few things that can be great for this age group and on some days hopefully provide you some sanity.
- TimeforLearning.com – This is a great online preschool program. Ideally you should do it with your child. It is not a baby sitter. However, it does not take long and it is a great chance to bond with your little one.
- Playdough – Can enough be said for the hours of time that small children spend when they are given some sort of molding clay? This fosters a child’s creative side and allows them to express themselves through being artistic.
- Outside play – When weather permits you should have a fenced yard that is safe for a small child to be out and play. Even older homeschool children need to be told to go out and play. We have children in our world today who think it is okay to sit at school all day, come home to sit and do homework, eat dinner and then sit and watch television or play video games. This is just not a good lifestyle. Physical fitness does need to be included in your homeschool subjects.
- Preschool Skills – All children need to learn to cut with scissors, hold a pencil, write their name, identify numbers and letters, and count. The list of what they can learn is long but most parents and even teachers underestimate what a child is really ready to be given. You can print off free worksheets from the Internet, you can get workbooks or you can just make certain manipulative’s and flashcards to get started.
- Toys – You may want to have a small box of toys that are just for “school time”. Your young child will be excited about having exclusive toys for a certain block of time. If you have enough toys to have two or three boxes you can rotate the toys periodically and the toys will seem like something new to be discovered for the toddler.
- Painting, coloring, dancing, singing, and “doing the dishes” are just a few things that you can try. Kids love to make pictures to display or send to people in the mail. Young children love the idea of snail mail. Even if you don’t do that you could scan them in and email them. Dancing and singing can be a wonderful time together. For doing the dishes we mean that you can fill a sink of water with bubbly water and give the child some dishes to wash. They will love “helping” you.
- Chores. Really if a child can walk, they can do simple things and they gain a huge sense of self esteem for it. For tiny children you can simply have them put their diapers in the trash can, take their laundry to the appropriate spot, pick up toys, dust furniture with socks on their hands, and wash the car with you. That’s just to name a few. As the child gets older they can do great activities like helping in the kitchen with cooking or putting the silverware away. This is a great matching game for toddlers and preschoolers. Children just love to be busy and feel like they are part of what is going on.