Pros and Challenges of Homeschooling Toddlers
If you’ve been considering homeschooling your toddler, this might be the route for you. Teaching toddlers using an online curriculum has many perks. Just to name a few- it allows for flexible scheduling with your toddler, you can pick and choose the classes you want to focus on, and you can do it anywhere and at anytime. While homeschooling your toddler, you can get the most out of your time with your child. You can teach them in small groups, one-on-one, or even in the car on the way to and from other scheduled activities. It allows you to tailor your teaching to the specific needs and abilities of your toddler.
Homeschooling your toddler comes with many of its own challenges, though, too. You might not know where to start as a parent going down this path. You want to teach your toddler everything they need to know, but you may struggle to get them to sit and listen to lessons. You wonder how you’re going to get your toddler to sit still for an hour, much less learn anything. You may not feel like your little one is learning anything from the online curriculum, and you’re worried that you’re not teaching them the things they need to learn. You may feel like you’re constantly repeating yourself and getting nowhere.
The overwhelmed feelings are completely normal and extremely common among parents learning to navigate how to start teaching their child at home. Here are five tips to help you begin your homeschooling journey with your little one:
One of the biggest challenges that many parents feel when they first get started with homeschooling toddlers is keeping their learning fun. First and foremost, if you aren’t having fun, your child won’t have fun. Keep it light and enjoyable. Children love to play- it’s in their nature! Do not try to squeeze in learning when you are having a bad day. If your child senses things are stressful, they will not have a good time. Always make sure you are feeling excited about the material you are going to cover. Your enthusiasm for the topic and the work you will be completing is contagious to your little one. It can be easy to get bogged down in the curriculum and lose sight of what’s most important- your child’s development and happiness. Join your toddler in the activities! For example, take a moment to color the coloring sheets with your child. All of these things will help your child enjoy the process of learning and want to continue day after day!
In order to successfully use a curriculum with your toddler, you need to allow your child to be involved in the decision- making process. Instead of sitting them down and forcing them to listen to you talk, allow them to get involved in their own education. There are lots of decisions that go into at home learning each day. Allow your child to be involved in making some of these decisions. Maybe it’s where to learn. Maybe it is the order of the topics. Allow your child to feel like they have some control in the process. This is especially beneficial for some children who struggle with having their days planned for them. When they feel like they have some control over their day, they tend to perform better at a given task. This will help them to feel like they are in control of their education and will make them more interested in learning.
Sitting for long periods of time can be boring- especially for an active child. Your toddler will learn best when they are actively engaged. One of the best ways to encourage this is through movement. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated- color the paper outside, cut out the puzzle pieces and hide them around the room. You may find your child has a better attention span when they have the ability to move around during their tasks. There are different learning styles- some of us learn by listening, others by moving, and others by seeing. 1 If your child learns by ‘doing’, you will likely find that you are able to cover more material and they retain it better by moving throughout the lesson.
Bounce back and forth between the two. Either of these can make a task can feel a little dull when performed alone. This gives your child a chance to explore the world on the computer which they’ll love. It also gives you an opportunity to incorporate workbooks into your curriculum. This gives you a chance to teach your little one while they’re actively engaged which will help them retain what you’re teaching. By mixing the two styles of learning, you may find that your child enjoys the tasks more and can maintain better attention for a given length of time.
Start small with the online curriculum you choose. Begin with one class or even a single topic per day. Each week you can add a new subject, and you can build on it week after week. By breaking up the process you and your child will feel much less overwhelmed. Ease into this, just as you would with any other big decision in your life.
One of the best ways to begin homeschooling your toddler is by simply starting. The best way to get your little one to listen to the lessons is to sit and do them together. You can read the material aloud, and your little one can follow along with you. Have fun and enjoy the process of giving your child the best start you can!
Are you looking for an online curriculum to begin teaching your toddler at home? Check out Masterminds Early Learning. We offer seven unique subjects to help boost your child’s development starting at 18 months to 6 years of age. Visit Mastermindearlylearning.com for more information.