I would like to begin this post by letting you know that it is not my writing that you will be reading. I have never had to homeschool any children while having toddlers in the house, but I have lots of friends who have, and I know that this is a challenge for new homeschool moms. Therefore, I will be sharing a short article on the subject written by my friend, Mrs. Lefever. She wrote this for our local homeschool newsletter, The Scrawls:
Every year I get asked that question (the title of this article). It's been many years since I held not
only one of my own toddlers but my grandson, who's now eight years old, on my knee while I was explaining a math problem. (She has graduated four of her children already).
Homeschooling with toddlers can be a challenge but it can be done successfully.
First, be flexible. Not every homeschool day is going to look the same. Some days you'll get more accomplished than others and that's okay. (This applies to ALL homeschoolers).
Second, be creative. I used to keep a few boxes filled with toys that could only be played with during school time. I would keep all the boxes but one in the attic and then switch the box every few weeks, so the toys were always "new" to the child.
Keep your eyes open for real life lessons. While driving the van, I noticed one small cloud in the blue otherwise cloudless sky. I told the children about the story of Elijah (I Kings) praying for rain. Then we talked about different types of clouds and the weather forecast for the day. Science and Bible lessons done without a text book or a study guide, while driving to the doctor's office.
Third, you're a homeschool family. Have an older sibling read out loud to the younger ones. Have coloring books, play dough or special snacks on hand. "Washing dishes" in the kitchen sink was a favorite activity. Everything got wet but it was only water and 9 times out of 10 my kitchen floor needed washed anyway.
You will be surprised how much the younger children learn by just listening to you teach the older children. Remember...this time is only for a season, treasure it.