Thursday, February 21, 2008

Homeschooling For Toddlers

I was doing a little bit of searching on the internet for some ideas for structured learning time for Fritter. He's a little young (obviously) right now to do too much actual homeschooling, but I thought I could find something to get me inspired.

First, I found Catholic Homeschooling Resources. Those of you already doing homeschooling with your children probably already know about it. Actually, I could be one of the only people who didn't know about it, but that's ok. The page I found, and was most interested in, was Resources to Keep Toddlers Busy, which has a whole list of ideas and websites for homeschooling families to keep the little ones busy while the older ones are doing school work.

Scrolling down a bit, I came to this gem of a site, Brightly Beaming Resources. Again, I'm probably preaching to the choir on this one as well, but what a site! Katrina Lybbert is the author of the site, and she has drawn up curriculums for babies on up. I was interested in the toddler curriculum myself, and there, in a very easy to follow format, was exactly what I had been looking for to get us started.

I've decided to start from Lesson 1, even though it is geared for 13 month olds (not a big deal, right?). The site has ideas for reading, different play time activites, and really, it's not like she expects you to sit down and draw up an entire school day for your one year old. Most of the activities are done during the normal course of the day while helping your toddler in his development. For example, during changing time, you would say/sing the nursery rhyme for that week. In the morning, you would do a little bible verse as part of the morning reading.

I think I'm going to like this, because it's just structured enough to make me feel like I'm actually teaching Fritter something, but completely flexible enough for a very active, short attention spanned toddler.

I signed up for my very first library card as an adult a couple of months ago (I am a reader, I just have a hard time returning stuff, so I usually save myself the hassle and just buy the books I'm after), and this afternoon, I am picking up our first books for this lesson.(Eeh! I'm so excited!)

For reading time before bed we are getting:

For our poetry lesson, we are using:

And finally for Art Appreciation we will use:

I love the way this is set up, because it's not forceful at all. From the website...

The following suggestions are just that, suggestions. This is what works for us. Feel free to adapt the times to suit your family's needs. You will see that most activities can be done when you are already busy taking care of your toddler. It will not take much extra time each day to provide your toddler with many learning experiences.

If you like, you can set aside a block of about 1 hour in either the morning or evening to spend with your toddler playing at these different activities. I call this toddler time. Follow your child's interest, you may only spend 15 minutes together one day and an hour the next day. Continue as long as your toddler is having fun. Never force your toddler to do any of these activities.

I'll keep you posted on how this is working out for us.


Cheryl said...

Thanks for the links! I did use the letter of the week for my 2 middle dc when they were about 4 or 5. The site has grown and I like many of the ideas. I'm going to read more about the toddler ideas since I have a busy, bright almost 2 year old here now. I wish you well with your plans.

Anonymous said...

Hey cmerie!

I have been meaning to e-mail this link to you ever since I discovered it! The authoress is a Catholic mother of twelve (she converted) who uses the Montessori method of teaching. While I don't agree with quite everything in the Montessori method, I do think it is fabulous for young children. I have already ordered both "Mommy Teach Me" and "Mommy Teach Me To Read!" I have heard wonderful things about both books, and can hardly wait for them to arrive so I can start with the kids!!! Here it is:

Sorry I was so long winded!


Cmerie said...

Thank you for that link Kate. I'm planning on checking it out. I have heard of the Montessori method, but am not entirely sure what it is, as I'm still really a newbie at all this. Keep me posted on how the books work out for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great resources. I'm always trying to find things to do with my kids where they can learn. It's hard when they would rather play, watch tv or run around screaming and chasing the dogs. ;)