7 Pro tips to Homeschool with a Toddler at Home

This year while I homeschool my older kids we also have a 3 year old, a two year old and a new baby. In fact, I have always homeschooled with a toddler or two underfoot. And let me tell you, it is completely possible to homeschool with a toddler in the house as long as you are prepared.

1- Give Toddlers Attention First

Every morning, my littles get up first. It’s almost like clockwork. So we spend the morning’s together with me sipping my coffee, getting morning cuddles, and reading together. It’s a special time just with us. It makes a world of difference. Their little attention bucket is deep and empties quicker than older kids. Sometimes when they are interrupting school, it’s better to take a 10 minute break and do something silly and fun with them. I say something like, “Okay we are going to take a 10 minute break and play with you, but when time is over, we have to finish school.”

2- Let the Big Kids Take Turns Playing with them

We rotate who is working one on one with me. The kids who aren’t doing schoolwork are playing with their younger siblings. We have floor puzzles and games like Elefun and other toddler games that keep them entertained. Then my bigger kids don’t have to figure out what to play with them. The only time they are allowed to play with those things is school time (or when I am working). So they stay special. It makes it really easy to keep the toddlers entertained while we homeschool. It’s best if they can play those games in a room not adjacent to where you are homeschooling. Otherwise, you may just wind up with a distracted student.

3- Include Toddlers in the Homeschooling Time

One of the best tips I can give is to include them in the day. They are curious little kids. So when we do reading the littles come and listen too. During table work, if there is a kiddo we just can’t shake like my two-year-old, I hand her some paper and pens and let her scribble like she is doing school work too. She loves to be included and she even wants me to look over her work just like her siblings. Just recently I was working on letters with my 5 year old when my not quite two year old started singing her ABC’s! I had no idea she had learned that. She could even point some out. I was blown away. She had picked all of it up from just sitting at the table while we worked.

4- Busy Boxes and Busy Bags

Busy boxes and busy bags that are exclusively allowed to be played with during school time are a great way to keep toddlers busy while you homeschool. I have curated a Pinterest board that has tons of really great busy box ideas. Follow my board here.

5-Take Advantage of Nap Time

You have to plan your day around your little ones. Figure out what you need to do school wise and what your toddler’s typical day looks like. Most toddlers still take naps. Sometimes the best way to homeschool with a toddler is to do it while they are asleep. Naptime is the best time to tackle more difficult schoolwork that requires a lot of concentration.

At our house, reading lessons and most of my 5 year old’s school work is tackled during nap time. It works out perfectly because the older kids can knock their work out early and have the afternoon for free time.

6- Short Burst of Screen Time

Two girls snuggled on the couch watching a cell phone for some screen time.

Screen time is usually our last resort around here, but we do need to get school done. Some days this is how we homeschool with a toddler. So we simply put on Blippi or PBS kids and let the littles get 30 minutes to an hour of screen time. This allows us to really push hard to get a lot of school work done. You would be surprised that without distractions how quickly your kids can get through their assignments. Plus my kids have learned so much from educational programs.

7- When All Else Fails, Take it Outside

Toddlers playing together in some rocks with a ball.
Playing outside is always a winner here.

There are some days where nothing is helping. The toddlers are still going crazy and disrupting. Days like we pack up our schoolwork and head to the park or out to the backyard. Doing school outside is a good way for the littles to stay active and the big kids can still work. Plus it’s a big incentive for the big kids to get done so they can go play too.

I would love to hear any tips other homeschoolers may have.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *