Homeschooling your toddler
Homeschooling wasn’t something I had planned. But when Kenisha reached a 1-year mark I quickly realized I had to get my game on. I realized that I had to be equipped to channelize my super active and smart toddler’s energy in the right direction. Those days I worked from home on my online venture (www.lulupu.com) and kept 1-2 hours dedicated to homeschooling.
I read about early child development and looked for ideas on homeschooling age appropriate activities online. I was lucky to have found an abundance of information and the Montessori Principle of teaching immediately caught my attention.
Dr. Montessori’s advice to’ follow the child’ stole my heart.
Each child is unique and observing the child and taking a cue from their interest to support their curiosity was exactly what I intended to do. Though you may decide to follow pure Montessori, I personally felt it was ok to mix and match and do our own thing that my daughter enjoyed.
Homeschooling helps to make transition to Preschool easy
At some point, we all would like our toddlers to join a preschool. But the transition is not always smooth. A new place, unfamiliar faces, children of same age, hours away from mummy and daddy isn’t a comforting factor for many toddlers.
Luckily, for us, the transition was very smooth. Touchwood. Homeschooling really helped us here. We began homeschooling when my daughter was around 12-13 months old. When she joined a pre school at 2 years of age, she settled within a week.
Read about ” WHY I CHOSE TO SEND MY 2-YEAR-OLD TO A MONTESSORI PRESCHOOL? ”
Simple early development activities to boost their cognitive, language, emotional and physical developments can be easily performed at homeschooling hours.
These will help in ease of transition to a play school where everything will feel familiar and a continuation of what they have done at home with you.
- Reading – at least for 20 minutes every day is very helpful to build language skills. At this stage, children soak up all the information! Ask questions like “where is the star”? “let’s find the duck”. check out “Top 10 Tips reading to your toddler“
- Teach body parts – We found a body part puzzle very useful along with few books. Songs and rhymes are another fun way to learn. The song “head shoulder knees and toes” was our favorite. We loved this particular puzzle – Fisher Price, Brilliant Basics Baby First Blocks
- Shapes and Numbers – Talk about shapes, colors, and number all day long. “Let’s find your red ball”, “we have one yellow mango to eat”, “mama is wearing a red T-shirt”. Suggested toys – Fisher Price Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack,
Fisher Price, Brilliant Basics Baby First Blocks
- Language Building – Talk to your child and sing nursery rhymes with actions. Watch them copy and perform for you. You can copy what they say and encourage a two-way communication.
- Name their emotions – Children begin showing emotions as early as 10-12 months. Help them identify and label the emotion. “Are you happy? Look how you are smiling” “Awe you want to play? I know you are feeling angry right now”
- Structured play – play activities that require them to follow instructions. As children love when they can accomplish simple tasks, it best to praise their efforts. Start with tasks like “get me your teddy”, “open the door”, “let’s put all the blocks in the green basket”
- Social Interaction – Kids learn a lot through your interaction with others. So let them watch how you shop at the supermarket, talk to other adults and kids. It helps them to learn socializing skills.
- Building Motor Skills – For gross motor skills outdoor play works the best. Unstructured play helps to teach them activities of push, pull, pick, drop, build, explore, throw, catch, kick and so much more. Consequently, it builds muscle strength which is important for more complex movements like walking and running.
- Fine Motor Skills – With the pincher grip development you can easily introduce chunky board puzzles and building blocks. We liked these blocks – Fisher Price Stack and Explore Blocks and puzzles – Melissa and Doug Farm Chunky Puzzle, Wooden Chunky Puzzle Aquatic Animal and Wooden Chunky Puzzle Shapes
- Everyday skills – encourage your toddler to use spoons, drink from an open cup, putting pants up or down. Again, these skills involve bother their small and big muscles and also gives them the ability to think and understand what they are doing.
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