Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu homeschooling mamas.
I hope you have had a joy-filled productive homeschool week with your kiddos. Today’s post is some tips and tricks I thought I would share some tips on how to keep your toddler happy in your homeschool.
For me personally, the toddler ages have been harder than having a newborn. My son wants mummy’s time and attention more than ever now, and rightly so!I went through a period of homeschooling where I felt guilty I wasn’t giving my toddler what he needed, or it was cut short because I had the pressure of teaching the older kids, but alhamdulillah a few changes have helped immensely.
Fill their love tank.
It’s easy to get caught up in chores or making a start on dinner so you don’t have to worry about it later in the day. I used to do a quick tidy, meal prep, and fold laundry while my older kids got started on their first lesson of the day, memorising Quran. But what would happen is that when they were finished and needed me to listen to their memorisation and revision my toddler would be annoyed. He had already waited for me to finish some chores, and now I expected him to wait again! So, all my morning chores, except for a quick tidy after breakfast has gone out of the window. While the older kids are doing Quran, me and my son play our hearts out. Cars, modelling clay, dinosaurs, reading and just lots of undivided attention. It fills up his love tank, and starts our happy Muslim homeschool off on a happy note!
Having outdoor time early in the morning.
So for us, this has been the change that has had the most impact. We were used to going for walks and having outdoor time in the afternoons but scheduling them first thing in the morning has been fantastic. My son has something to look forward too, so after his love tank is filled he plays happily because he knows he has outdoor time to look forward to. This has actually been great for all my kiddos, its a nice break after their most intense subject of the day – we all come back feeling refreshed and the kids have a chance to burn off some energy.
Do activities they love-not what you’ve seen others doing.
Sometimes as homeschool mums we turned to Instagram and Pinterest for new ideas we can do with our little ones, which is great. The problem we fall into is getting so caught up in what looks nice, we sometimes forget what our little ones actually like to do. I remember going out one day and buying lots of puzzles and flashcard style games because I had seen others do so. The problem is my son doesn’t like puzzles!!! He likes cars, dinosaurs, playing with water, and us pretending to be superheroes rescuing people from lego buildings. He also isn’t such a fan of colouring, and paint doesn’t keep him excited for too long either. So now when I browse on Instagram, I look for things I know will interest him. To be honest we have the most fun improvising on the spot!
Let them sit next to you at table work time.
This might seem a little obvious to some, but I used to have a smaller desk for my son to play at while I taught the elders on a separate table when doing subjects like grammar. I would set it up with all of his favourite toys, and although his table was next to us, he would still disrupt the lesson! Then it occurred to me, he just wants to be with us, and in particular next to me. So now he sits next to me, and this means I can constantly take interest in what he’s doing, he can show me what he’s made/built, I can praise him and kiss and cuddle him all while managing to teach my elders.
Get them involved.
The most beautiful thing about homeschool is that every opportunity can be a learning opportunity and more importantly you have the abundance of time to spend with your children. My son loves to be in the kitchen with me, whether he’s telling me stories, showing me what he’s made, or peeling bananas with me for snack time. So now when im in the kitchen, I call him to join me! He props up his stool and we talk and giggle, all while dinner is being made. So if your kids like gardening or baking, don’t feel the need that everything needs to be meticulously planned, tell them to grab a spoon and get mixing or bring their lego car in the garden so they can make tracks in the dirt while you do some planting.
Lastly and most importantly enjoy the homeschooling journey with your little ones. They grow so quickly subhanAllah, we don’t want to feel like we missed out on such precious moments.
Share any tips and tips you have to keep your toddlers happy in your homeschool!