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Toddler Work -- Toddlers in a Homeschool Classroom

I feel like it's time for another co-op update! I haven't blogged too much about what we have been up to lately, but Montessori co-op has still been meeting once a week. I think the biggest change lately, is that we really aren't a "tot school" any more. Most of the children are solidly preschoolers. They have preschool attention spans, preschool interests and skills. But, this doesn't mean we have completely abandoned our toddler roots and we still have toddler work in our homeschool classroom.

We still have a couple toddlers in our classroom. They are siblings of the older children. So, the challenge is integrating the toddlers in a homeschool classroom that otherwise holds older child work. This is especially challenging with toddlers that are not easily distracted from the preschoolers work.

How do you keep toddlers busy in a homeschool classroom? Here are some Montessori inspired ideas on how to make homeschooling work with toddlers.

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Integrate Movement


What works for me has been NOT creating a toddler area. Instead, I've chosen to mix toddler work with preschool work and vice-versa. I think this gets the toddlers up and moving. And, I think we all know how important movement is to toddlers!


Create Similar Work


Also, I try to create work that is similar, but not necessarily equal for the toddlers. For example, I have a set of chalkboards out for the preschoolers right now -- to work on fine motor and writing skills. So, for the toddlers I have a blackboard pig, which is more open ended but begins these same skills.


Different Expectations


However, while the work might be similar, remember that toddlers are still toddlers. Don't hold toddlers to the same standards as the preschoolers. The toddlers do attempt to use preschool work often, but we don't expect them to be perfect or use it completely as it was shown. Sometimes, we need to be ok with varying how the work is completed.


Don't forget about sensory work


Finally, I try to make sure there are plenty of sensory experiences available. From our traditional sensorial materials to themed sensory bins, I try to give the toddlers and preschoolers the opportunity to explore their senses. This always keeps everyone busy!


Toddlers do add an element of chaos to the classroom, but they sure are fun! And I can't imagine not having them join us!

How do you keep toddlers busy in a homeschool classroom? Here are some Montessori inspired ideas on how to make homeschooling work with toddlers.

How do you deal with toddlers in your homeschool classroom? Share your tips! 


Comments

Kajsa and Fam said…
Thank you for this post. I am doing Montessori at home with my little ones and struggle to figure out how to include both my preschooler and toddler. Thanks for the reassurance that it can be done. :)
Unknown said…
where did you find your language cards? (the card with the picture of the elephant)

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