September 26, 2008

Homeschooling Programs for Toddlers

A painter in to his work
Creative Commons License photo credit: jessicafm

Last week, I was looking for homeschooling programs for toddlers. You see, I’ve decided to homeschool my toddler. I’m not really a homeschooling Mom. My two older children attend regular school. I do consider myself a “blended schooling” Mom: I recognize my role as my children’s first teacher and teach them whatever I feel their schools cannot or do not teach. I’ve taught my two oldest children to read and, when they were still in secular schools, we had Catholic catechism at home. I also augmented my first daughter’s preparation for Holy Communion with special “classes” at home.

Well, now that I’m a stay and work at home Mom, I thought it would be great to homeschool the little one before he reaches school age. I spent a couple of hours online looking for homeschooling programs for toddlers. I was disappointed. The few that I found were paper-and-pencil activities, which in my opinion are not appropriate for two-year-olds.

[ad#ad-1] So I decided to make my own homeschooling program. I searched high and low on and finally picked the following resources:

homeschooling programs for toddlers

The Toddler’s Busy Book: 365 Creative Learning Games and Activities to Keep Your 1 1/2- to 3-Year-Old Busy

I have to admit, I chose this book because of the many glowing reviews. I was also attracted to the chapter on organizing for toddlers and how to stock arts and crafts materials. I like the variety of activities the book contains, including activities for the kitchen while Mom is cooking, water activities, nursery rhymes, music and movement, arts and crafts, outdoor activities, and traveling activities. Also, the author, Trish Kuffner, is a mother of 4 children; I always listen to advice from Moms who have more children than I do.

homeschool programs for toddlers art

First Art: Art Experience for Toddlers and Twos

I love art activities and when I discovered this book, I just had to buy it! It also comes highly recommended by the reviewers. I am particularly looking forward to the recipes for play dough, finger paints and goop. I can tell that my 8-year-old daughter will have fun with this book, too.

When we have settled into a homeschooling routine, I will order:

homeschooling programs toddler science

Science Play: Beginner Discoveries for 2- to 6-year-olds

Fun science activities using stuff around the house and backyard. I look forward to ordering this book soon!

Oh and for my third grader, who needs to memorize her times tables this year, I ordered:

homeschooling programs math

Multiplication Unplugged

This is a CD and book kit that helps kids memorize their times tables up to 12. I enjoyed using a similar material, “Times Tunes,” with my now 14-year-old. She had fun listening and easily memorized the times tables. Unfortunately, “Times Tunes” only comes in cassette and we no longer own a cassette player. I find Multiplication Unplugged to be not as much fun as “Times Tunes” but the songs are also memorable. I have no doubt my second daughter will soon know her multiplication through this CD – she memorizes parts of songs after hearing them only once!

So there you have it. I’ll be busy going over these books in the next few days and organizing my toddler homeschooling routine with my little tyke. Just browsing through these books, I can see that I will have a lot of shopping to do this weekend. Nothing fancy, just stuff like liquid cornstarch and food coloring.

Related Resources:

Homeschooling Articles – Everything from scheduling to reviews of homeschooling programs to famous homeschoolers.

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Alexis Rodrigo

  • Kari says:

    Hi! Happened upon this site by accident. It’s interesting… I’m an elementary education major, and your article on homeschooling your toddler caught my attention. It’s good to see you’re taking an active role in your children’s education–so many parents don’t have the time or don’t care. I’m due in June with our first–very excited! Using books to help you is a good start to find hands-on activities that make children curious and want to learn. One thing I wanted to say is about drilling math facts– it only works if the student understands the strategies to find the answer. For example, one strategy for addition facts is making a 10. Knowing all the facts that make 10 can help when adding others, like 9 plus 3. You make a ten first, and then add what’s left over. Or, knowing doubles, like 5 plus 5, 6 plus 6, 4 plus 4, 7 plus 7–all these help when you want to know 7 plus 6, you know to double six and then add one more! Then, when they learn the multiplication facts for 2, they already know that 2 means to double, so they use the addition doubling to find 7 x 2. For division facts, you think the opposite, relate to the multiplication fact. Instead of 32 divided by 8, you think what times 8 makes 32? Once your child has their strategies in place for facts 1-9, THEN you practice and drill.

  • Alexis says:

    @ Kari – Congratulations on your coming baby! I wish you a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth. Thank you for your suggestions on teaching math. They’re awesome! Will definitely backtrack and make sure my 8-year-old has her addition and division facts strategies in place. Hope you drop by again soon!

  • Jeanie says:

    I like your blog. It is a lot of info. I also write a mothering blog. It is about everything natural and instinctive at this point it is actually too spread out.
    I homeschooled all four of my kids at one point or another. I started with Calvert which is like trying to imitate the public schools. Then I went to Oak Meadow which is much calmer and based on the Waldorf Style of education where they focus on creativity till around 8 years old. They don’t press math and reading till after that because they believe it stunts the creative juices that are really developing then. They believe the age of reason really sets in around 8.
    I do believe it is true for some but every child is so different. The main thing is to not push any of it on them, just watch and observe what interest them and be ready to assist them with activities. Don’t stress what they know. They have different times when things click.
    Don’t forget to have fun. Laughter stays with you forever.

  • Jeanie says:

    Last comment had wrong address. I put com instead of org. It is late.
    What I forgot to say was in the end I unschooled which is where I just followed my own program, sounds like what you are doing. We even did highschool this way. They all seem to be going the college route and doing real good. I think I need to write a blog about this. You inspired me.
    .-= Jeanie´s last blog ..Silk Brand Soy Milk not Organic =-.

  • Tami says:

    Hello! I am a stay at home/ work at home mom of two as well, I run a dayhome and absolutely love it! I stummbled upon this article and wanted to suggest dayhome agency sites- they have excellent ideas for educating young children at home and on learning through play. I have learned so much about early childhood development since opening my dayhome. I was supprised to see that it was not listed here as a great way to earn money from home. I have enjoyed being able to care for other children whose parents have to work away from home as well as being able, in a way, to homeschool my own children. I care for up to six children at a time including my own and their ages range from One to six years. The children enjoy the social aspect as well a the individualized attention the recieve from coming to a dayhome as appossed to a daycare or preschool. I also wanted to thankyou for all of the wonderful information you share through your blogs and I am grateful to have found this site I look forward to incorporating these ideas. I belive they will greatly benefit my family!
    Many thanks.

  • [redacted] says:

    being part of every child’s education is a giant step for them to develop their skills and interests, I started mine in simple reading class, now we’ve move on to crafting

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