Over the holidays I took some time to renovate my blog as well as update several older posts. While updating my old tot school posts I began to reflect upon that time. I thought to myself “Why did I give up on tot school? It looked like we were having fun, each post gives an update on Caden’s progress, so he must have been learning. So why did I stop? He could have learned his ABCs and how to count by now.”
After some thought I realized that I gave up because Caden wasn’t interested in the standard tot school themes and printables, and I’m an all or nothing kind of gal, total type A. I wrote about this almost 2 years ago in “When it’s HARD to Follow Your Child’s Lead“. It didn’t occur to me that we could do tot school our own way, so I gave it all up in favor of going with Caden’s flow and doing whatever he wanted to. Which is completely okay, but I now realize you can do both!
As a toddler and even today Caden has a lot of energy and likes to move! Coloring and doing arts or crafts doesn’t often appeal to him, then or now. What I wish I did was ditch the printables, use themes that interested him and focused on activities that he enjoyed. If I could go back I would have lowered my expectations, planned a lot more gross motor/action games, play dough activities and sensory bins.
So let this be a lesson to you, if you find your toddler or preschooler isn’t interested in the standard, letter of the week themes and printables, don’t give up! Just stop what isn’t working and find something that will work. Toddlers are not meant to color worksheets. They need meaningful activities that interest them in order to learn.
After this ah-ha moment, I’ve started to plan fun and hands-on learning activities based on topics and themes that Caden seems to have an interest in. I’ve also been reading Project-Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert (affiliate link) which recommends this method with preschoolers. Currently I am planning to focus on activities that interest Caden and try to add in alphabet recognition activities, science, math and fine motor activities based on his interests, along with lots of great books and some art and crafts. I hope this is the start of finally finding our homeschool groove!
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