Advice Needed: How do YOU homeschool with a toddler?

We’re approaching the end of our first homeschooling year. And, honestly, it has been great. I have learned a lot about what works for my kids and what doesn’t. I’ve learned that I need to be more organized and I need  (at the very least) a loose schedule for the day. That I can do.

Homeschooling Kai and Ivy together has been a relatively easy task. Ivy gets to experience more advanced subject work and I’m still able to work with her on her level. The only big issue I’m having? Traveler.

He’s mobile. Like, really, mobile. And I hate to stick him in the playpen all day. Or (even worse) plop him down in front of Sesame Street forever. But he’s super distracting to the girls during school. And his naptimes aren’t exactly reliable lately.

So, what do I do?

No, really. You tell me. What do you do? Some of their work can be self-directed but I really want to be a part of their hands-on learning. So, homeschooling parents who have toddlers in the mix, what are your suggestions for keeping everybody learning without resorting to TV or the dreaded baby cage? I would really appreciate your advice!


  1. if you have open-ended learning materials & books available for the toddler and encourage all three in self-directed learning, they can share what they are doing with you and with each other, you can observe and support each of them, and you can give each some one-on-one attention. setting up an environment where they can work independently is key.

  2. My mom homeschooled us for a long time (for me, second grade up to my junior year of high school). My sister is 4 years younger and brother 8 years younger. I can remember doing a great deal of teaching my brother. For example, we were doing a science unit on the eye and color. My assignment was to make a book about color for my little brother.

    I don’t know if it is still around, but you might want to look at KONOS. We did a unit where we built a model of an ear under the table and my brother crawled through it. Lots of active things where a mobile little brother isn’t a hassle.

  3. i’ve found that if i get my toddler started on something first- something that i KNOW will hold his attention for at least 10 minutes- then i can work with BigGirl with her school work. i love the little DIY sensory and manipulative boxes: we have one with different sized spoons and dry beans, and we have another with a few different padlocks and keys. the train table is also a big hit. also, i made a few photo albums with pictures of our friends and family and those seem to hold his attention for a little longer. if i can lock him in the booster/high chair with play-doh or crayons, he’s good to go for long enough. hope this helps!

    …you could always give him a cupcake and let him go to town while you & the girls school 😉

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