Please be advised that this post does not offer a solution to the seeming impossibility of getting through a day of homeschooling older children with a toddler underfoot without frustration, tears, or an disastrously messy house. I’ve read all those posts, and frankly, the impossibility is not seeming, it is actual.
No, I’m not going to share with you 10 ways to keep your toddler busy for a solid hour so that you will be freed up to study Shakespeare uninterrupted with your older children because:
(A) all those Pinteresty toddler activities require more time to set up/clean up than you will get back in peace and quiet, and
(B) toddlers are only completely occupied when they are up to no good. Ahem.
I’m just going to share with you how I am currently homeschooling my 8 and 5-year-olds while my 19-month-old attempts to burn the house down, electrocute herself, or make herself a snack. I’m sure she was trying to do one of those things yesterday when I caught her putting a knife in the toaster and pressing the lever….
So this is how we homeschool with a toddler underfoot (or under the table, or ON the table):
We do morning time or read-alouds until I get tired of having the book ripped from my hand or sat on. Then we do something else and try again later.
We keep our lessons short and my girls take turns playing with or reading to the toddler while I work with their sibling. We move on to something else or take a break when said toddler climbs on top of the table, finds a pen and destroys someone’s work, or hangs off of mama’s leg sobbing.
We do our memory work with our memory card box during meals when the toddler is strapped into the high chair and can’t dump all the cards on the floor (which of course irreparably affects the whole system).
We stack unused chairs on the table or bungee them to the table to keep our little climber off, especially if we are working with paint, chalk, or markers.
We allow her to sit with us at the table and scribble or play with the math manipulatives until she climbs on the table or starts writing on the papers of others.
We kiss, tickle, and smile at her every time we walk past her.
We laugh at her antics.
We try to get her to repeat funny words or imitate funny faces and laugh with her often.
We try to enjoy just about every moment of her cuteness and love her to bits. She’s just so much fun, and we know that all too soon she will be passed this challenging stage and into another.
Are you homeschooling with a toddler underfoot?