Deciding to homeschool your child is a big decision, but how do you homeschool with babies and toddlers around?
Babies are needy and once they become mobile toddlers they can get into all kinds of trouble when you are not looking. The good news is that I learned a few tricks over the years that helped me homeschool with babies and toddlers in the house and that you can use them to be successfully homeschool as well!
4 Steps to Homeschool with Babies and Toddlers in the House
When you have a newborn in the house that needs to be held and fed, what seems like 24/7, it can feel like you really can’t keep up with everything on your plate. With a newborn in the house, you should consider taking a break from homeschooling to allow your body time to heal and adjust to the changes a new baby brings to the entire family.
When you are ready to dive back in, there is one amazing tool to help make getting back to homeschooling much easier! Using a wrap-style carrier, you can babywear even the youngest newborns keeping them close and secure. They’ll be able to sleep and even nurse while you work with your other children to complete your daily home and homeschooling tasks.
Build a safe place for babies and toddlers to play
As your babies become more mobile they will not want to be strapped to your chest or sitting in a swing while you work with your older children. To help make homeschooling easier, set up a playpen or other safe play space for your baby or toddler in the same room you’re homeschooling.
To allow toddlers to learn and play, consider expanding this space and adding toddler-safe education tools to the area. Montessori-style toys, kitchen sets, and even small plastic slides can all be great assets to your toddler’s play space.
Setting up this space will provide your babies and/or toddlers with a safe place to play while you give your older kids some much-needed attention. It will also allow you to really focus on your time with your older kids.
Have older kids practice reading to the baby and the toddler
Reading practice is vital for kids to help build their reading skills. Having a baby or toddler to read to is better than a room full of stuffed animals any day.
Older kids can help to entertain your younger ones while working on their reading skills by reading aloud to them. This helps to build a love of reading for both siblings.
You can never read too much to a baby, making this one of the best ways to include your baby or toddler in your homeschool.
Don’t set expectations too high
Avoid overscheduling your lessons when you have a baby or toddler in your home. Not only does not overplanning help you to manage your day with your entire family, but it is also beneficial to keeping your older student from being overwhelmed.
When you, your baby, toddler or even your older kids need a break from homeschooling, relax and breathe. This is a perfect time and opportunity to allow your children some independent learning time.
Keep in mind homeschooling isn’t like going to school. Your kids do not have to spend 8 hours a day learning.
There will be days when homeschooling just doesn’t happen. That is 100% ok and normal.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle, it isn’t about sitting down and doing school from 8am-2pm. As your family grows and changes, so will your homeschool.
Be thankful for the growth. Embrace the changes. Continue to learn.