2-year-olds - Ideas for occupying

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am

2-year-olds - Ideas for occupying

Unread post by niki »

lyntley wrote:I just received my ECC box and I know so many of you can relate to my enthusiasm as I begin using MFW and ECC. I absolutely love everything and cant wait to gather everything together and begin with my 9YO dd and 7YO ds. I have such high hopes and want to do so much and have fun with this program.

Here's my fear....my adorable little 2YOgirl... She does nap a good 2 hours in the afternoon but not sure how we will keep the peace and learning going during her wake time. She seems to be very needy.

I purchased the toddler kit and I'm just praying for her to learn to occupy herself for a good chunk of the day. I just ordered the Hazell's teaching on occupying the little ones while schooling. Don't remember the name of it... But haven't received it yet.

Any encouragement would be appreciated, advice, experiences, etc.
-- We did well with playdough at the table.
-- My 2 y.o. loved cutting...I let her cut and cut until it looked as if it snowed in our dining room - then she helped clean it up, it became a little game.
-- Markers...only at school time, made her feel important and our ever-favorite "dots" they are paint/stamplike markers? We had a set and she loved dotting all over paper.
-- Sometimes though, she was ejected from the "schoolroom" and we just put a chair in the doorway and she played on the floor in the living room with - well any toy. It becomes a way of life, they learn to respect school time (and that will be very handy in the future as well as the present).

I must add this disclaimer: it wasn't always as I hoped it would be, some days we would just flow and others I'd be pulling out my hair. But that's life with toddlers (and all our kids come to think of it!)!!! ;)

You'll figure it out!

Blessings to you and your family as you school with your 2 y.o.
(I just love 2 year olds)

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd
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Unread post by tiffany »

Save the nap time for projects that would be difficult to do with interruptions. I have tended to save the unit study portion for nap time. I found it helpful to have a 30 min. tv break in the morning as well, while I got the kids started on their math lessons. Library videos are good for that. My 2 yr. olds have liked Baby Mozart. You'll find ways to manage.

My 3 year old has never really enjoyed hanging out with us. He likes to play. Sometimes I'll have one of the older children play or read with him. That works when you're doing subjects like math or language arts, when you have to split the children up by age.

My big challenge this year will be tending to baby while teaching my 6 year old to read, in addition to RTR. Should be interesting!
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

Unread post by cbollin »

After you get to listen to the workshop, you'll have a lot of ideas to use the toddler toys as a tool. I like the idea that David has about giving them an instruction to go find a certain shape or certain color and come back. It keeps the kids moving, and engaged, occupied and still being a part of what's going on and all the while they are learning to follow instructions.

My youngest is now 5, has autism, attends special ed preschool --- but we still have to get school time (and life) done even when she is in the house. Even though she is 5 y.o, she is not a 5 y.o developmentally in all areas. So, there are times I still think I have a 2 or 3 y.o. Some of the things that sometimes work for us:

*markers and white board -- although that's not an easy task for my kid. But her sisters cheer her on. The 5 y.o just wants to be a part of what we're doing, which is awesome for me. Up until 6-10 months ago, that wasn't always the case. She was fine to be in her own little autistic life. So, I have a very different perspective on toddlers and preschoolers who want to be a part of what we're doing. anyway..... uhm

*puzzles on the floor --- her sisters can just sit nearby and cheer her on while doing something else.

* she has her own "book basket" time. It's picture books, and Dora and the Wiggles and Veggie Tales --- but she's engaged with books because she sees her sisters reading.

Usually it has helped me over the years to start with the youngest child and give them some focus attention for about 15-20 minutes or so. Then that kid wants a break from me anyway.

Remember with a 2 y.o it changes all the time. We all have our learning curves with teaching olders and still needing to hug the younger ones. Did I mention my autistic child is now letting me hug her from time to time?sorry--- didn't mean to hijack the thread that way. I'm just saying that it changes --- hang in there!

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Unread post by kfrench »

We are doing the same thing this year. ECC with a 7 and 9 year old and an almost 3 year old. He is a boy so he was a lot more work than my girls ever where.

I kept him busy with taking out toys only at school time, playdough, coloring, he loves putting stickers in books, he loves the Lauri puzzles and can spend a good deal of time matching shapes and colors and playing with the dog and train.

I also let him watch a movie if he is just not letting us get anything done.

I also let the girls take a break and play with him for half an hour and I take a break and play with him for half an hour.

I try to do something with him before we start school so that he feels he had some mommy time.

Sometimes he likes to sit on my lap and cut paper, or color on paper, or just be in the center of things.

Sometimes we just let him empty the drawers and then put everything back that kept him busy for a while.

I plan to do most of the ECC during nap time except for art bible and read aloud. He loves to do art with us.

It is challenging doing school with a 2 year old but we did survive just barely. I would definitely have a list of things that he could do and have stuff ready and available.
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Unread post by lyntley »

THank you all for the replies. Keep them coming... I'm just encouraged that you all Survived and still enjoyed the program. Actually she will be 2 AUgust 1st so I'm sure her abilities will change drastically as the year goes on.
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Unread post by SandKsmama »

I want to encourage you with what we did when I was doing ECC, MFW K, and also had a 2 year old at home.

I would get my 2 year old busy with something (coloring? Playdoh? Dollhouse? Video?), then I would do K with my little guy while my oldest did her more indepent work (math/spelling, etc.) THEN, when I was done with K, I'd send my little guy to play with the 2 year old, while I finished up the ECC "together" work with my oldest. Of course, it didn't work perfectly every day, but in general, it worked really well.

Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!
Susan on the Space Coast
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Location: Palm Bay, Florida

Unread post by Susan on the Space Coast »

Amanda sounds like she has a plan! You'll also find that you can include your 2 younger ones in ECC with a passport, , a map , a song, maybe an art project and some coloring of the flags. It's a great year, and with MFWK done in about an hour, it's do-able!
wife to Tim (22 yrs.), mommy to Emily (17, graduate), Daniel (15), and Megan (13)
Have taught MFWK through 1850-MT; High School
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:41 am

Unread post by AnointedHsMom »

I want to encourage you that it can be done and everything will be ok. I have an advanced 1.5 year old running around here right now so I can truly understand how you feel.

I want to point you to some resources that might help you. You might be familiar with these already and if you are I'm sorry about that, but in the event that you aren't familiar with these I sure want to make sure you know about them.

The first is a website and blog of a lady that has 7 children with the latest edition to the family only being around 4 or 5 months old and she homeschools all of them. Her web site is PreschoolersAndPeace. You can get to her blog from her web site. I can't recommend this web site and blog enough to mothers of young ones trying to get it all done everyday.

The other resource is a talk that the Hazell's do quite frequently that is called Occupying Preschoolers while Teaching Others. MFW office carries a few of the titles on CD; check with them. It has to be a phone order, and not on the online store that anywhere that I see.

Some of David's workshops are available from Best Christian Conferences and Rhino Technologies. If you need descriptions of those titles look here:

Ok so if you have read this far I have one more resource to let you know about. It's the book called Manager's of Their Home by Teri Maxwell. She's the mother of 8 children all homeschooled. Her web site is Titus2. Just the web site will give you ideas about how to structure your day also.

Well I know this was long but I do hope that these resources will help you in some way.

Praying for you,
Last edited by AnointedHsMom on Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:32 am, edited 3 times in total.
In Christ, Paige
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Joshua 8 & Jacob 1
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Unread post by Lucy »

If I could have used the MFW K with my kids, I think it would have been a blessing to them. I think what I like best about it is the beautiful age appropriate bible lessons that are integrated so wonderfully into the program.

On the other hand, if you just do not think you can do it this year or if you do not have a peace from the Lord to do it then, all the wonderful curriculum in the world would not matter, so you have to weigh that out.

The verse Proverbs 3: 5-6 is one of my life verses and it keeps coming up as I have been thinking about your question. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not own your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight". He will lead you faithfully. May His "plans prevail" in your home this and every year.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Unread post by BostonMom »

Ladies, I can't thank you enough for your words of encouragement and your practical advice. I believe we're going to give Kindergarten a go at home, and the Lord is already equipping me through this exchange. I'm actually excited about it. Imagine that. Thank you, thank you.

Janet--mom to Abby and Noah (8), Ben (almost 6), Luke (1.5)
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2-year-olds - How will I teach?

Unread post by kellybell »

Laura M wrote:Looking for advice from anyone who has been in my shoes. I will be starting school on Monday and am doing Adventures with my 8yr old DS and 1st grade with my 5yr old DD and 7yr old DS...but my baby is almost 2 and is all over me all the time! It might be his teething...but I'm not sure how I am going to teach when he always wants me to hold him.
Right now, our youngest is 6, but when we first started homeschooling in 2002, she was a little thing, and a demanding little thing (she still is, but that's another thread, right?).

Anyway, our family never has operated like a well-oiled machine, as I hopefully envision. We have our bumps and hiccups. Those first few years were tough. It's hard to teach poetry and potty skills at the same time.

Here are some of our better coping hints...

1. Have an older child spend 15 to 20 minutes playing one on one with the 2 year old. Use this time to work with another older child on math or LA (something individual and not "group").

2. Use naps. Train that 2 yo to stay in the room until you come for him. Use a tape deck, a Magnadoodle, some stuffed animals, little cars or whatever. Schedule "group" lessons (or whatever you don't need your littlest all over you) during nap.

3. Meanwhile train the older ones to work independently (at least the two older ones) as much as they can. Teach them to skip over a tough math problem (or put math aside and do book basket) until you are available to help. My kids, before I taught them to mark the offending problem with a big red check, would just sit there and look at it, wasting a half hour when they should've tried to move on.

4. Make extra copies of the MFW coloring pages and let your 2 yo scribble while the older kids do their notebooks or coloring sheets.

5. Everyone has a different opinion on TV. I don't like using it for a babysitter, but scheduling a half-hour TV program/video once a day works okay for my family. Like naptime, use this half hour to do something you really don't want to do with a toddler hanging over you.

6. Lower your expectations for housework, school, volunteering, entertaining others, etc. It's a busy time of YOUR life and you don't need to overload it with other things. It's fine to have easy food (we've done sandwiches for dinner and lived to tell about it), have a non-Martha-Stewart house, and say no to outside volunteer positions. It's fine to practice hospitality by meeting folks at the park instead of in your own home. This is a temporary lowering of expectations and standards. You can raise them again as all your dc get older and more helpful.

7. Similar to the above hint, get all the kiddos doing chores and helping out as soon as they are able. Soon, you'll not have to empty the trash, put up the clean dishes, wipe the table, or scrub down the bathroom. That will give you extra time.

For us, it seemed like this toddler stage would last forever. Of course, it didn't. It will pass you by quickly too.

I hope some others chime in with hints.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by CharleneHoell »

We seem to have similiar age kids. I have a ds doing ADV and another ds doing MFWK...and a dd who is 2. I agree with everything from the above post.

Here are my thoughts on it...do not know if you have already tried these things.

1. My dd loves the Paint with Water books. She sits and paints while her brothers do their schoolwork and I can move between the two. What is better is that there is no mess!

2. Play-doh! That can keep my daughter occupied for a VERY long time!

3. I also bought some things from the MFW preschool program that I thought were appropriate and would keep my daughter busy and that she could also learn from as well.

4. She also loves to draw, so we have lots of paper, markers, and coloring books.

I hope this helps! I know the days seem long right now. Blessings to you on your journey!
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Unread post by henryteachers »

Great ideas above. Just to add: I have a two year old and we're doing Adventures with my 7 year old and 4 year old in the mix too. While my kids do morning chores and then 4 year old plays and 7 year old does independent work like spelling, I try to focus my attention on my 2 year old and give her my undivided attention--play toys with her, read her a book, etc. That seems to help because I've made time for her first. Then when I turn my attention to the older ones for LA/Math/Adventures, she is more willing to play quietly on the side. Giving snacks when we read for Adventures also seems to be helping. Best of luck finding what works for your family!
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Unread post by StarrMama »

Great tips ladies!
Charlene...I am teaching Adventures and MFWK this year as well!

We have done 3 weeks and so far so good (it's soooooo great that things start out slow and week to week more is added).

For our family what works best is doing K in the morning and my almost 7 year old will play with our 14 month old (in the same room-usually). I am taking two years to teach K as my son just turned 5 so we do K only a couple days a week. For Adventures we do most of it after lunch when the baby is napping :) I'd prefer doing it in the morning, but I know what a battle that would be. I am looking on the bright side and mornings are great to run to the store, go to a park, take a walk, garden, go to the library or do other things like that. Praying you find your rhythm.
Wife to Desi. Mama to Hope 8 (ECC), Owen 6(K), Emmaline 4 and Levi 2. Happily serving God in the inner-city of Denver,CO.
Laura M
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Unread post by Laura M »

Wow...thanks so much...you guys (or gals, rather) are great! I will have to try the ideas and see what works!

I think I have been putting too much pressure on myself to get everything done in the morning. I think I will try to just do 1grade with the younger two and save adventures for when my youngest is napping. Thanks again!!!

Married in 1998 to Nathan, the love of my life, and blessed with 4 great kids: Jonathan('99), Josiah ('00), Avalon ('02), and Elijah ('05).
Currently doing Exp - 1850
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Cirle time

Unread post by Ellechim »

I have 4 kiddos....2 boys and 2 girls. My boys are 5 and 4 and are both doing MFW K. My girls are 2 and 6 months. I am really really loving MFW. I swear that every day I find something new that I love about it. The kids are enjoying it, and I'm actually having fun teaching it too!

We do "Circle Time" every morning before school, so my 2 year old gets interaction with school too. We start off with prayer, sing and act out silly songs, talk about what we are learning this week, and then end with the Pledge of Allegiance.

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2-year-old, K, & Adventures

Unread post by MJP »

shawnswife wrote:I will be doing Adv with my two dds ages 8 and 7. I will be doing K with my 5yo ds and I would like to include him in the bible, science and history in Adv. I also have a two year old ds.

I feel the need to add that my sons do not play well together unsupervised. If I try to send them off to play together the 5yo will tease the 2 year old who will undoubtably end up screaming. IT would cause major interruptions! TV would occupy them while I'm working with the girls, but I hate using TV as a crutch, plus we have a small house and it would distract the girls from their work. My 2 year old no longer takes a morning nap and I really don't want to school in the afternoons while he's napping because everyone is tired out by then.
Posted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:35 pm
Could the 8 and the 7 year old each take 1/2 hour to play with the 2 year old (at different times)? While the 8 year old supervised the 2 year old, you could teach the 7 year old. While the 7 year old watched the 2 year old, you could teach the 8 year old. You might need to come up with some acceptable choices or suggestions, but this is a plan that has worked well for us.

- Can the two year old "wash" dishes while you are doing some of the reading?
- Do you have some toys in totes that you could pull out as special for the two year old during reading times?
- Could you use just 1/2 hour of the nap time for school?
- I always use the olders to watch the youngers to get one-on-one time.
- I also use one 1/2 hour to 45 minutes movie per day.
- A snack time works wonders too--just for the 2 year old. The olders can have theirs separately since you are trying to gain time for school.

I do understand. Our 19 month old was crawling all over everyone while we were doing read alouds and Bible tonight. Our devotions did not look like a Norman Rockwell painting, but we did do them; and listening to their prayers, they still understood. They also learned a lesson on how to be patient with their little sister and to smile and enjoy a moment that would otherwise be, well, annoying (smile).
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Unread post by dhudson »

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:21 pm
When my twins were little and I was trying to teach my oldest, I would set up stations (using MFW toddler and pre-school packages) for them to play at. The learning toys were only available for school and I would introduce what I wanted them to do and set them up with a kitchen timer. At first, I would start with 5 min or so and instruct them to play quietly in that spot (sometimes a small blanket helps as a boundary) until the timer went off and them Mommy would be back. You could start training them now during summer. This helps train them in self-control, staying on task, and discipline as well. If they did this well, my kids would get a treat from the treasure box I created with little toys and snacks. After the timer goes off, be sure and praise them and then move them along to a new "station".

David Hazell also has a great talk on keeping toddlers and pre-schoolers occupied while teaching. Call MFW and I'm sure they can get it to you. David Hazell suggests that you start the day with the child learning to read (K) and have the older children doing independent work or play with the 2 yr old. I also think the 2yr old will enjoy many of the K activities.

I might also start LA and Math either several weeks before you officially start school or several weeks after to get used to the programs.

I know I expect the first month or two of school to be a learning curve for all of us and only panic if school isn't going well by the middle of October.
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ADV, K, toddler

Unread post by TammyB »

3lambsshepherdessinNY wrote:I'm really wondering how I'm going to manage this year. Teaching ADV, MFW-K, managing a very strong-willed toddler, and newly pg and due in Jan. I'm not very strong in orginizational skills (that's an understatement) and I'm just not retaining things like I'd like to. Sigh...I want to persevere for my children's sake, really I do. Right now, it just seems so monumental a task. Well, I hope to hear from you veterans and glean from your wisdom.
Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:12 am
This past year I used K and Adv with my five and seven year olds. On most days my two year old made life very difficult. :) He was loud, distracting, needy....not an easy child to occupy during school time.

I am a perfectionist by nature, so not accomplishing my goals "by the book" is very frustrating to me. My natural inclination is to feel like a failure if I haven't crossed every t and dotted every i.

I've often read posts on this board by moms who do much better than I at getting it all done with littles under foot. (The actual "under foot" is not the primary problem for me. It is the NOISE. Seriously. That sounds awful, but I've never been one to handle noise when I am working. It drives me crazy.)

Just to be honest....I did not do a stellar job teaching both K and Adv this year. I did the best I could, my children have learned and grown both academically and spiritually, but I was not able to complete everything.

I think the best thing you can do is lay all your concerns before the Lord, commit to allowing Him to work in and through you this year, and expect it to be a year of learning and growing on both your part and your children. God has used my deficiencies in homeschooling to sharpen my awareness of my need for Him. God is chiseling away at my "spiritual flaws" while working through me to teach and raise my children.

I would encourage you to be an active participant on this forum as you work your way through your school year. "Bear ye one another's burdens" is the Scripture that comes to mind. I think you will find both prayer and practical support here as you continue to grow as a Christian and a homeschooler.

Blessings to you and prayers for wisdom, strength, and health as you undertake your year,
3lambsshepherdessinNY wrote: Tammy, I love your honesty!

2-year-olds - Ideas for creating daily time with parent

Unread post by cbollin »

ShanMom wrote:I want to give my toddler (2.5 year old girl) 30 minutes of my attention each school day. I wanted to get your suggestions for how to spend this time. Do any of you take focused time with your little one?
*Check your library for books about playing with toddlers and preschoolers. Lots of books out there with ideas for themes, and toys for learning.

*Here are the kinds of things that were done with 3 year old at the preschools where my youngest child (the autistic one) attended. Maybe it would spark some ideas???

Theme play time at stations with water/sand table
Music time
Art time (think process over product. Process over product. Let them play with various things to make fun messes. sponges for paint, or cookie cutter for art. it should be messy!!!)
Story time.
Go outside and play, or inside gym time.

I wasn't sure if you were looking for ideas to do, or ways to structure 30 minutes. Personally, I would consider if breaking it down into two 15 minute segments would be better??? instead of one 30 minute session? that will vary based on kid.

For preschool years, I used to try to do stuff like:

Start with a Song and Music time for a few minutes. Wee Sing Bible is a nice one. Sing and move to the music. Play on pots and pans and oatmeal boxes for instruments.

Do something with skill based toys (take a look at the MFW’s preK page for what I mean. Those toys come with a booklet [now cards] of ideas to use.)

Then have set time for story together. At this age, you could have theme play with a story, or just enjoy a story together on the couch. Some stories lead to activities.

Snack time!

Go play.

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Unread post by ShanMom »

Thanks for responding ladies. Mary Kate is already happier since I adjusted our schedule. I moved school back upstairs and she can wash dishes in the sink or play at the island with one of her siblings when they are not needed. I am thinking part of the problem might be that she does not like the basement because there are frequently spiders down there. She seems much happier just being upstairs, but I think getting some more time with me is helpful too.
Pastor's wife and mom to three (Girl 8, Boy 6, and Girl 2 ... using Adventures and 1st Grade)
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Unread post by mgardenh »

I try to spend time each day just playing with my 3 year old. I let her pick out. Sometimes while we play we count things or go over colors.

Another good way to spend time especially at this age is working together. Your toddler loves to help. Have them help you unlaod the dishwasher, clean the bathroom (they love to help clean especially the sink and use the toilet brush). I also spend time with my dd by picking up a room together.

Lots of different things you can do.
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
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Unread post by ShanMom »

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I was helped by your thoughts and feel like the Lord helped me come up with an adjusted schedule to try. Grace to you all this week!
Pastor's wife and mom to three (Girl 8, Boy 6, and Girl 2 ... using Adventures and 1st Grade)
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Location: North Dakota

Preschool Package - highly recommended!

Unread post by Poohbee »

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:12 am
Did you notice under the [Discover] section on the MFW website that there is a "Preschool Package"? Click on "Preschool" and then click on "for 2 and 3 year olds..."

When we started school in the fall, my youngest dd was 2 1/2. I ordered a few items from the Preschool Package for her...the Toddler Tote and the Tall Stacker Pegs and Pegboard. My dd loves both of these! I keep them on a shelf in our school area, and they are to be used only during school time. My dd pulls them out often during school and plays with them. They are great toys! I highly recommend them! Even my 6 yo dd pulled out the Tall Stacker Pegs and Pegboard the other day and made designs by stacking the pegs. We already had a shape and color sorter, so I didn't order that from MFW, but that is a great learning tool and toy for toddlers, too.

Along with these toys, I keep a basket of books, some colors and coloring books, etc. for my toddler and those are her school supplies. She often goes off to play on her own during school, but when she joins us, she has her own toys and books to use. It works very well!
Julie - Staff
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Advice for adding K to ADV with a toddler

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

shawnswife wrote:We are about to start our fourth week of Adv and I have just finished the creation unit of K with my 5yo ds. I am very apprehensive about trying to implement the lessons and their activities alongside Adv and occupying my 2yo ds. I've read all the archives on how to handle a toddler while schooling and teaching Adv and K together. The three weeks we have done school have been VERY difficult with my 2yo. He will not stay with any one activity for more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time, he's loud and wants me to do everything with him. He is incredibly disruptive. So, I will be lucky to get the math and reading portion of K done. Maybe I'm just overwhelmed because I'm still trying to get into a routine with Adv and adding in something else seems impossible. (I have done K before so I know what to expect).

I feel like no matter what I do someone is going to get the short end of the stick.
Posted Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:20 am by doubleportion
I can't give you advice on the K. But we are doing ADV with a 2 yr old in the house. There is a good thread regarding some of your K questions

What I have found in regards to my 2 yr old while doing ADV is that I need to devote a good portion of the the morning time to him. My dd does allot of her independent work like spelling, bible verse copying, math, book basket etc. in the morning while I play and read with my 2 yr old. We always start out our day with pledges, prayer and songs. Our 2 yr old enjoys being a part of those.

We had to switch the suggested order around because doing any kind of reading to the older one was causing outcries by the younger. I save the history reading, Bible reading, etc for little one's nap time. We also will do the projects like making tepees etc during his nap time (he usually sleeps for about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs). Daddy has also become the designated science teacher and all science activities are done on Saturday with him. There were also days when we left some of the craft type activities until Friday instead of doing them when they were scheduled in the TM.

There was also a fabulous article on occupying toddler while homeschooling in the most recent edition of Above Rubies, issue 74. I found allot of great advice in that.

The ladies on here have so much experience and great advice. I'm sure you will get all your questions answered.

And as always, our greatest resource is Our Heavenly Father who gave you those precious children and will give you everything you need to raise and teach them!

:) Edie

Posted Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:15 pm by cbollin
I almost remember those days. They were long ago and seem like a distant memory. I think I’ve just blotted it out or something. ((hugs))

My youngest was (is) incredibly disruptive as well. But it does change in style over the months and years. It was ok because my dh didn’t care if the house looked picture perfect. (That had to be the best thing he's done for me!!!!!) I know I always felt like no matter what – someone was left out (including me). I realized that meant that not everyone could receive full focus all day. Some things got shifted around and done in 5 minute spurts and/or shifted to evenings to let dad do some of it for 15 minutes or so. Sometimes that meant that he just took them outside in the back yard for 15 minutes to let me work with someone then, we'd get to join too.

I went looking through some photo albums recently. I noticed that in one picture I grabbed the camera and youngest was asleep in the outside swing while I got some teaching done. I can remember trying to teach with youngest on my hip and screaming (this is my autistic kid) or even while she was hanging upside down (favorite position). I can remember bathtub time teaching to get some read alouds done when needed. Or -- she watched a lot of the Wiggles. It was never picture perfect or stuff that our minds think homeschooling is supposed to look like.

This is a very hard stage, and it does change and gets a new flavor.

And there were times that I had to give 10-15 minutes of very active attention to the youngest, so that I could give more time to everyone else.

nothing really practical to help with because I'm no longer in the midst of it -- just saying been there and don't really remember it years later LOL


Posted Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:00 pm by Tennessee Mama
Hi Jennifer!
I don't know if you remember, but I've got a 3rd, 2nd, K, and 1.5yo. We are also doing Adv and K.

We are starting week 8 of Adventures tomorrow and we've just finished "Ll" in MFW K. I'm taking a week off to review /s/, /m/, and /l/.

My little guy cries and whines and sometimes I'm reading above his screams. I do try to include him as much as possible. My Ker entertains him while he's not doing anything with us.

As soon as he's down for a nap we start Kindergarten. The older two have folders with independent work. (Mainly a reading assignment.)

As far as leaving many activities out of K... that's what I'm doing right now. We really just do the reading portion and make the badges on Wed.


Posted Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:35 pm by baileymom
We are doing K and CTG with a 3 yr old, 17 mo old, and 2 1/2 mo old around as well. The days go as they go for us. Some days have been better than others, but we have managed to get everything done so far.

One of the other moms mentioned having the toddler do as much as he can with you, we do that.TJ, 3, does all the notebooking, singing, listening at read aloud (TLWW, right now).

I did decide with my dh this weekend, that we are going to start doing the reading/math portion of K when the 3 littles are napping. We'll see if that makes for less interruptions.

Hang in there, you sound discouraged. I have been too these first few weeks, but Edie is right. God has put it on your heart to teach your children, He will help you do it.

Posted Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:17 am by shawnswife
I'd like to thank everyone for their encouraging comments. I'll be thinking and praying about how to tweak things for everyone's benefit. I'm sure it will work out in the end!

And, Crystal, thank you for that descriptive mental picture of schooling while holding your youngest upside down :). I do tend to get caught up in what homeschooling is "supposed" to look like and it's nice to hear that it's not always that way even with experienced homeschoolers. Blessings to you!
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