Probably the top two questions I get asked about homeschooling are, "What do you do with Hannah Beth?" "How do you get things done with a 2 year old running around?" I ask myself those same things every morning that I get ready for another day of school.
First, I have had to let go of the classroom mentality. This is our home first and school second. We do have a set schedule in which we get things done, but it is also ok for part of school to be playtime with Hannah. When my type A personality finally let go of the classic classroom setting, our school day has been so much more successful and all my "students" don't want the day to end. They beg for more and I love that!
I have been reading alot about Montessori learning for Hannah and gotten so many great ideas from other homeschooling blogs and moms. I got my act together over the Christmas break and set up a center where all of Hannah's "school" items are kept. The cubbies were once in Luke's room for all his toys. We have moved on to a different storage system for him, and I though this would be the perfect place for Hannah's workboxes. The top three cubbies are some type of learning/exploring/motor skills center while the bottom three are exploratory toys for play (which also leads to learning).
Each activity is separated into a tray which makes it easy for Hannah to see exactly what to do. I sit and play with her showing her each activity and how it works the day before we start back to school.
The first activity is scooping the "fuzzies" into the pitcher with a spoon.
The next tray has color cards and colored cubes to match. I have her lay the cards out and we put the matching cube on top of the card.
The last learning tray has this coffee can with holes punched in it. She has to thread the glow sticks through the holes. This one was a little tricky because the holes were not quite big enough. I made them bigger and she likes it so much more.
I also put a puzzle on top of the shelves as one more thing we can play together.
The three boxes in the bottom have Snap n Style dress up dolls, Mag-neatos, and Zoob Jr. links. All toys that we have had since Luke and Hayley were toddlers.
The next morning we started our day with Math, Independent Work, and Tot School.
I can't even tell you how much smoother the morning went. Hannah was so content. I sat and played with her in the floor some and then went to work with Luke and Hayley.
She dove right into the dolls. These were her favorite and still are her favorites this week too.
She decided she wanted to sit at the table with us and work on her puzzle. I let her take the lead on what she wants to do for an activity next. Apparently she needed sunglasses to help her with school. Such a fashionista!
She picked the scoop and transfer activity next. She started out using the spoon and quickly decided it was much more fun to just use her hands.
I have the same activities out this week and I will change it up next week. She is loving the one on one time with me, and loving that she is included when it comes to school work. On top of all that, she is learning. Win for everyone.