Toddler Night School

Canyon is two years old. When River and Lily started school last year, I was going to have him just sit in the room and play with his toys while the older two worked on their lessons. I figured, through osmosis, he would pick up something along the way and if not, then his time would come when he was older.

I spend too much some time online looking for teaching tools to use in our school. I love the Internet because it connects me with so many people creative mothers who are also homeschooling their children. My concentration was on resources for teaching children in the elementary grades. It wasn’t until I came across Tot School that I realized I was doing my own child a severe disservice.

I read a lot to my children and was spending a lot of time just reading to Canyon and covering a few colors and doing number recognition, but that was just about it. I’m still in wonder how some mothers teach their children in multiple grades. Since River and Lily are about two years apart, I’ve been able to combine many of their subjects and even cover material that is accommodating for both of their grade levels. I really wasn’t sure how to fit Canyon in the mix. He isn’t at the stage of addition or multiplication and writing full sentences is a little above his level, but there are things he can do now that will help him when he begins his elementary level work.

Since Canyon went to bed late and woke up late too, I decided to take advantage of his night owl schedule and enrolled him in Toddler Night School. All classes were held in the comfort of our home where the classroom was anywhere he wanted to sit or stand, where desk tops were occasionally replaced by comfy blankets, and structure was rarely enforced.

Canyon cooked,

learned some letters,

created with arts & crafts,

studied colors,

practiced motor skills,

did it all over again,


played a little music,

and even helped plant a tree.

Although some of his activities were done during the day, most of the “study work” was done at night right before bedtime. We covered math where he counted and did number identification, English where he mastered names of items by looking at pictures as well as letter identification, mommy reading many, many books, and just good old conversation, which was quite entertaining for me. If you ever attended night school, then I’m not sure if you had as much fun as Canyon.

This school year, the plan is to do things a little differently. Canyon has started to ask to go to bed earlier, so he will be learning along side River and Lily. If you have a toddler at home and have been wanting to do a little more with him, then a few online resources to check out are Tot School and Totally Tots, which is run by Carissa who is a homeschooling mother herself. I would say Carissa is the homeschool version of Martha Stewart and yes she definitely earns the title. I have also been using Starfall and Letter of the Week (both for River and Lily too) which has lessons for children as early as one month old. Recently, I’ve also grown fond of Our Crafts -N- Things There is no reason to leave your toddler (or enfant) sitting in a corner playing with blocks everyday. So, get their minds busy!

What teaching tools, sites, resources, etc. do you use for your toddler?

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3 Responses to “Toddler Night School”

  • Comment from Dee

    We do Night School too, hehe! Well, DH works with Finch during the day and I work on language arts with him in the evenings when I come home from work. Since we are working on site words right now, we are reading a lot of books that he can “read” on his own without help. I like and Kids Craft Weekly too.

  • Comment from Brandy

    I love what you are doing. I have a 3 year old and 1 year old as well as an almost 7 year old. My 7 year old goes to school during the day and I have thought about doing some school study type time with my boys during the day! I appreciate this post and the resources!

    Found your blog linked over at MomDot Content Thursday!

  • I have a 2 year old that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with throughout the day. As tempting as it is to set her in front of PBS, I started doing blocks with her doing my 7 year old’s math time, and try to read to them together. They do “worksheets” at the same time (coloring for the toddler). I also like to use! thanks for your blog…

    Techie Homeschool Mama,

    Plugging them into the t.v. is soooo easy, but I absolutely HATE what becomes of them while they watch and playing referee during the commercials gets tiring. Even my oldest knows when to change the commercials because of bad content; on a child’s station at that. I’m sure both of your children are impressing you w/what they learn, but it is probably really cool to watch your youngest learn and try to keep up w/your oldest child.

    I’ll have to check out the Zoodles Web site. Thanks for the tip and thanks for reading my blog.

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