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Totschooling at Home! Activities and Tips

Let’s talk about totschooling!

In the early years of a child’s life, their brain undergoes rapid development and forms the foundation for future learning. You know this instinctively as you watch your little one growing, making new discoveries, expanding language skills, making new discoveries, and always wanting to learn more and do more!

totschooling - mother holding toddler's hand as they walk up a fallen log in rain boots

As a parent, you play a vital role in shaping your child’s educational journey. And as a homeschool parent, you’re already all about making the most of every day and teaching your little ones all they need to know. This is where totschooling comes into play.

Tot school is a term used to describe an intentional approach to early childhood education that focuses on fostering a love for learning through play-based activities and hands-on experiences. In this blog post, we will explore what totschooling is, why it’s important, and how you can care for your toddler while homeschooling.

What is Tot School?

Tot school is about turning your home (or the great outdoors) into a classroom by utilizing teachable moments. It’s about creating an environment where your child can explore, discover, and learn naturally. It involves providing a variety of age-appropriate activities that promote cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.

So first, let’s talk about why totschooling is important in the first place!

The Importance of Totschooling

Early Brain Development: A child’s brain develops most rapidly during the early years.

Tot school activities stimulate neural connections, enhancing cognitive abilities and preparing the brain for future learning.

Holistic Development: Tot school activities encompass various domains, including language development, fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving, creativity, and social interactions.

This holistic approach sets a strong foundation for future homeschooling success.

Love for Learning: By making learning enjoyable and engaging with crafts and activities, tot school helps children associate positive feelings with learning. This can lead to a lifelong love for learning and exploration. That is one of the best things you can do for your children!

Parent-Child Bonding: Tot school activities offer opportunities for you to have quality one-on-one time with your child, which is one of your core reasons for homeschooling in the first place, right? These shared experiences strengthen the parent-child bond and promote a sense of security and trust, which can last a lifetime.

Creating an Enriching Tot School Experience:

Observe and Follow Your Child’s Interests: Pay attention to your toddler’s interests and areas of curiosity. Design activities that align with their curiosity, as this will keep them engaged and motivated.

Play-Based Learning: Play is the primary mode of learning for young children. Design activities that are playful, hands-on, and open-ended. Use items from around the house, such as cardboard boxes, kitchen utensils, and art supplies.

Structured Routine: While flexibility is key, establishing a loose daily routine can provide a sense of predictability for your child. Include playtime, reading, creative activities, and outdoor exploration.

Books and Reading: Reading to your child from an early age lays the foundation for language development. Choose age-appropriate books with colorful pictures and simple text. Here are a few favorites:

Sensory Exploration: Young children learn through their senses. Incorporate sensory activities into your totschooling like finger painting, water play, and exploring different textures. Sensory bins are a terrific tool for little hands!

Outdoor Adventures: Nature provides a wealth of learning opportunities. Take your child on nature walks, let them explore the outdoors, and engage in activities like collecting leaves, observing insects, and playing in the sand.

Social Interaction: Arrange playdates or playgroups to encourage social interactions. These experiences teach children valuable skills like sharing, taking turns, and communicating.

Document Progress: Keep a record of your child’s activities, milestones, and achievements. This not only helps you track their progress but also creates wonderful memories to look back on. If you’re a homeschooling mom, you’ll want to get in the groove of keeping homeschool records even while your child is young.

Homeschooling with a Toddler Underfoot?

And finally, if you are raising a toddler and trying to juggle homeschooling older children at the same time, here are a few posts focused on finding a good balance and making the most of your days:

Totschooling is an incredible way to kickstart your child’s educational journey and foster a lifelong love for learning. By providing a nurturing environment filled with exploration, creativity, and play, you are setting the stage for your child’s future success. Embrace the joy of watching your little one’s eyes light up as they engage with the world around them. If you’re a homeschooling parent, you already know that these moments you spend with your children are well-spent, steps toward a brighter future.

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