Homeschooling with Toddlers: A Day in the Life

As a homeschooling/stay-at-home-mama I often receive questions like…

“How do you homeschool with two toddlers?”

“What do your mornings look like?”

“Do you teach preschool?”

“When do you have time for your oldest child’s core studies?”

“How do you keep the toddlers busy if you’re teaching in-depth with your oldest?”

“Does everyone learn the same thing?”

I decided I’d describe our day in the most simple way I could: with time lapse videos! So if you’ve ever asked some of these questions, or if you’re just curious about what it is this self-proclaimed zookeeper does all day, check out our videos below!

How do we homeschool with toddlers? With lots of toddler-friendly activities! Our morning time, as you can see, is full of dancing, music and movement, and physical activities that aid in refining motor skills. If you look at the mid-morning video, you’ll see my toddlers working on individual, age-appropriate skills through play. Play-based learning is my jam! We love incorporating play into everything we do, even our second grader!

What do our mornings look like? Check out these two videos below!

Morning Time (9 – 10 a.m.) — Music, rhythm, movement, physical activity/fine motor development, a short read aloud story or Scripture reading, recitation of poems or Bible verses

This is a quick glimpse of some of our morning time, complete with all the toddler dancing.

When do we have time for our oldest child’s core studies? We take it one day at a time, but usually we follow this rhythm: morning time, language arts/grammar/writing, math. I teach those subjects more in depth in the mornings because I’m less tired. Many swear by doing this during younger children’s nap times, which I did for a while as well. But lately we find that both of us are at our sharpest in the a.m. So once I’m done teaching tot/PreK stuff, I sit down with my oldest and go over core study materials. If there’s something we missed or need to go more in depth over, I’ll pull it back out in the afternoon or evening. That’s part of the beauty of homeschooling — there’s no time limit on learning!

Mid-Morning Outdoor Learning (10 – 11 a.m.) — headed outside, bookwork studies for oldest, play-based learning and character building for toddlers.

Oldest working on language (verb tense) practice on sidewalk, then in workbook. Littles playing in the sandbox and playhouse just out of the video’s frame.

Do I teach preschool? Yep! My 4-year-old just completed the Easy Peasy All-in-One course for PreK and LOVED it. He asks for “school” (learning pages) every day. I accompany that with our morning time routine, lots of reading aloud, age-appropriate crafts and play-based learning supplemented with lots of outdoor time. Check out this fun PreK Dinosaur Unit I created a few years back!

Fine motor skills, math (counting and sorting) for middle kiddo.

How DO I keep those toddlers busy if I’m working with my oldest? Well, honestly, some days keeping them busy works brilliantly and others it just doesn’t. #toddlerlife I do love play-based educational toys. I love these Montessori themed stacking toys, marble runs (when 1-year-old-who-puts-everything-in-her-mouth is safely in her pack ‘n’ play), and easy DIY toddler activities like this pom pom push tin. I rotate toys and activities daily to help keep things fresh. It’s kind of a chore, but it’s totally worth it in the end when they need to build their autonomy and mama is busy.

Playdough for the littles, math fact practice for oldest.

Afternoon Studies (2 – 3 p.m.) — This is a quick idea of what the short hour of afternoon studies might look like. Lapbook work, history or science, current events done partially via bookwork and partially via computer. This video highlights my daughter working on adding to her Ancient Greece lap book study and investigating several current events, then recording them.

Current events, quick geography refresher.

Finally ending our “formal schoolwork” by completing the last worksheet and putting the books away. Time for play, chores, and family time!

Does everyone learn the same thing? Sometimes! I adore unit studies and adapting them to meet each of my kid’s needs. Last year we studied great blue herons. My then-first-grader completed a booklet and nature study with facts and diagrams and drawings. My toddler enjoyed going out to the lake and bird watching and coloring great blue heron pages. Baby was just along for the ride. This week we’re celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday week with a full week of Dr. Seuss book-themed craftivities that we can all do together. My oldest is reading her own choice of Dr. Seuss book each day in addition! Learning together CAN be done and it can be fun!

How do you handle teaching from home with littles? Does your day look anything like ours? Let me know and share if you loved this!


4 thoughts on “Homeschooling with Toddlers: A Day in the Life

    1. I’m so glad it’s helpful!! I’ve had so many people ask this year what our everyday looks like, and I’m so excited to finally launch this post! 🙂 Can’t wait to hang out SOON.


  1. New homeschool momma here. I have a 5 year old, 3 year old and 4 month old. I did preschool with my oldest last year and we are doing a combination preschool/kindergarten this year. I am also using the easy peasy program. My oldest has always loved learning and there has never been an issue there. Right now we are doing her school work during my younger twos nap in the afternoon. Next year I plan to start my 3 year old in the preschool program but I worry he won’t like it. He shows very interest in learning anything and is just now grasping the idea of colors. Still doesn’t know his numbers, alphabet or shapes. He struggles to sit still, which is why we do my oldest schoolwork while he naps. We tried while was awake and he needed constant attention.
    I guess I’m asking, what can I do to get him more excited about learning. I tried showing him the preschool program and it was just too rough with the computer. I bought him the First Step book and he lasts maybe 5 minutes.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there! I’m so glad you commented! I have had success with printing off the content so my preschoolers have hard copies to work on. They like doing “big kid” school work. When they’ve lost interest, I try not to stress and switch it up towards more play based learning, reading aloud to them, and sometimes just get a dollar store workbook for them to scribble in so they’re working on prewriting skills. Even being out in nature a lot is a great beginning to education for littles! Keep up the good work, mama!! You’re doing great! Thanks again for chiming in. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s