The past couple of years, I’ve been introducing Snowflake to intentional learning in what I called “Toddler School”. The purpose of this was three-fold. First, I needed some goals to work toward each week, so I wasn’t bored out of my mind. Second, Snowflake needed some structure; he was (is) better behaved when we have activities planned. And third, I was experimenting with ideas to see what would and wouldn’t work for the future, knowing there was a strong possibility we would be homeschooling.
Last year, I set up the library to be a classroom of sorts. I had planned to do projects and teaching in this room, away from the distractions of the rest of our house. It looks so cute and inviting, yet he would have none of it. Best laid plans, right?! So rather than fight him on something inconsequential, I just let it go. He is a bit more willing to go in there now, so I’m sure we will end up in there from time to time but for now the library is our homeschool storage area.
Knowing the library would not be our classroom, I set out to find a way to incorporate his learning areas into our living areas without taking it over. The solution: our front door and garage door and some magnet clips. His calendar area is on our front door. Each morning we will go over the date, day, month, weather, alphabet and counting. I have a feeling this is going to become a favorite activity, especially since I found a very fun pointer for him to use.
Our garage door has now turned into his “choice area”. One of the things I’ve learned in the past year or so is that Snowflake thrives on choices. I can’t make him do much of anything he doesn’t want to do without it turning into a fight; however, if he feels he has a choice, he’s often very willing. Each day, he will get to pick 5+ things to do; one from each column. Once each activity is complete, we will turn the card around until everything has been completed. Then the cards will all be flipped again and the process will repeat. Again, he will get to use the pointer, so I think he will like making choices each school day.
And with that, we are ready to start. We will do school 2-3 mornings a week. With calendar time and his 5+ activities of choice, I expect we will spend 45ish minutes doing school. We won’t do it all at once because he has the attention span of a new puppy, but we will get it done throughout the morning. I will update after we finish our first day of school!