Toddler School

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This is how we Toddler School. How to set up a Homeschool Preschool. What you need to teach Homeschool PreschoolWelcome to Toddler School! I’m Kandice, Mom to 2 Toddlers who have the plight of an educator for a mother… {it gets real rough on them sometimes, always having to learn and such}

My formal education is actually in Education and before I took the leap to start my own business I got to spend my day with our little future geniuses in the classroom. My single most driving life force is probably the need to help teach, educate and coach young people {all ages really} which is likely why I pursue career
paths that provide that opportunity.

You can read all about my Kindergarten/Special Education teaching career ‘fallout’ and transition into running my businesses from home HERE.

Why we Toddler School

Early education is important {you know that} and I am in a unique position to offer my boys a homeschool preschool opportunity because I work from home. I am qualified to teach them {and by that I mean I have former experience, all moms are beyond qualified} and this way we save the money we would be paying for Daycare or even Preschool. I still work from home, so it is a challenge cramming in my 40 hours of work into naptimes and 10-minute opportunities, but I like that I can keep track of their educational success and offer the lessons I want them to learn.

My Toddler School “curriculum” {which I make up as we go} is more so based on behavioral milestones, social interactions and the concept of “learning how to learn” more so than actual fact-based content. I take an approach that is very student {my children} lead and guided. We utilize our entire house {and yard} as our classroom because there are educational opportunities and enlightening moments everywhere during the toddler years.

I also believe that Toddlers, who do really need structure in their lives to build routine, may benefit more from a less structured educational environment {sit at a desk, be quiet while teacher talks, then remember and do a worksheet to retain- style} which they will have plenty of time to learn within once they start public school. I am merely attempting to prepare them for bigger educational concepts by teaching them how to learn before they really have to. We focus on the creative, the sensory and the discovery side of education right now. Facts, tests, and sitting still will come in time…

For now, we’re having fun at home in our really large ‘classroom’ with lessons around every corner…

Establishing a ‘Classroom’

There are several areas within our house that I have built to be educational environments. You can find posts for those and how they connect to my educational philosophy below:

The Mess Mat
A free moving, designated area for creative & sensory play. Provides structure with expectations, behavioral concepts, and educational scaffolding. See what we’re doing & follow us every morning on Instagram! #TheMessMat

Catch all our Sensory Play & Sensory Bins HERE

Our Literacy Corner
We do have Book Club and utilize our local Library often to bring home Unit Themed books. Our Corner is designed to promote reading and self-guided discovery.

Lesson Plans & Themes

I like to work in themes. I’ll be releasing Educational Units as we finish them so that you’ll have a comprehensive unit to print and teach at home. Units will accommodate kiddos that are about 18 months apart.

Units
Pirate Month– Arrgh!

Happening right now!

Mini Units
Mini Unit: Rainbows & Colors

Assessments
Transition Lessons– What to do between Units
Book Nest: Crash Zone & Literacy Assessment 

 

Montessori Education Theory

Ever since my graduate year and student teaching, I have been drawn to the principles of the Montessori education model. There are many, MANY things I love about it and would completely coincidentally lean to such methods naturally without even realizing. However, like all structural methods, you have to make it your own and admittedly there are some aspects that I choose to adjust. I will outline my basic Education Strategy below, but first, what is Montessori?
Definition: {pulled straight from Wikipedia}Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. Although a range of practices exists under the name “Montessori”, the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential:

  1. Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children ages 2½ or 3 to 6 years old by far the most common
  2. Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
  3. Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours
  4. A constructivist or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
  5. Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
  6. Freedom of movement within the classroom
  7. A trained Montessori teacher

Kandice Education Theory

In reference to the above 7 ‘criteria’ this is how I fall in line and run my “classroom” at home:
  1. Totally have this going on right now, but with a 6M and a 2Y. You’ll also see posts that include my niece. I supervised both my son and her for the year of 2014 when they were my “yearlings” and then we moved to Stayton and I had my second son.
  2. Here we enter The Mess Mat and Creativity Corner.
  3. I have a pretty rigid schedule for everyone, though I don’t do 3 hour blocks. I do multiple shorter blocks because I’m actually also trying to run 3 small businesses from home too.
  4. Discovery Boxes are my FAVORITE, as is discovery learning in general. Turns out many of my volleyball practices were actually ran with drills designed using this method. I think it is such an effective and smooth way to educate and enable creativity without hobbled thinking. We utilize both Independent and Guided Practice methods.
  5. I don’t use any specialized materials, I make/find my own
  6. Again, we’ll talk about The Mess Mat, the Literacy Corner and the Discovery Boxes.
  7. I’m not a trained Montessori teacher… sorry folks. And I don’t ever claim to be. I know I’m not following the methods perfectly. I never do a recipe in the kitchen by the book either since I like to ‘discover’ as I go 😉

So that is what you have to look forward to! If you are a parent educating from home I hope to be of some help.


Like what you read?

Join us in Toddler School!

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood and taking my Boys through Toddler School. We love to learn with Sensory Play, Discovery Learning and our favorite Subscription Box, Kiwi Crate! Join us for the fun!

 




Share the Sweetness
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