The other day on Facebook I saw a post from a mother in one of my neighborhood moms’ groups asking what others did with their children for “tot school” or structured learning activities at home. I had never heard the term tot school before, but I gave my non-expert 2 cents based on my experiences.
It’s all about learning through fun at this age. I found that if I sound too much like I’m trying to teach my daughter, the less interested she’s going to be. 10 min “lessons” is the max we do. Pick a theme or topic, then revolve story time and play time around it. Don’t try to force it, though, if your child’s not interested in whatever activity you may have planned. Let him take the lead.
That’s basically all I do in a nut shell. I don’t intentionally do “Tot School” at home with Ellis, but I do like to try out new activities with her that might help reinforce things we’re working on with her. We all do one form or another of tot school, because as parents one of our natural roles is to be the very first teacher for our kids. And we teach the best way possible, through teachable moments and authentic experiences.
I don’t believe in structured lessons or worksheets. Worksheets are horrible. Don’t even get me started. I was touring preschools a month or two back, and one school was trying to sell me on the fact that basically all of their learning is through workbooks… for 2-year-olds. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
Reading, singing, art, play, interaction. That’s all our tots need from us to grow their minds. I’ll try to share on here occasionally some of the things I am doing with Ellis, successful or not, that could be categorized as tot school activities, books she loves to read, songs she loves to sing, and more. So be on the lookout for that.
Do you (or did you) do intentional learning with your toddler?