When your toddler wants to “do school” too.

homeschooling with toddlers


My life is a circus. It is a constant juggling of kids, cleaning, schooling, parenting, and everything in between. I’m sure you know the feeling. As a new homeschooler I’m just trying to get my feet under me with my 1st grader.  I do have a simple and fun curriculum I put together for my toddler – who just last week turned four – but to be honest, her work is more of an afterthought as I try to keep my 1st grader on track with her “real school.” Ah man, how bad does that sound?

My sweet 4 year old often gets put to the side on hectic days and it feels terrible. I try to give her structured tasks. But on days when the house is a mess, I woke up late and didn’t get a head start on my day, and the baby is particularly fussy and covered in snot and dust bunnies, her “structured tasks” become “go play in your room,” “go jump on the trampoline,” or “here’s a bucket of blocks” and I’m crossing my fingers it makes her content long enough for me to get through my oldest child’s history lesson.

I don’t know if this makes me sound like a bad homeschool mom or not.  I have no comparison.  It can be a lonely world here stuck in my house and not knowing how others “do school” as my toddler would say.  And she says it often.  “Mommy, I wanna do school too!”


On the one hand it’s a great thing to hear. She’s copying her sister and there’s FRUIT – wonderful fruit – coming from it.  (Here’s to reaping twice what we sow!) At 3 she started writing random letters.  By 3 ½ she was writing her name. And she could do so much more if I actually knew what I was doing and could get our homeschool routine down!

It’s a big part of the reason why in my “spare time” (read, “moments I steal from other important things like sleep and house cleaning time”) I have started to create these video lessons with printables. Sure, it’s something I hope will make money some day, but for now it’s such a great go-to when my little one wants to “do school.” I can print out the worksheets in less than 20 seconds, and play the video lesson on our smart tv and she can learn while feeling like she’s doing school with the rest of us.


And that’s my vision.  I have an entire board full of what I think are great ideas for just this scenario.  Learning days of the week, directional words, ordinals, short stories with coloring pages and listening retention questions – all with printable worksheets and activities to make an instant lesson.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but it’s a dream built from necessity. I hope it helps other moms in their hectic homeschool days as it has helped me.  And in the meantime, perhaps it’s in some way encouraging to glimpse into the real life of a beginning homeschooler. The verse we studied the other week is starting to sink in:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 


In the first picture of this post, my sweet toddler is doing the balloon craft from Learn Colors With Balloons

In the last picture, my 1st grader is working on the word search from Beginning Spanish Vocabulary – Outside Words

If your children are learning their simple addition facts to sums of 10, you’re very welcome to download my 28 page eWorkbook.  It’s a cost-free and ad-free download and includes 4 worksheets for each math video lesson I’ve created.  It does require a newsletter subscription sign up, but you can also get them separately on each math lesson page without signing up.

Please let me know if anything on my site has helped your or encouraged you in some way, you’ll keep this momma truckin’ along!


2018-03-26T12:22:40+00:00 September 30th, 2015|Ideas|17 Comments


  1. Eva October 1, 2015 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Don’t feel bad. It takes time to figure it all out. Between lessons planning, lessons doing, cleaning, and outside activities, I go to bed feeling like a super-woman no less (most days). My 4-year old likes to do exactly the same curriculum that my 2nd grader is doing. She makes more mistakes, but she doesn’t let it some mistakes get in a way of her fun. My 2-year old refuses to get distracted by some toys. He wants to sit at the table too and scribble in his “workbooks.”

    • pk1admin October 4, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Thanks for the encouragement! I have no idea what it will look like when all THREE of my kids will be school aged!

  2. Anastasia October 1, 2015 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Great idea. My 2 year old loves to “do school”. She will cry when I don’t have anything for her to do at her desk. She keeps me on my toes!

    • pk1admin October 4, 2015 at 9:52 am - Reply

      2 is such a fun age! 🙂 I hope you find something she likes on my site – thanks for visiting!! :0)

  3. Jamie @ Medium Sized Family October 4, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    I think there is a whole lot to be learned from those magical “go play” words, too! I think it’s awesome to encourage her love of learning and give her preschool work to do, too, of course. But don’t feel guilty about sending her to play, because there is a lot of knowledge from those moments, too. 🙂

    • pk1admin October 7, 2015 at 7:17 am - Reply

      Thanks for the encouragement! You’re so right. Awhile ago we had gotten in the habit of watching cartoons in the morning when the girls first woke up. Finally, I cracked down and just didn’t turn it on in the morning. So guess what my kids ended up doing…. the started drawing, writing letters, making up crafts – all during that 7am hour before I had made breakfast. Kids are natural learners and explorers!

  4. Melanie @ Tree Valley Academy October 6, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

    I only have one child but trying to balance get everything done (housework, shopping, school, work, etc.) is real juggling act. I will probably have it mastered by the time my daughter graduates, until then I try :). I do find there are pretty good educational video’s and learning apps on the iPad and Leapster that are great for those times I’m swamped with other non school things.

    • pk1admin October 7, 2015 at 6:59 am - Reply

      I hear you – most days it feels impossible to check all the boxes, and it’s felt like that from the beginning with only 1 kid! I do have toy buckets I rotate for my pre-k girl which sometimes helps but mostly we just try to keep on truckin’ and be ok with our best!

  5. Amy October 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Hi from Good tips link up! My toddler loves to ‘do school’ to! He’s my oldest, but when he started asking a little before 2 to go to school with the other kids we started a co-op preschool for him and it’s been so awesome. Now I have the same problem that my little guy wants to do school while I’m trying to do our lessons with 9 almost 3 year olds! Crazy. Fun, but crazy.

    • pk1admin October 7, 2015 at 7:22 am - Reply

      Wow, a co-op preschool sounds so fun! (and yes, a little crazy) 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by =)

  6. Jenn Roberts October 6, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I’m so bad about putting my preschooler on the back burner. Today we didn’t do any of her book work because I was battling a migraine and my older two had to get their “real school” done. Ugh! I’m feeling the guilt!

    • pk1admin October 7, 2015 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Yes, Jenn, exactly! I know that it’s silly to feel guilty – our little ones probably don’t worry about it even a fraction as much as we do. When my baby was just born we were supposed to be starting Kindergarten with my oldest. I had all sorts of lesson planning and prepping done for her, but having a newborn and homeschooling was just not the picture perfect home classroom I was envisioning! I’m only slightly embarrassed to say that there were many “homeschool” days that were spent watching back to back episodes of Magic School Bus and Sid the Science Kid! That counts, right?? 🙂

  7. Megan Saxbury October 8, 2015 at 6:20 am - Reply

    if she is interested why not start real K work. most people I know start K at 4 when homeschooling. My not yet 3.5 is doing K math with saxon….no writing so she can…and learning to read. she does handwriting without tear pk. science if you do experiment with older I’m sure the young is right there. its so fun. for me reading to her I read library book about her family heritage. usually at bed time. or holidays as they come up. she wants to do school bet she would love starting at 4.

    • pk1admin October 8, 2015 at 6:32 am - Reply

      Those are some great ideas! I did put together a little curriculum for her (I’m planning on blogging about it soon) and she really loves it. We do some handwriting, mostly letter recognition and some simple counting and math. Oh and it has some super easy cooking recipes which are so much fun! I think my biggest struggle is just juggling everything with all three kids – my youngest just turned one so it’s always crazy here in my house! I haven’t tried handwriting without tears though and I’ve always been curious. Is it working well for you?

  8. […] When Your Toddler Wants to “Do School” Too by Christy at PK1HomeschoolFun.com […]

  9. Branson October 12, 2015 at 6:20 am - Reply

    What a great idea!! I love when kiddos are eager to learn, and sometimes I have to remind myself that other things can wait. Although I am also a big fan of the “go jump on the trampoline” and there is importance in teaching kids to entertain themselves as well. It is a matter of keeping a balance between the two 🙂
    Branson recently posted…Homeschool Week-in-Review {#ParentTeacherMeetUp – Week 5}My Profile

    • pk1admin October 13, 2015 at 6:12 am - Reply

      Ah, … “balance.” That’s what we strive for every day! So true – I’m constantly trying to keep my mind on the most important things, be diligent all day long, but not miss those golden moments of really connecting with my kids.

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