homeschooling toddlers

9 Common Mistakes Parents Make In Homeschooling Toddlers

Homeschooling toddlers comes with different challenges. As opposed to homeschooling middle school and high school students, you will be facing a sensitive stage in their life—early childhood. 

And because of that, trial and error situations are commonplace in homeschooling toddlers. However, you can avoid missteps by being wary of homeschooling habits and mythical practices that don’t even work these days. 

9 common mistakes in homeschooling toddlers

Early childhood homeschooling doesn’t have one face. After all, children have different learning curves and styles. However, most parents often unknowingly commit mistakes in homeschooling toddlers. Here are the most common ones below. 

Comparing their child’s progress with others’. 

When homeschooling toddlers, parents often make the mistake of comparing their child’s progress with other children’s. 

Of course, you only want them to improve; that’s why you can’t help but worry. However, making comparisons rarely hastens growth.

Take note that the goal here is to prepare them for elementary school. You should not treat them as if they are already in it. It’s best if you focus on their efforts instead. 

Regardless of your intention of doing it, making comparisons has ugly effects that can last for a long time. It can affect kids’ self-esteem and give them unnecessary pressure. 

Dismissing learning styles. 

2 - kid playing with sand - homeschooling toddlers
Give your kids a chance to blossom in their own learning style.

Many children may altogether like Baby Shark or spend hours on an alphabet app; however, not all of them will perceive and retain information in the same way.

For example, some children are auditory learners. They learn better and get more engaged when they listen to music. Others, meanwhile, perform better when they see pictures. They are called visual learners. 

Sadly, a handful of parents dismiss learning styles when homeschooling toddlers. This often results in frustrations because their kid “just can’t get into reading.” Turns out, they are using materials that don’t suit their kid’s learning style. 

So, don’t forget to take into account your kids’ learning styles. Maybe they will learn better if you let them listen to an audiobook.

Thinking that they know everything. 

Since they are homeschooling toddlers, some parents often assume that the subjects are a “piece of cake” to teach. Of course, this isn’t always the case. 

Subjects in preschool include basic math, science, language arts, and more. The concepts may be easy to understand, but the approach to teaching them isn’t always simple to execute. Sometimes, the most common approach isn’t even the right one.

For example, asking them questions or letting them answer exercises won’t always cut it. Maybe they can learn how to count or add numbers better if you gamify the activity. You can also make them watch videos or even create a DIY activity.

As you can see, there are many teaching angles to try out when homeschooling toddlers. Therefore, never be too confident in your knowledge of certain subjects and the ways of teaching those. 

Don’t hesitate to consider other teaching methods or ask for help. 

Making a home version of public school.

two little boys doing schoolwork on desk
Homeschool is not public school.

Parents often try too hard to make their kids’ homeschool education a miniature of the public school. This is a mistake because homeschool is not a public school at home!

Don’t use the same approach or schedule that they use in public schools. You’re catering to an individual with a different set of needs. You don’t need to make decisions like you’re catering to a group of kids.

For example, each “class” in your homeschool curriculum doesn’t have to last up to 45 minutes. This kind of class duration is usually tailored to a large group of pupils in a school setting.

So, if you can, research the best homeschool curriculum for preschoolers. These programs are tailored to children who are learning at home with their parents. These are not watered-down versions of the public school curricula. 

Must read: Homeschooling: Pros And Cons For Parents And Students 

Overlooking kids’ opinions. 

You might have heard about “following your child’s lead,” but what does it really mean? 

The phrase simply means that you support your children’s decisions and choices. It also means you don’t make the mistake of getting way ahead of them. Instead, be inquisitive about their interests and see how things turn out. 

We know you think that it might be difficult to do since you know what’s productive and what isn’t. However, following their lead can indeed lead to good things when homeschooling toddlers.

Particularly, by following their lead, you’ll know how they perceive and learn things. For example, they might not look at LEGO blocks as building materials. Instead, they might use those to create sounds or music. 

As you can see, this is a simple way to determine where they naturally incline. After that, you can incorporate what you’ve learned into your daily activities. You can now make the experience more interesting because you know what they like and how they think.

Must read: COVID-19 Remote Learning: Most Common Challenges of Transitioning to Online Classes 

Following one study plan or curriculum religiously. 

cute little girl watching video on tablet device -homeschooling toddlers
You can diversify their learning experiences with videos and apps.

We understand that you need things to be streamlined, but it’s also a good practice to consider using other resources besides one homeschool curriculum. After all, toddlers easily absorb information like a sponge.

 

For example, you can supply your daily schedule with free online prompts from Real World Homeschool. You can also get free K-12 courses from Heron Books. They offer free-to-download courses about science, independent learning activities, and prehistoric animals. 

Besides those, you can also use apps and subscribe to YouTube channels to diversify your homeschool program.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t decided on a homeschool curriculum, we suggest you look at Sonlight and Wisdom Wonder Project. Sonlight Curriculum is a literature-based Christian homeschool curriculum. Wisdom Wonder Project, on the other hand, is a channel about Singapore Math videos, a top-performing math curriculum. 

Dwelling on mistakes.

Making mistakes is normal in learning. After all, it’s how you actually learn. It all just boils down to how you address them and how you help your kids make up for them. 

The solution here is to set realistic expectations. This will make it easier for you to avoid dwelling on their mistakes. We even suggest you list down your expectations and then take note of their progress. 

Next, communicate with them calmly. Don’t use punitive words or terms. You will only set unnecessary pressure on them. 

Most importantly, teach them that it’s okay to make mistakes. Make sure you praise their effort in trying, instead of paying more attention to what they did wrong. This will also prevent them from being discouraged in exploring risks. 

Must read: Remote Learning in a Pandemic: 7 Best Tips from Pediatricians 

Overcompensating for the lack of socialization. 

kids having fun in the kitchen
Just take one social activity at a time.

We all know this is a familiar trope about homeschooling toddlers. When you hear the word “homeschool,” you often imagine a lonely child with poor social skills. 

While it’s not entirely untrue, it’s possible for homeschooled children to have healthy social lives. A common mistake, however, is when their parents overcompensate for the lack of socialization. 

For example, some parents might have been overscheduling their toddlers’ schedules before this pandemic happened. They went out every week and signed up for a bunch of classes outside at once. 

We suggest that you take one outside activity or class at a time. For example, if they want to enroll in dance class, then focus on that for a while. There’s already a lot to learn in dance classes, after all. Besides working with other kids in a team, they will learn how to obey directions and even accept criticism from their instructors.

Not having enough structure. 

Last but not least is when parents go way too loose in setting the schedule and learning experience of their toddlers. 

We do agree that children at this age should play more while learning. Additionally, you shouldn’t make homeschool as structured as a public school. However, they still need to be ready for elementary school. 

If you want to strike that balance between playing and learning, you can still let them play but make sure to track their activities in a worksheet. Through this, you can evaluate better if what they’re doing contributes to their learning or not. 

After that, you can build a better, more productive schedule using what you’re learned from that evaluation. 

Conclusion

Who said homeschooling is easy and more relaxed? Especially when you deal with toddlers, your patience and strength will really be tested. 

So, whenever you feel like you’re not satisfied with your child’s homeschool schedule, just browse this list to find out if you’re making one or more mistakes.

Related questions

What is the best homeschool curriculum for preschool?

We suggest you look at Time4Learning, Sonlight, or Oak Meadow.  

How do I homeschool my preschool child?

As the term “preschool” suggests, remember that the goal is academic readiness. You don’t want to pressure your kid to ace tests and quizzes at this stage. Take your time and let your kid flourish at their own pace.

What subjects are required for kindergarten homeschool?

For kindergarten homeschool, the most typical subjects are basic arithmetic, science, language, art, character building, and PE. Some add social studies but this is optional. 

Get free resources for homeschooling toddlers here on All Digital School.

All Digital School has a rich collection of resources for homeschooling toddlers. 

We also have a community forum where you can exchange ideas and advice with other parents and teachers. 

If you need help in choosing the best software and apps for homeschooling toddlers, we have guides and reviews

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Do you know more mistakes that parents make when homeschooling toddlers? Let us know in the comments below!

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