I am often asked for advice on how to home-school with a ‘toddler running around screaming’.
From my own observations as a mother and home-schooler, I have found that a rampaging toddler is usually just the child’s way of seeking your attention. If, like me, you are currently home-schooling with a toddler around, you will know how hard it can be to get household chores done, let alone teaching your other children.
My daughter, Zeynab is now 21 months old and is into everything. If she doesn’t have someone’s attention focused on her at all times she will make her presence known in the loudest possible ways, mashaa’Allah.
She is tall enough to climb up at the table and quite often grabs pens and pencils. I would give her some pencils and a colouring book on the floor but after a while she would get up and continue to disrupt us.
Recently I let her sit at the table with her colouring book and pencils alongside her siblings and as they did their work, Zeynab sat quietly doing her colouring, mashaa’Allah. I sat next to her and every time she picked up a pencil I told her the colour and made her repeat it. She simply wanted to be part of what we were doing and as soon as she felt included she settled down and stopped screaming and disturbing us.
Now that she is showing an interest in joining us in our studies, it’s a good opportunity to introduce basics such as colours, shapes, letters and numbers as well as developing fine motor skills like pencil control. She loves her picture books and now she ‘reads’ them to me at the table.
It’s not always practical to have a toddler at the table when the kids are studying but if they can get a little time, even just 5 minutes, alongside their siblings, it really does make a difference in their behaviour in my experience.