Learning The Way My Toddler Learns (Not The Way I do!)

Learning the Way My Toddler Learns

This is a guest post by Lindsay.  

I was such a good parent before I had a kid.

I never planned to homeschool.

But I did plan to be the “unschooling” mom.

You know, where the kids learn through their natural life experiences including play, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction.

My grand plans for “unschooling” were to explore the outdoors – in ponds, and forests. Where we find ants, and critters, build mud pies because we love to get dirty and “feel” nature. To draw and color and use our hands.

And then I became a parent.

To Carsen.

Who, bless his heart, likes the idea of mud puddles, but does not want to get dirty.

Who, likes the idea of sand but doesn’t want to get any on his clothes.

And who loves to learn, and thrives off “school work.”

The actual sit at a table, open a book, and do what it says school work.

I teach him a concept once and he remembers.

He knows his letters, says each sound they make, has started to spell and understands the concept of addition.

Before I became a parent, my visions of schooling looked like what I wanted or needed growing up. It never occurred to me that the way my kid would learn might in fact be different than myself.

At this time, Carsen prefers the more logical approach to learning. He enjoys groups, loves people in fact, but also enjoys sitting one on one with me as I teach him a concept.

To help me help him I have found a few games/toys that we love to use:

Mindware Imagination Magnets

Educational Focus: Visual thinking skills, fine motor skills and creativity

This is a great way for Carsen to understand shapes, and how they can be placed to make a design. He is also starting to use his imagination to create his own designs with the shapes.

Melissa & Doug® Deluxe Wooden See-and-Spell Set

Educational Focus: Letter recognition and reading skills

We started using this very early on to help with letter recognition which has now warped into learning to spell.

Sequence for Kids

Educational Focus: Animal recognition, strategy, patterns, taking turns, following rules, being a good sport, and so much more.

I am a HUGE believer in learning through games!

Map Puzzles (US and World)

Educational Focus: These teach children about each state/country/continent as they complete the map from memory.

Ordinary People Change the World books

These books are biographies of famous people from our history books, made fun for our kids. We learn what characteristics make for a great role model and hero.

What toys and games do you love playing with your toddlers to help them learn?