When you make the decision to homeschool, it’s exciting, and you feel ready to start immediately. You may want to jump right in and get a homeschool curriculum for 2 year olds, but stop – wait!
I’m a veteran homeschooler with four kids at home. My oldest is in 7th grade and my youngest is in pre-k. I know all too well the temptation to get started as quickly as possible, but I’m here to tell you slow is better.
It’s hard because you want to feel like a “legit” homeschooler, but I have a secret to tell you. As soon as you decide you want to school at home, even if you’re only homeschooling a 2 year old – you are, in fact, a legit homeschooler.
I know you want to do SOMETHING, right?
Sure! Your 2 year old is vivacious and needs some sort of schedule throughout the day. Instead of paying money for a 2 year old homeschool curriculum, I suggest putting together lesson plans for your toddler.
Here’s what I did for my little kids!
Related: How to Homeschool a 4-Year-Old: What You Need to Know to Get Started
Can You Start Homeschooling a 2-Year-Old?
Yes, you can! However, a typical 2 year old is not in school yet, and the most important thing you can do for your child at this age is play with them. Play is learning for toddlers and preschoolers; don’t think it’s a waste of time.
Young kids learn best when playing and engaging in entertaining, fun activities. So, if you want to start homeschooling your 2 year old, I suggest to make it fun.
Related: 21 Important Things to Teach Your 2 Year Old
What Should My 2 Year Old Learn?
When deciding on a 2 year old homeschool curriculum, make sure it covers things that your child should learn at this age.
Here are some topics to focus on at this age.
- Basic shape recognition
- Color recognition
- Recognizing numbers 0-10
- Counting to 10
- Visual discrimination
- Sorting objects
- Listening to nursery rhymes
- Recognizing common animals and household objects
- Recognizing some letters
However, all kids are different. Some kids learn their letters faster than others, and that’s ok. If you do decide to embarking on homeschooling a 2 year old, then recognize it should be fun without any added pressure.
Should I Buy 2 Year Old Homeschool Curriculum?
When I was a new homeschooling parent, I wanted to buy all the things; it makes you feel like you’re truly embarking on this journey. However, that doesn’t mean you should buy a preschool curriculum for a 2 year old.
Chances are your 2 year old isn’t ready for a true curriculum yet. At this age, they need ample play time, outside time, and reading time with you.
Instead, I suggest you use learning resources – free and paid – to help your toddler learn. Create your own lesson plans instead of paying for something made for you – trust me, you have plenty of time in the future to buy curriculum.
Printables Are Your Friend!
Don’t forget about printables! The market for printables is HUGE, and resources like Teachers Pay Teachers provides you with all of the things you could want.
It’s important to remember that little kids really don’t need tons of worksheets. They learn through hands-on projects, sensory activities, and real life.
However, some printables are fun and stop you from having to buy an entire curriculum. Grab some printable toddler learning packets or fun prewriting worksheets for extra practice.
Consider the Peaceful Preschool
If you really want a two year old homeschool curriculum, I suggest looking at the Peaceful Preschool. It’s gentle, slow, and works for ages 2-6. You’ll get multiple years worth of use out of it, which is beneficial if you have several kids.
How to Make Lesson Plans for Homeschooling a 2 Year Old
In general, a 2 year old has pretty short attention span, and since you want the majority of their day exploring and playing, your lessons should take no more than an hour per day.
That’s not an hour straight!
Short lessons are key. Make sure your lessons are NEVER more than 10 minutes long. If you go to long, your child’s attention will drift, and they may not find sitting down with you fun anymore.
We always want to raise kids who love learning!
Here is a general outline you can use for a 2 year old homeschool curriculum.
- Calendar Time: Start by talking about the day of the week and weather outside. Kids love checking out the weather!
- Poetry: It’s important to include poetry and nursery rhymes in your homeschool plans for a 2 year old.
- 2-3 Read Aloud Books: It’s impossible to read too much to your child. Select 2-3 read aloud books per day and spread them throughout your learning day.
- 1-2 Letter Activities: I suggest using a letter of the week curriculum or something that gives you activities for each letter. Focus on 1 letter per week.
- 1 Math or Counting Activity: Shapes also is included in math since it’s a pre-cursor to geometry.
- 1 Pre-Writing Activity: This can be tracing, coloring, or anything!
You don’t need to do much more than this with your toddler. I suggest tossing in some art lessons, but those should be free art rather than arts and crafts. Arts and crafts don’t help your child learn how to be a better artist.
A Sample Day for Homeschooling a 2 Year Old
Are you wondering what this day might look like for your child? Remember, it’s short, so I suggest spreading the activities out throughout the day.
- Story Time
- Art Time
- Snack Time
- Letter Learning Activity
- Outside Time!
- Lunch with Poetry & Reading a Story
- Counting Activity
- Pre-Writing Activity
- Outside Time
These activities only take 5 to 10 minutes, so it’s easy to sprinkle them throughout the abundant free play time toddlers need. Toddlers also need plenty of time outside, so don’t limit going outside.
Supplies Needed for Homeschooling 2 Year Olds
One good thing about this age is you really don’t need to get too many materials. You’ll need the basics like crayons – I’m LOVING the twistable crayons! – colored pencils, construction paper, glue, and scissors.
Those are all pretty typical, but here are some suggestions for materials I always keep on hand.
- Wooden Letter Tiles: Kids learn with their hands much better than flashcards. I love having movable wooden letters for kids to explore. You can build words with these and use them as they learn how to blend as they get older.
- Foam Letters: We always have a set of foam letters in our bath tub. You can find other ways to use them, but the more exposure your kids have to letters, the quicker they retain them.
- Sandpaper Letters: Kinetic learners love sandpaper letters. It’s a great way for kids to learn how to proper shape and write the letters as a prewriting exercise.
- Magnet Tiles: You might not realize how educational magnet tiles really are, but these tiles help with early math and science skills.
- Shape Sorting Cube: Sorting shapes also is an early math skill for kids. Shapes are a precursor to geometry, a skill your kids will need at some point!
- Mother Goose Treasury: You need nursery rhymes to read to your kids, and trust me, toddlers love them. Read these regularly, and your child will get excited when he knows what comes next.
- Rainbow Counting Bears with Sorting Cups: These little bears are so useful. You’ll find a variety ways to use them like sorting them into colors, creating patterns, counting, and more.
- Sandpaper Numerals: Another sandpaper item toddlers love is sandpaper numbers. Show your kids how the numbers are shaped!
- Dot Markers: I use dot markers all the time. You can use them for counting and letter recognition activities.
It’s also a good idea to gather plenty of art materials for your homeschool. Some of my kids’ favorites include watercolor paints, soft pastels, and modeling clay. They love to shape and play with clay!
How to Keep Your 2 Year Old Homeschool Organized
No state requires parents to report homeschooling a two year old; most reporting doesn’t start until five or six years old. However, you still want to keep your activities organized.
Here are a few suggestions.
- Use a planner and write down the letter of the week at the top of each week.
- Jot down the activities you want to do that week. I suggest writing them out in a list rather than per day since you never know how each day will go.
- Cross out the activities as you finish them. Work week-by-week, so anything you don’t do one week moves to the next with you.
- Prepare the materials you need on Sunday, so you stay ahead of the game. Feeling ill-prepared is a joy killer for homeschoolers.
If you decide you want to homeschool your toddler, don’t stress out about buying a homeschool curriculum for 2 year olds. Short learning times created at home with ample hands-on learning and outside time is ideal for your little one for now!