Friday Freewrite: Clothes Closet

Friday Freewrite

As you try to decide what to wear for the day, your clothes start competing for your attention. Write their reasons for why you should choose one outfit instead of another.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

[Podcast #225] Homeschooling with Babies & Toddlers in Tow

Brave Writer Podcast

Today’s Brave Writer podcast episode is about how to homeschool while you have a baby or toddler in tow.

First, Julie and Melissa talk about daily routines, like finding pockets of time to teach your older kids while your toddler is napping or when you are all taking a family walk. Then they give specific activities that can keep toddlers occupied.

They wrap up by covering a few strategies to involve friends and family, including:

  • co-ops,
  • babysitting swaps,
  • and grandparent-led science experiments.

Show Notes

Find Natural Pockets in the Day

Homeschooling is all about the 5-15 minute pockets of learning throughout the day, evening, and even weekends. Get a feel for the natural flow of the day for your toddlers and your older kids. Is there a time of day when your toddler naps, or tends to be slightly more calm (relatively speaking)? Just as importantly, are there times during the day when you know, realistically, you can’t force any structured learning to happen?

Find what works for you and your kids, and be okay with seizing teaching moments whenever they arise. Most learning happens through conversation, and those conversations can happen any time, even while taking a walk with a toddler in the stroller.

Time-Tested, Toddler-Approved Activities

The cold hard truth is that most of the time you do need to distract the beast baby. Julie and Melissa’s now-grown kids contributed to their list of tried-and-true distraction activities like:

  • dot paints,
  • magnets on a cookie sheet,
  • bubbles,
  • water play stations,
  • a sheet of contact paper with the sticky side up,
  • a soup pot (yes, just a soup pot…toddlers love putting things in things),
  • indoor play equipment,
  • post-it notes and stickers.  

Another tip is to pick certain beloved toys that are only pulled out in situations when you really need to bribe the toddler.

Tap Into Community

Remember, just because you are in charge of your children’s education doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself. Team up with other homeschool families in co-ops or just informal, temporary meet-ups. If grandparents are in the picture, get them involved, either with the babies or with the older children. Consider putting your toddler in a forest school, YMCA program, etc. for a day or two a week. It takes a village, as they say.

At the end of the day, just remember this is temporary. Babies grow fast. Just because one year of homeschooling isn’t super shiny and perfect, doesn’t mean that your kids aren’t learning or that next year won’t be better. Before you know it, they will be teenagers wondering whatever happened to their dot paints.


Connect with Julie

Connect with Melissa

Produced by NOVA Media

Brave Writer Podcast

Simply Do It

Brave Writer

If you want your child to learn something, try the thing in your child’s presence. Work the math problem or copy the passage in full view. Don’t announce it. Simply do it. Be an object of curiosity rather than a teacher.

Pick something that you would love to do and then, just do it.

Perhaps you’d love to:

  • paint,
  • play with clay,
  • repot all your African violets,
  • run through the sprinklers,
  • quilt,
  • make pancakes from scratch,
  • map the constellations,
  • or learn how to play a new board game.

Do it.

In silence. No announcements, no declarations of “wouldn’t this be fun to do together?”

Rather, wake up and start doing the thing. Your kids may notice. When they do, scooch over. Let them handle the implement, or make a mark on a page, or run through the sprinklers in their pajamas.

Your task is to serve as a participant, not as a teacher. See what happens! You might be surprised.

Open the math book; work a problem. Copy your favorite quote from Emma into a notebook.

LEARN. See what happens.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there
so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

Brave Learner Home

[Webinar] An Easier Way to Teach Decoding with Dr. Marnie Ginsberg

Brave Writer

Do you wonder if there’s an easier way to teach your child to read?
Or maybe you need help teaching your struggling reader.

Dr. Marnie Ginsberg, founder of Reading Simplified, joins us as our guest speaker to show us a better, easier approach for growing strong readers. She’ll share integrated practices that prepare great readers and shine a different light on phonics instructions.

You’ll walk away with two reading activities you can use with your reader right away!

Dr. Ginsberg’s mission is to support busy educators in teaching an evidence-based system of reading instruction. She is passionate about finding solutions to reading problems, and we are excited to learn from her expertise.

This special Brave Learner Home webinar is OPEN to everyone! If you aren’t a Brave Learner Home member, you can purchase a seat for only $15.

Bring your questions! There will be a Q&A with our guest speakers at the end.

Save Your Seat!

Webinar: An Easier Way to Teach Decoding with Dr. Marnie Ginsberg
Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 pm (Eastern)
Purchase your seat here

Seats are limited to 500, including Brave Learner Home members. Be sure to register now! (A replay will be available to all who register.) 

Brave Learner Home

Friday Freewrite: Alien Perspective

Friday Freewrite

The word “monotonous” means something that is “dull, tedious, and repetitious.” Think of a routine task that you find monotonous. Now, imagine an alien visits and excitedly does that task for the very first time! Describe their experience.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.