Patience and homeschooling

If I had a dime for each time someone has told me that they “just don’t have the patience to homeschool” I’d have like, a lot of dimes- I’m talkin’ enough dimes to buy a whole candy bar, guys. I’m the first to admit that I am NOT a patient person, and that yes, homeschooling does take a lot of patience, so clearly it must work out somehow, right? My kids are all still alive and don’t hate me so I think I’m on the right track. There is no special ingredient, only the choice to take it day by day (or in my case it’s usually minute by minute) and choose patience. We all have the ability to be just as patient as Mother Teresa! Practice makes perfect. And it is so worth it!
That being said, I’ll be darned if there aren’t some helpful tips and tricks that can make that choice a little easier.
The current test of my patience during our homeschool is our darling, curious toddler. Pickle is a very normal toddler in the way that she needs quite a bit of attention. All the time. Particularly when it’s inconvenient for me, like during an explanation of a tricky math concept. I’m embarrassed to say that Pickle had been watching more shows than either of the big kids ever did at her age and it was really taking a toll on her attitude. There is only so much time I can expect my big kids to help out with her during school time and I like to keep that to a bare minimum, which is how things started to slide. Man, Winnie the Pooh made mornings so quiet! But we all know TV is really pretty lousy for the brain and I wanted to pull the plug for Pickle. I was definitely not a poster homeschool mom these past few weeks.
However, my rusty brain started to remember all the things I did to keep the Bigs entertained when there were two toddlers to keep busy and I’ve successfully been in incorporating them into our day. I thought I’d share some here with you!

Popcorn Transfer.
(Supervising kitty optional)

Got some popcorn kernels in the kitchen? Toddlers love simple transfer practice! This is also a good opportunity to practice patience when (not if) a scoop full goes flying, haha! When Pickle spilled however she was really excited to sweep it up with a small broom.


A couple squirts of paint in a zip lock taped to the floor bought me about ten minutes. Hey, that’s enough time to give a spelling test, so I’ll take it!
An unexpected, yet heartwarming consequence of all these fun activities is that A is having a fond time remembering the days when she did them. She’s dying to do the paint in a bag herself now, haha!


My mother bought us this slime. I can confidently say I do not know who she is anymore. Just kidding! But seriously, giving toddler slime is not anymore messy than giving a 9 year old slime. Ahem. Ask me how I know…

Water Play

This is a really fun one. It is a bit tricky so your toddler might need more assistance than not. These are big droppers that I got for school and they were so worth it. Here Pickle is having fun sucking up and squirting water all around the tray.

Kinetic Sand

Kinetic sand is a fantastic sensory tool for toddlers and it has the pro of not being very messy. Now bear in mind, toddlers are just messy in general, so it’s all relative. I don’t find it any messier than play dough and toddlers seem to be able to do more with it. These little tools came with a play dough we got ages ago and they have been great and interchangeable. Note the sturdy sheet pan lid that has spent most of its life as a toddler tray, haha!


If you’re feeling really adventurous and really patient, go for actual painting! It will be a mess, but it is really fun to see how much toddler enjoy the experience. I can’t speak highly enough of smocks. It’s just easier to throw them in the wash than it is to clean off a squirming toddler. The washable paint on the market these days is a dream! So simple to clean up when it gets on the floor or table. I highly recommend using the floor for painting for kids of all ages. They seem to be more comfortable and it makes sure the paint doesn’t get on any other important projects or papers. Just keep an eye out for when your tot starts to get bored, they won’t mind walking right through their art work, haha! Oh, and double up the paper 😉.

Bristle Blocks

We got this set from my sister in law for our oldest and it is great! I will say her favorite part is the container. She will walk around with this on her head for quite awhile. It seems to attract kids of all ages in fact. But she’s able to build small cars or towers to knock over which is a favorite activity of kids from about 1-7 I’d say. 😄

The best days of my life

I hope you got some inspiration for finding ways to keep your toddler busy. We have so many more amazing toys and games we love to play with Pickle, or that she can do herself, including wooden train tracks, puzzles, and hide and go seek (she will play that for ages!) If you have any other ideas let me know, I’m always looking for new material. And don’t worry, we are all practicing patience, just take it one day, or one minute, at a time. Cheers!

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