I get asked quite frequently what curriculum we use for the toddler. The short answer: none.
We prescribe (mostly) to the Charlotte Mason school of thought on this matter. If you have a look over here on Ambleside Online, you’ll see what Charlotte says about ‘school’ before six.
A Charlotte Mason education might seem like it sets extremely high educational standards, and it does, but this does NOT mean a child learns everything in one go. These skills are an accumulation of things over a long period of time. A kind of positive snowball effect.
(For more AO FAQs, check out this page)
Kids before six should learn through play and exploration. Not worksheets and neat boxes set out with activities and ‘connect the dots’ and teachers ‘helping’ them complete artworks to stick on the fridge (and that all look exactly the same as every other child’s)
No offence meant to parents of kiddies in kindergarten.
It just isn’t the route for us.
We teach the toddler a love of learning and exploring, and then leave her to make her own connections. We don’t use a set curriculum. Life is her school. Excuse the cliché’ 😉
But seriously- the world is her classroom Nature is chock and block full of amazing things to see, touch, taste and explore. Birds, leaves, fluffies, snails, rocks, seeds, clouds. Things to climb and flowers to smell.
Charlotte believed that a child should be exposed to a rich feast when it comes to educational material (books and music, for example) and life experiences/adventures. That they should grow hungry for the accumulation of knowledge. That they should come to truly, deeply love learning. That they should make their own connections. That every single day and experience is a learning opportunity.
I’m just a (very blessed) bystander. Here to help, guide and protect where necessary. To enforce boundaries to keep her safe. But most of the time just an awed passenger, being pulled along to explore the journey of toddlerhood with her!
Our little ones teach us to look at the world with amazement.
Who cares if your toddler can’t count till 10 and name 5 shapes and colours? Mine can count till 5, name all the farm animals (her current obsession), name 7 colours and shapes, and sing in French. The rest will come when the time is right. Your kid can’t do that? Well, so what? He might be able to do math, or draw awesome pictures, or climb the highest tree.
Don’t measure your child against others.
Just present the feast, let them pick what they like and watch them grow!