Our present approach is anything but academic. I once was in favor of a more academic approach, but have since changed my persuasion. Instead, I merely have a few objectives in mind for education at a two year old level.
My primary mode of "education" is highly oriented to lessons in practical life and proper behavior. Although I do believe my two year old is capable of academic skills, my greater concern at this moment is elsewhere. Academic lessons can be introduced at a later time, whereas properly navigating the big world with big emotions is a matter that is best addressed in the present. We will introduce the more academic side of curriculum later in the year.
* following instructions/ first time obedience
* clean up after oneself
- pick up toys after play
- remove dishes from table when finished eating
* verbal manners
- ask for items politely ("May I ...)
- wait until everyone is finished (or nearly finished) eating and then ask "May I please be excused"
- say "please" when wanting something & "thank you" when given something
* complete morning routine
- get dressed, fix hair, straighten bed sheets, carry dirty clothes to laundry room, help unload
* contribute to household tasks
- help unload the dishwasher
- rinse handwashed dishes
- load laundry from washer to dryer
* proper behavior in public
- walk holding a hand or the cart
- stay beside Mama or Daddy at all times
- speak quietly
- don't ask or grab for things
- prepare to leave/leave when instructed
* communicate effectively (ie, without tantrum)
- use words or signs
- understand & accept "no" and boundaries
* establish understanding of "focused playtime" & expectations
These objectives might seem too high of expectation. However, Tennyson regularly demonstrates all of these on a daily basis at only 25 months old. He knows what is expected of him. However, even then we do still quite a few moments in which he's not listening and following instructions or having a tantrum on the floor. I do not expect a two year old to behave perfectly. I do, however, expect us to use every situation as an opportunity to teach and practice. I believe one part of my job as a mama is to first teach and then guide my children to learn that which will lead to them to be successful individuals.
1. Utilize every situation as an opportunity to teach and then practice.
2. Repetition, repetition, repetition
(Example: I have him repeat one word at a time "May I please be excused" after a meal instead of fussing to get down from the table.)
3. Remind before correction is needed
(I can frequently be heard saying "we're going to look but not touch" throughout a store!)
4. Practice & reward
(We will soon begin giving Tennyson a job chart of household tasks he can do. After so many he receives a new book, and after so many more he receives a new toy.)