"How do you accomplish so much with a two year old always around? Does Little Bird go to preschool or daycare?"
First- I must say to any kind souls who read my blog an think that I accomplish a lot in regards to homeschooling- sincere thanks! I often feel like we don't do enough, or that we are slackers.
In regards to the actual question- no, Little Bird doesn't go to preschool or daycare. Yes, it can be complicated to have things happen with an active toddler around. There are some ways that people handle the toddler years with homeschooling from what I've seen.
Some people do utilize preschools and daycares. I don't think that there is anything inherently wrong with that. If there's a good, affordable play based preschool or daycare in the area I can see how that's a really useful thing. That's a family choice, and a wonderful thing about that is it's not a permanent decision. You can enroll and stop at any time. Why don't we do it?
First, we did try the preschool thing with Sweet Pea. It wasn't a good fit for her or our family. Driving to pick her up was a bigger distraction then actually having her somewhere. Second- Little Bird has some medical issues that make me paranoid about having her in the care of others. I have the constant worry about her having a seizure while in care and the provider not knowing what to do, or knowing what to do and panicking. Paying for regular care would also be a pretty tough thing financially for us.
So what do we do?
Anything that works, it seems like some days. I have a stack of coloring books and art supplies that Little Bird only has access to when we are doing table work. Keeping them special means that she'll spend a little more time with them. I also make huge batches of home made modeling dough, and she'll create with that. I have games that she can play, I let her eat snacks. I let her sit on my lap and look at books. Some days it goes better then others, but the consistency of our routine lets her know that when we're at the table working, it's time to be reasonably quiet and calm.