I knew I was going to have a baby. I just couldn’t have guessed how soon. It was 4 weeks before my due date and I had contractions like I was having just a month earlier. So I didn’t think anything of it, until…
My water broke! What happened next was a whirlwind that 1 out of 10 women experience. Having a preemie is really stressful. Add homeschooling into the mix and it can be daunting. But you’re not alone and your mission is divine! Here are some strategies that have helped me cope with a newborn while homeschooling my 3 other children.
Homeschooling with a Newborn
My children are all young, 6 and under. You might think that since they are young, it is easier for me to homeschool them. However, the opposite is true. With older children you have the luxury of letting them teach themselves. It is the younger ones that need a more hands-on approach. Combine all that hands-on work with a newborn and you have one professional homeschooling mom! So, here’s what I’ve learned.
A Whole New Subject
I wonder why so many new moms don’t have a clue when it comes to babies? I was the same way, reading everything I could get my hands on about caring for my child. It would have been nice if I was taught something more about babies other than their cute, but don’t have any until you are 30, and don’t have too many!
Well I broke those rules, and I discovered that babies are so much more than just cute. They are amazing, life changing, character building, full of opportunity, tons of fun and huge assets! Having a newborn is a great opportunity to teach your children all about babies, so that when they have one they will be a lot more confident and experienced. What a blessing and great life skill to have!
Check the Boxes
Homeschooling is the funnest experience you can have as a parent. There are so many things to explore and learn about. Maybe you’ve always wanted to discover more about ancient Rome or the rainforest. Well, here’s your chance! You can learn right alongside your child. Wait, slow down. You have a new baby coming so that means that there won’t be as much time for in-depth studies. If you have older children, they can keep those studies within reason. But with younger children, you might want to focus on checking off the most important subjects; reading, writing, and arithmetic.
With my oldest daughter (age 6), I sat down and we made a to-do list together. First I had her write down the things that she had to do, then I asked her what she wanted to do. I typed up the to-do list with big boxes in front of each task and put it in a sheet protector in her study binder. Now, she knows what tasks she needs to do everyday and when they are all checked off, she is done with her studies and can play!
More Time for the Little Ones
Giving my older daughter the ability to study more on her own, I am able to devote more one-on-one time to my younger daughter. She needs it because she is learning to read, write, and do basic math problems. We use flash card games to learn because I can do lots of them while feeding my newborn. I use lots of rewards to motivate Emma and she loves being able to spend time with the baby while she is doing “school”.
The Most Important Lesson
The things that aren’t taught in public schools are the most important subjects in our lives. The ultimate is Love. So many people mistake the superficial kind of love that is really another word for “like” or “prefer”. The kind of love that you say when you are eating a huge bowl of your favorite ice cream.
Having a newborn in the house can help children learn about the true sacrificial love that is slowly becoming a thing of the past in our society. Take the time to share the baby with your children, have them feed him, kiss and hug. But also show them the work involved. Maybe Dad can let Mom sleep in late because she was up all night with baby and have the children make breakfast for her. Because when you’re a homeschool family, taking care of each other is the highest priority!
Do you have a newborn? I’d love to here your tips for new moms!
Janine LaTulippe is the Mother of 3 blessings all under the age of 5. She believes that an elite education begins in the Home. Her mission is to help parents raise sons and daughters, whose legacies honor their families and glorify God. Her sites http://www.bluemanoreducation.com/ and http://www.trueaimeducation.com/ provide curriculum, free resources, and inspiration for Homeschoolers! Connect with Janine: Facebook – Blog – Pinterest – Twitter – Google+.