Believe me when I say I understand the challenges moms face when homeschooling with a baby. My kids and I are resuming our school work after taking a few months off after the birth of my sixth child. I’ve been through this before and have learned some creative ways to keep baby happy while attending to the academic needs of my older kids.
I wish someone would have given me pointers on homeschooling with a baby when I was just starting out. That’s why I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful as you navigate homeschooling with a baby.
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Now, I can almost guarantee that if you follow every single one of my suggestions that your day is still going to be tough. This might be a season in your homeschooling journey where academics takes a back seat to life lessons.
Your older child can learn a lot from watching you care for your baby and helping you around the house. These are the times for teaching patience, compassion, putting others first and having a servants heart. It’s also a great time to for developing life skills like helping around the house.
Enjoy your new baby and try incorporating academic lessons into life with your new family member as best you can. When you are ready to tackle some school work you can try some of these ideas.
Vary the Stations
Have a variety of stations available for your baby. Changing up the location and activities for your baby should help them stay stimulated and prevent boredom. I like to rotate my little one between a playpen, a swing, a bouncy chair, a high chair, a playmat, a walker, the Bumbo, or a blanket on the floor.
Try to move your baby to a new station before he gets fussy. It helps to set a timer so that you don’t forget to move your baby to a new station. It is easy to get so wrapped up in school work that you lose track of time. Remember to cuddle, kiss and snuggle your baby in between stations.
You will probably get a lot more done around the house, including homeschooling, if you wear your baby. There are so many wonderful carriers, slings and wraps on the market today. Two of my favorites are the Ergo and the Moby Wrap.
Utilize Feeding Time
Homeschooling with a baby can be challenging when your little one is fussy. Make good use of the quiet time that comes when baby is nursing or feeding. You can gather your kids around on the couch while you feed the baby and read to everyone.
I have made good use of My Brest Friend pillow and the ability it gives me to stand up and walk around while nursing. I’m able to move around and help my older children with their school work while keeping my baby content.
Make the Most of Nap-time
If you are still waking numerous times during the night, then the best use of nap-time is for you to take a nap! You will be more productive if you are rested. Don’t feel guilty about setting aside school work to sleep.
If you are feeling up to it, you can use a portion of your baby’s nap time to get some school work done. This is a good time to work on more challenging subjects that require uninterrupted instruction.
Enlist the Kids to Help
Sometimes all baby needs is a cute little face to look at to make him happy. If you have more than two older children, you can have one entertain your baby while you work with the other one. Even young children can talk with the baby or shake a toy for their little sibling to look at. I’ve learned from experience though, that it’s always a good idea to keep your baby and helper in view at all times.
Change Up the Curriculum
Using curriculum that allows for independent learning can be a life saver when you are homeschooling with a baby. You may have a favorite curriculum that is very teacher intensive. This might be the time to set it aside for something a little less time consuming for you. You can always come back to the curriculum you love when you find your new rhythm.
Lower Your Expectations
Caring for a baby and having older children to educate is a lot juggle for a sleep deprived mom. It’s okay to keep the meals simple, leave the laundry in the dryer for a few days, pass on sweeping the crumbs off the floor and leave the projects for another month (or year). Lower your expectations for your home and school and enjoy that new baby.
Homeschooling with a Baby
Welcoming a new baby into your family is a great blessing. Your priority those first few months should be recovering and bonding with your newborn. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with homeschooling. Relax and spend time as a family. When you are ready to add in school, try out some of these suggestions but always remember that your older kids are learning valuable lessons even when formal education doesn’t happen.
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