This is our 8th year of officially homeschooling. Since I have a 4 year old and a 1 month old, I have some experience. The most difficult thing is finding the time to actually write anything about it. Because the first thing to know about homeschooling with a baby in the house is that you’re going to be BUSY!
But you know that. Because just having a new baby is a very busy time.
There are some things that you can think about well before the baby is born and make adjustments.
1. Think about your curriculum. Look for things your children can work on independently.
I tend to use teacher intensive curriculum for several subjects. I’ve had to put those aside and substitute other activities for the time being.
2. Get your Netflix cue ready.
Let’s face it, your children are probably going to be watching more TV. You might as well have some educational shows picked out ahead of time.
3. Train your children. Train them not only to help, but to do complete tasks.
This is one that I’ve realized after this baby. I should have taught my children to do laundry. They can all help by transferring clothes between the washer and dryer and putting their own clothes away, but I’ve not taught anyone to run a load of laundry from sort to fold.
4. Consider extending the school year.
If you think about this ahead of time, you could start your year earlier than usual to allow more time off after the baby arrives. You can also plan on schooling through the summer.
5. Think about the age of your children.
Younger children do not need to spend as time per day schooling as older children do. But older children are more capable of helping with the baby and other household tasks. (Especially if you’ve followed my advice in #3!)
6. In general, the more relaxed your homeschool is, the less you will have to change things after the baby is born.
If you have a highly structured day where you do a lot of instructing, you will have to adapt more than if you are an unschooler.
After the baby arrives:
7. Take time off.
As much as possible take for at least a few days completely off from school, housework, and cooking. Then gradually add activities back in to your routine.
8. Relax your expectations.
This goes for all areas. You’re going to be spending a lot of time caring for the baby. There are not enough hours in the day for you to do the same amount of homeschooling, housework, cooking, and extracurricular activities as you were doing before. Unless you were spending hours sitting on the couch watching TV, you’re going to have to give some things up.
9. Take advantage of baby’s naps.
Use this time for those times you need to be able to teach your children without distractions. Better yet, use naptime to take a nap yourself.
10. Enjoy your baby!
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By Kristen H.