Sunday, 21 July 2019

How to Homeschool With a Baby Around


I have a confession to make. I started to write this blog post over a year ago but at that point I was still figuring out how to actually homeschool with a baby around. I waited and waited because I was waiting for it to get easier. I mean, babies aren't difficult forever are they? But the thing is, it started off way easier than it is now.


Looking back, homeschooling with a newborn baby was relatively easy. Newborns sleep most of the day, meaning you have plenty of time to get stuff done once you've recovered from the birth. When they are newborn they tend to wake for feeds or nappy changes but the rest of the time they don't disturb you that much. In fact, it can lead you into a false sense of security because it starts off a lot easier than you imagine; apart from the sleepless nights!

As baby gets a bit older, they start to be awake a lot more and this can be when the challenge begins. How exactly do you homeschool when caring for a baby? It can sometimes seem that whenever you have settled the baby and are about to begin school with the older ones, the baby will suddenly start to cry. Then there are those clingy phases they go through where you seem to spend the whole day with them balanced on one hip while juggling homeschooling, cooking and cleaning with the other hand. 




Take a Break

The first thing you need to do is take a break and understand that taking a break is absolutely ok! Do NOT feel guilty for taking it easy and taking some time off from homeschooling duties while you prepare for and recover from the birth of your precious little one. Taking a break from homeschooling will not damage your children but it will leave time for you to connect with one another and adjust to having an extra member of the family which is exactly what you all need.

When my youngest was born in October 2017, we didn't take a summer break. Instead, we worked through the summer and had our long vacation in October after the baby was born. See if something similar would work for you too.


Rearrange your schedule



After you have taken a break and are ready to get back into the swing of things again, see if there are any adjustments you can make to your schedule that would make life easier to homeschool with a baby. This could be rearranging things around baby's naptime so that you do the bulk of your homeschool work when baby is asleep. It may also mean you go out at certain times of the day. Do you like to be at home when the baby naps or will the baby sleep well, or better, when you are out and about. I always found my babies slept very well when we were outdoors. The fresh air would make them sleep longer! However, that may not be the case for your little one. Remember, all babies are different.


Follow a curriculum



When a lot of your time and energy is taken up with caring for a newborn, you will not be able to spend much time planning homeschool work and activities. I have always found it easier to follow a curriculum during those newborn days such as the Exploring Nature With Children curriculum which you can read about HERE. This curriculum really was a lifesaver in those days when I was walking around in a daze caused by sleepless nights.  Following a curriculum really does make life much easier. I didn't have to be creative or come up with a complicated plan. I would simply open the curriculum and read what it was my children had to do and then do it with them. Simple.

Read



Reading is one of those things that you can do at any time of the day no matter what season of life you are in. It is another way that you can ensure your children are learning without you having to exert much effort. Just find a seat, relax and read. If you are too tired to go out, read. If you are too tired to get off the sofa, read. Read, read and read some more. Reading never gets old and the benefits of reading aloud to your children are huge. Reading aloud fosters connection and strengthens family bonds. It teaches children new vocabulary and expands their minds with new ideas. If you are too tired to read aloud, there are always audiobooks!

Put baby in a sling or carrier



Sometimes you have those days when the baby just wants to be held and will not settle when you put her down. On those days, you may find it useful to put baby in a sling so that you can have your hands free. Not only will baby love being close to you, chances are you will love it too. I purchased a few slings when my second child was born and I am using them for my fourth child now. You can buy used slings second hand in very good condition. Check your local Facebook pages and selling groups.

So there you have it, some super easy ways to homeschool with a baby around that will make your life easier! Do you have any more tips on how to homeschool with a baby around?



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