Homeschooling with a baby doesn’t have to be hard, as a matter of fact it can be very enjoyable. You see, I recently had my third child and know the challenges that can come when homeschooling with a little one. I also know the blessings it brings to include your little bundle of joy in your homeschooling. It is not easy at times, but I’m here to tell you that it can be done!
No matter if this is your second or fifth baby your homeschool is going to look different every time. Why? Because each precious baby has its own personality. As you get to know your little one you will be able to figure out the changes that you will have to make in order to make homeschooling work for your family.
What is wonderful about homeschooling is that you can be flexible and change things up when you need to.
During this time give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy your family. You can always catch up with the academics part of homeschooling but you can’t get back those first few months of bonding with your baby.
The first three months are usually the hardest as you are still trying to adjust to a new routine. Bringing a baby home changes things for everyone, so everyone needs time to adjust. So how can you enjoy homeschooling with a baby you ask? Well, let me share with you some tips on how to do just that!
But before I go ahead and share how to enjoy homeschooling with a baby; I need to share how to adjust to having a new baby in your family. This is important because if you and the rest of your family haven’t spent the time to bond and adjust to the new baby trying to add homeschooling into the mix later on will be harder than it has to be.
So let’s get started!
Adjusting to a new baby
Prayer can make ALL the difference in the world when you are caring for your little one and the rest of your family. Being in constant communication with Christ will help you make it through those hard days and nights that WILL come your way.
Rest and take a break
Take at least a month off from homeschooling when your baby is born. You can take a longer break if you need to and don’t feel guilty about doing that. Remember you just had a baby and you need time to recover and bond with your new baby. So the time you take off will depend on you and how much time you feel you need. Also, it’s a special time to bond with your little one and enjoy getting to know him. During this time you will start to get an idea of what changes you will have to make when the time comes to ease back into homeschooling your older children.
Don’t add stress
Many times the stress we have is stress that we put on ourselves. So, don’t try to do more than you’re able to do during that time. Know your limits and ask for help when you need it. Simplify as much as you can and focus on what’s important. Also, remember if you are nursing your little one being stressed out can affect your milk supply. So don’t stress, be blessed!
Practical tips on how to enjoy homeschooling with a baby
Include your baby
Even though your baby is young and technically not being homeschooled your baby is part of the family. So, let’s include him as much as possible. Ways that we can include them during our homeschooling time can be during read aloud, devotion time, music lesson and any other activities that you have planned out in which a baby could be a part of. This will definitely help you enjoy homeschooling with your baby.
Use baby play and learn equipment
Having baby nearby (if possible) makes it less stressful and more manageable. Make sure you have a caddy or a basket which can hold clean diapers, diaper rash cream and anything else baby may need in an accessible location. So when you need those things you don’t have to go to a different room to go get them you will have them already near you. Also, don’t forget to bring your baby’s swing, bouncer, pack-n-play or anything else that the baby uses into the area where you homeschool. So that way your baby will be in a safe place and be entertained as well. This will allow you to have your hands free for a little while so you can assist your other children in their lessons.
Use a baby carrier or sling
Using my baby carrier was my saving grace! It allowed me to have my hands free while my little one was safe and close to me. I was able to teach lessons, nurse, cook, clean, grocery shop you name it! I pretty much I was able to do a lot with my little one in the carrier.
Enlist your older children’s assistance
If you have older children have them help you by watching their little brother or sister while you help their younger siblings with their lessons. They can read to them and play with them. This will provide them a special time where they can bond with their little sibling and at the same time be learning living skills.
Utilize nap time
As your baby gets older he will hopefully be sleeping a little longer than they did the first month of life. You will also notice that they have a particular time where they take their naps. So, when your little one goes down for their nap utilize that time to cover the subjects like Math or Reading where you need to do a more one on one time with your older children. I will warn you that some babies will not nap well making it difficult for you to use this tip and that’s okay just take it one day at a time. Which leads me to my next tip.
Give yourself grace
Homeschooling with a baby will always have its challenges but it can also be a time of creating memories. This is a time to enjoy your growing family and take it one day at a time. Enjoy the process. Continue to grow and take your time. If you had a rough night and don’t have the strength to homeschool the next day it’s okay to take the day off. Replace the textbooks and curriculum with fun educational games, read living books, watch a movie and discuss it with your children. Education doesn’t only come from textbooks or boxed curriculum it comes from a love of learning and exploring which comes naturally to children. Take it easy on yourself during this season and focus on building strong relationships with your children and that little precious baby the Lord has blessed you with.
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Enjoy homeschooling with your baby
Remember homeschooling is a lifestyle and your children are always learning, every minute of every day. So please don’t stress and know that this is only for a short season that will fly by way too quickly. Homeschooling with a baby can be hard but so worth it! You just need to get creative and figure out a routine, create your own rhythm and make it work for your family. Please don’t rush through this season savor every moment because you will not get this time back.
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Jessica is a follower of Christ, wife, and mother of three energetic boys. She writes about homeschooling, frugal living, motherhood, intentional living and everything in between. Her heart is to inspire and encourage others to live an intentional life. You can find her sharing her heart over at www.intentionalinlife.com.