Anyone know how to get back to schooling after a new baby is born??? - Mothering Forums
Learning at Home and Beyond > Anyone know how to get back to schooling after a new baby is born???
LoveToBeMom's Avatar LoveToBeMom 04:37 PM 10-26-2010
I am looking for ANY advice regarding home-schooling when you also have a newborn! My baby is now 5 wks old, and I had hoped to restart school for my older child (preschool age) after a 1-2 month break post-partum. Of course now I have such limited time, energy, and worse - weak motivation!

My older child seems to really be needing a routine and some more structure to his day again.... but HOW? I am really at a loss and just wonder how we'll get back into it!

So here are my questions in a nutshell:

When there is a newborn in the house...
1. How/when do you do your planning?
2. How/when do you homeschool?
3. What ignites your motivation when you really just don't want to prepare for school?

Thanks for any advice you can offer. I know there are many wise mothers on this discussion board who have made it through homeschooling with a newborn happily and with sanity (mostly) intact!

JavaFinch's Avatar JavaFinch 04:50 PM 10-26-2010
I don't have a newborn, but a daughter right in the midst of terrible twos, which in some ways is harder than when she was a newborn. What helps me is to try to get the things done that I really need to assist with/teach done when I know DD will be in a good mood, and then have other things I can do while nursing and save those to do once she starts getting cranky/clingy. Then also have independent things for DS to do. The key is I can't really follow a 'schedule' per se beyond the one that says, "When DD is happy, that's our time to get our stuff done that you need to HELP with". Then after that, it's just over-seeing that he gets his stuff done on his own.

But that made it sound easier than it is, lol! Some days are good (today) but some days are just rough.

Congrats on your new baby
KimPM's Avatar KimPM 10:42 PM 10-26-2010
Sounds like maybe you need a curriculum that is already well-planned, so it doesn't need so much planning time from you.
mommariffic's Avatar mommariffic 11:43 PM 10-26-2010
I've got a 3 year old, and a 3 month old

Right now it's tough because DS is very needy [naturally] so I'm just giving myself slack. We follow a rhythm but no set "times" for things, and I make a list of what I want done for the day ie: story, craft, letter of the day..and when we get to them, we get to them. I do story time while I'm hanging with babe, and I make sure to do "academic" stuff when babe is napping.

Mostly, I give slack : )
bobandjess99's Avatar bobandjess99 08:21 PM 10-27-2010
I can't. At all. Having a baby (mine don't sleep, EVER, by the way) is completely, utterly, 100% all consuming. MY older kids are lucky to get bread so they can make their own sandwiches.
I write off completely any year that ghas a 0, 1 or 2 year old in it. My son is turning 3 in Dec, and we are *just now* getting back to any semblance of a normal life.
Smithie's Avatar Smithie 08:38 PM 10-27-2010
I can, and have, schooled a preschooler when I was pg/had a newborn. Looking back on it, I have to say that I'm not sure it was worth the effort - he'd be essentially the same 1st grader now if he hadn't had the 4K and 5K instruction. But if you are determined:

1. Time limits. 10 minutes is enough for a preschooler's lesson. 3 lessons per day, spread out, is just fine.
2. Pre-planned curriculum. I loved Hooked On Phonics for the preschool years. "What Your Preschooler Needs to Know" from the Core Knowledge series is another excellent pick-up-and-go resource.
3. Don't beat yourself up! Your baby is very, very young. You don't have to be schooling now.
ColwynsMommy's Avatar ColwynsMommy 09:20 PM 10-27-2010
Well, here's my thoughts. Preschoolers really don't need much instruction. Read to them, play with them, include them in your life, and that's all that's needed. I never really did anything structured with my preschoolers aside from some Singapore Earlybird (and only because my oldest *loved* workbooks), and that was sporadic. They're both ahead in math and reading now at 5 and 7.

A baby can be a real energy suck. When I had my third, my older boys were 2 and 4. She was a relatively easy baby, but I still took a 6 month break before even *thinking* of doing anything beyond the essentials. We participated a lot in our HS group, but that was about it. Now with my 4th.. oy. He's a terrible sleeper and I'm completely exhausted. Luckily, he is pretty happy during the day so I can hold him on my lap or put him in the jumperoo while we read or do some math. But there's no way I'm doing as much as I would like, and I can't see that changing any time soon. Not until we're getting more sleep.

Anyway. My point is that if it's not too difficult for you to do things, great, but if it is, don't feel bad at all about taking a long break - especially since he's young and everything that they're 'supposed' to know at that age is easily picked up through play.
Greenmama2's Avatar Greenmama2 10:46 PM 10-27-2010
Is it the structure or the focused Mama time your LO is needing? Both can be hard to achieve with a small babe around. Go easy on yourself (and them).
zjande's Avatar zjande 01:14 AM 10-28-2010
I think you've been given pretty great advice so far. Preschool age is so young, I really wouldn't stress super hard about academics. How about lots of reading time on the couch or wherever you spend your breastfeeding time? Books from several different genres. Then maybe follow that up with pencils & scratch paper right there on the couch as well. Draw pictures, write letters & numbers, practice writing your pre-ker's name, etc. together.

I've managed to pick up the homeschooling 2-4 weeks after birth 3 times now, but I've always had much older kids that I didn't want to fall too far behind with their schoolwork. I use curriculum with them to make all the planning easier on me.
LoveToBeMom's Avatar LoveToBeMom 02:43 PM 10-28-2010
thanks, everyone, for the specific ideas. i need to do some rethinking and prioritizing. i am a montessori teacher by training, so i am really attached to that method (perhaps too much?). We have a montessori school room set up for my preschooler, but perhaps i need to incorporate more of our activities into our regular living space.

we do read on the couch quite a bit during the day, but i like the idea of doing some additional activities there as well. and of course my preschooler is involved in all the day-to-day living stuff that is so educational (and fun)
for his age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmama2 View Post
Is it the structure or the focused Mama time your LO is needing? Both can be hard to achieve with a small babe around. Go easy on yourself (and them).
i think he's still getting lots of my attention, but maybe it doesn't seem that way from his perspective. it seems that the lack of structure is the main issue. i think having a rhythm (i like this word than structure) to our days again will be so helpful. we'll get there... it's just hard feeling like we're flying by the seat of our pants all day long. hard for LO as well as myself.

on that note, someone mentioned making a very small list of things to do with preschooler at some point throughout the day. i like this.

as i said, i have some rethinking to do. thanks for getting my wheels turning.
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