Needless to say, we will be taking some time off of homeschooling. One daugther is in 3rd grade and the other is in Kindergarten.
We are all having fun loving on and taking care of the new babies but my type A personalty keeps kicking in.
I don't want to neglect my girls' education but I also know it would be impossible to homeschool now with 1 week old babies.
They help out a lot, especially ythe kinder girl. So they are learning something but still, I can't help feeling this way. Any advice? I have been thinking schooling year-round and I believe that would ease my mind a bit, but I'm still worried.
Any advice on what you did with your kiddos while school wasn't in session but you didn't want to completely stop or any advice on year-round schooling and how that helped?
Last year I knew I was expecting a baby, so we started school early in August so I could take a whole month off completely guilt free. I didn't do full days. I just made sure we started something by around 9:00am. The neighbourhood kids wouldn't come knocking, asking to play, until around 11:00, so that would give us 2 hours to read books, do a little math, practice piano, and/or study some science or math.
However, even without any summer schooling I would strongly encourage you to just RELAX with your kids right now. You are all experiencing a major life transition. It will take time for everyone to adjust and find a new rhythm. The fact that your kids have the time and space to make this adjustment without the demands of school is a blessing, not a hindrance to their development. There is nothing that is learned in kindergarten or Grade 3 that won't easily be learned some other time. In fact, they often learn concepts easier when they are older since they have that much more maturity and mental development.
Congratulations!!! And relax momma! Really. . . esp. about the kingergartener. She is learning everything she needs to by watching your family grow. Let her help and if you really want, you can spin it into an educational experience. If you are nursing, let that branch to how mammals nurse their young. What is a mammal, can you think of other mammals, etc.
You can also have the oldest play games with the kinder kid. Games that reinforce math skills can be fun, but any game would be helpful to you probably. How about creative "writing" without the writing. Tell the older two to create a skit to perform later or a dance or a ballet (remind them that ballets tell a story). My kids do this ALL THE TIME unprompted so maybe yours do to--but many don't so I thought I would mention it. ART--Lots of art doesn't require mess. They can experiment with line by using crayons. Pointy ones make a thin line, stubby ones are a bit thicker, and they can peel the wrapper off and lay it on the side to make really thick crayons. Oldest can practice reading aloud to younger one. If younger one is reading, she can read aloud while you nurse or to the older one.
I wouldn't plan out curriculum or anything right now. I would let educational films be part of their "schooling" right now (not all day long. . .).
Let them journal about having the twins join the family.
But, really RELAX--they will learn plenty, and you can catch up later if you need to.
I just needed reassurance that missing some 3rd and kinder won't kill us lol.
My kkinder girl has been a good help with the baby. I ask her to grab things for me by saying the shape and color and she enjoys that. She's also enjoyed helping me feed (I bf but also pump so my mom whose here for 2 weeks can help and my husband and the girls).
My 3rd grader helps, but much prefers drawing or reading. She likes reading aloud to me, her sister and the babies so we've got that covered.
I am also worried the girls will feel neglected once grandma leaves. Grandma has been wonderful. I was able to take a shower more than 10 minutes today, lol. I am just trying to think of things that I can easily do with the girls other than caring for the babies, you know?
Grandma has been great with that. She's gonna watch all the kids when I go to the doctor today.
I can't fathom what I'll do when she leaves, lol. She lives 2 states away so it'll be hard.
Thanks for the great suggestions!!!
they are getting an experience right now that they will never get to have again. they are learning lots about relationships, family dynamics, infant care, twins, cooperation, and adjusting to a huge change, along with many many other things. we took three months of formal schooling dd1 off after dd2 was born (although i did read to her lots and make sure her arts and crafts were fully stocked). i really don't think that they are missing out on too much by skipping a little school. we school year round and that does work great and helps us with being more flexible. i don't feel as guilty if someone is sick for a few days- i can care for them and not worry about schooling on top of that, and it saved us when i hurt my back so bad i couldn't move for a week. schooling over the summer enables us to spread things out a ton and they dont need extra time to catch up in sep because they were off all summer. i do try and make learning fun and experience based though, especially when the weather is nice, so that they don't feel like they're working all the time ;) .
This article link gets posted here all the time, and I'm going to share it anyway. Though in your case, it would be "The Babies Are the Lesson." :)
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
Congrats on your twins! I can say that I honestly know how you feel -- I have 10 month old twins. I was in your place not too long ago! I have an 11 yr old and a 9 yr old (they were 10 and 8 back in January, though.)
First, you need to know that your life as it is now will not be the same in a week... or in two weeks... or in a month, and certainly not in three more months or six months. The first month with twins is VERY hard. And every week, things got better, and then, every month, better. Even now, they are getting better day by day.
I remember days when I realized suddenly that I had not even seen or spoken much to my older boys (who were being cared for mainly by my husband and my MIL.) I remember one day vividly that I realized I had not had a chance to talk with the older boys, I went looking for them to hug them, and discovered they were asleep in bed. Oh my, did I cry... I just felt so, so bad. I missed them in the midst of nursing, pumping, and caring for two tiny babies.
We also school all year round, mostly, and I had told the kids that we would take off three months when the babies were born. I figured that school kids get three months in the summer totally off, it will not kill my kids to have a break. In the end, we started learning together sooner than that, but we didn't do any school for at least two months.
Your kids ARE learning so much, just by being there. I involved my kids to help with the babies, hold the babies. We talked about what the babies could understand, what they couldn't. They learned practical life skills, that many never learn! And I just today read about a study, on kindness ? that found that children who spent time with babies were kinder. What a lesson that is! (Here is the study I read: http://www.amotherinisrael.com/babies-bullies/ )
I was sure, SURE, that my kids would be a little behind when we started learning again. (I don't mean behind peers in school, I mean that they would forget what they learned and need to start a little further back than where we were.) But you know what happened? My then 8 yr old was reading BETTER after the break... both boys were suddenly much better at math than they were before.
Part of that might be all the Pokeman they were playing ;-) But I also think that their brains simmered and that helped. And they grew up more, became more mature, and both of them changed in some ways, just from becoming big brothers to these tiny, tiny babies.
I hope this helps you feel better --- PLEASE do not put any pressure on yourself, and no guilt... !! The most important thing for you to do is rest (when you can, I know THAT is hard, but do your best to do it when you can), be forgiving of yourself when you can't do it all (because you can't because it is impossible -- I tried, I got pneumonia when the babies were two months old -- don't do that to yourself!), and enjoy your twins when you can.
And if you need to talk to someone who gets it, please do PM me or email me. :)
I am about to start both homeschooling and newborn care - maybe not the best combination - baby is due in February and our school year starts in January so my DD will be pulled from her kindergarten starting in January and then baby will arrive about a month later and I can't see myself doing too much once the next one gets here. Fortunately my DD is still small - she would have started only grade 000 (3 turning 4) this year and she is pretty advanced and has started reading already so I am not too worried. I am guessing that what she will learn with a baby sister around will be enough initially. However I would like to get her out to some activities since she will probably miss the social context she has had at school up til now - we have a Moms and Tots group she can continue to go to and the baby can come too and I may even try to get her into ballet classes at the private school nearby or to gymnastics classes although this may be more difficult with a newborn around. May also just try to get her to play with a friends child who will also be home that year or invite friends round.
Nonetheless I am stressed about it as it seems a bit crazy to take on something new like this just as the baby arrives.
I agree that you can relax a bit and just get adjusted to life as it is now. However, if you just can't do that:
1. Books on tape. My kids love to get books that are read aloud (They have a copy of the book to look at) or straight books on tape. There are sooooo many great ones available.
2. Educational videos. Signing Time for sign language, Great Migrations for life science, etc.
3. Music. On bad days with the twins, I put them both in swings, and my older son and I would put on fun, loud music and we would sing and dance (sandra boyton, "bad babies" was our favorite!)
4. Field trips. We hit lots of places when the twins were good in the stroller. Zoo, aquarium, art museums, science museum, nature walks, etc. Once the babies are in the "I won't sit in the stroller, I am not a baby" stage, you will be much more house bound, so take advantage of your ability to drag them out and about without too much complaint.
5. Hire a mother's helper to play with the babies for a couple hours a day and work with your other children.
6. Twins sleep a lot a first. Do lessons during naptime. Later this will be harder to do (when they nap less).
7. Computer lessons. There are websites and games that are great lessons.
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!