How to homeschool with a high needs baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 04-27-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm hoping some BTDT mamas can give me some advice. I am trying to get started homeschooling my DS1 who is 5.5 years old. But I can't figure out how to get the ball rolling while also still tending to my super high needs 9 month old. I also have a 3 y/o DD.

I know that at the age of my DS, I don't have to do much. But I can't even read to the older 2 unless my DH is home to take the baby-he only naps on my lap or in a carrier, and I can't sit down while wearing him or he wakes up. He does not like to be worn unless he's sleeping, but also won't hang out next to me playing so I can sit and do anything with the older 2.

Has anyone else ever had to deal with this? What did you do? So far we will occasionally do some worksheets or something quick like that, but my DS wants to do more and I can't figure out how to make it happen without the baby screaming his little head off, LOL. I keep telling myself that DS2 will get older and more independent but in the meantime I feel like I'm letting DS1 down.

Thanks

Kelly, wife to DH, mom to Caden Reese (10-2-06), Tessa Brynn (12-26-08 ), and Maddox Quinn (7-16-11). Fur-mama to Finnegan, Ripley, Raisin (my little kitty amputee) and Kimchi. 748/2011, 2028/2012-I did it!! 2023/2013-Again!!! 404/2014
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#2 of 9 Old 04-27-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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Not exactly BTDT but i would try to find ways to keep the baby entertained. Like educational toys. My high needs little one is 2 (my ds is 4, my ds1 doesn't live with me) and what I do is incorporate her. Like, I am about to start more formal stuff with my 4 yo and going to play school with my 2yo.

 

I do understand. I really had to put everything we were doing when he was younger on hold to care for her. I think he may have understood, but over time has started to resent the fact. MAYBE that wasn't the best idea. 

 

I do hope someone comes along and offers better advice. I just try to go with the flow. I know as a parent that may not be the best advice lol


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#3 of 9 Old 04-28-2012, 05:30 AM
 
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Personally, I would not stress about homeschooling right now.  Your oldest is very young, and he will easily catch up when this brief time where your baby is so needy passes.  

 

My "baby" is 6 now-- this time you're in is intense but fleeting.  Right now you can focus on teaching your son things they don't teach on worksheets, like how to take loving care of a high-needs baby.  Go to parks, or whatever else makes the most people happy, but don't worry about school.  In 6 months the baby will be completely different. 

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#4 of 9 Old 04-30-2012, 05:43 AM
 
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Can you use a rocking chair? My kids hated when I would wear them and sit down unless I was still moving, so we used a rocking chair. The other kids would sit on comfy chairs (in some pretty weird positions! LOL!) while I read to them.  At 5 1/2, I would think you'd be doing a lot of reading. Then, when someone would come over, maybe you could do the other kinds of things, maybe some math concepts, or art or whatever. I also know that I would let the kids do peel and stick things and art a lot while I milled around walking/pacing/etc while the baby slept in the carrier. Also, when babe was awake, I would do things that would stimulate everyone. Give baby a chunky book to teeth on, or a 'new to him' type toy. Mirrors too. We also did a TON of puzzles on the floor. Baby would lay on the floor and I'd do the puzzle with the older child while talking, singing, stimulating the baby. He felt included and I felt like I did something with the other one. It's not easy and many days I wanted to cry.  So take it one day at a time and one chunk of time at a time. :)

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#5 of 9 Old 04-30-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you mamas for your advice. I'm going to keep all of this in mind. We do go to the park a LOT (keeps everyone happier) but I suck at jumpstarting arts and craft time (which is silly as I LOVE doing crafts) I think because they both need my help with stuff, esp. DD, which leaves me trying to juggle the baby while doing something for them. Plus the mess. I'm so worn thin that the last thing I want is to do anything that will lead to MORE mess, KWIM? And DS2 is too young right now to incorporate into what we're doing.

We've played a few games on the floor while DS2 is awake, but he pretty much just wants to eat the pieces. He VERY much wants to walk, and what he really wants is for me to sit by him and let him hold onto me and try to walk. All day long. He's not too keen on sitting in our rocking chair unless he's nursing, which only lasts 2 minutes unless he's falling asleep.

I know in my head that DS1 is young and can catch up in the next year or so, but I still feel pressure (self-imposed, primarily) for him to learn stuff, esp. learning to read. Otherwise the nay-sayers will have more fuel for their arguments. I need to let it go. And yes, in another year things will be TOTALLY different, and I can get a better routine going. I will just keep trying to do what I can, get everyone a lot of outdoor time, and (try to) relax! Thank you mamas!

Kelly, wife to DH, mom to Caden Reese (10-2-06), Tessa Brynn (12-26-08 ), and Maddox Quinn (7-16-11). Fur-mama to Finnegan, Ripley, Raisin (my little kitty amputee) and Kimchi. 748/2011, 2028/2012-I did it!! 2023/2013-Again!!! 404/2014
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#6 of 9 Old 04-30-2012, 07:38 PM
 
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Your feeling pretty overwhelmed by everyone needing you right now. I will completely be in this position in the fall! Just do what you can, when you can. I had a homeschool mom of 4 (oldest in college, one senior in high school, one 9th grader and one 7th grader) tell me on Friday that the reading will just one day "click". I was stressed about that and asked her. When she said that, I thought, yeah...it just clicks. Public schools push reading so hard that we forget that kids just 'get it' one day.  Just point out letters everywhere and sounds and sound out words everywhere you go and in everything you do, WHEN YOU FEEL UP TO IT!! Otherwise, let it go.  Keep your expectations real low.  My homeschool plan for the fall is that we aren't really starting in the fall. We're starting once school is out this summer (affadavit is due July 1).  We'll take some time out after our newest is born, but then we'll start with one or two days a week, counting the time as 'school' when the baby is not highest needs. Then as the school year progresses, we'll add a day per week until we are through our year. To expect 5 days a week with a little tiny one isn't realistic. My oldest, though, is in 2nd grade-going to 3rd so he can do a lot on his own, or with a desk next to me so I can read the directions and monitor.  The kindy kid, well, we're going to just go with the flow I hope!

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#7 of 9 Old 05-01-2012, 10:00 AM
 
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Do you have a computer that DS1 can use?  If he's actually asking for more academic work, you could give him some computer time on starfall.com or something similar that he can do fairly independently.  They actually use starfall at most of the public kindergartens in my area.  Will your baby lay on a blanket outside while you read to the other kids?  My high needs baby was my first, so I didn't have to deal with the schooling aspect, but she LOVED going outside.  It was the only time I didn't have to be intensely interacting with her.  And, as everyone else said, if you can't squeeze more formal stuff in, there's no harm done at this age. 

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#8 of 9 Old 05-04-2012, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by puddle View Post

Do you have a computer that DS1 can use?  If he's actually asking for more academic work, you could give him some computer time on starfall.com or something similar that he can do fairly independently.  They actually use starfall at most of the public kindergartens in my area.  Will your baby lay on a blanket outside while you read to the other kids?  My high needs baby was my first, so I didn't have to deal with the schooling aspect, but she LOVED going outside.  It was the only time I didn't have to be intensely interacting with her.  And, as everyone else said, if you can't squeeze more formal stuff in, there's no harm done at this age. 

Sorry-didn't get the notification!! DS1 is actually not interested in using the computer. I've shown him stuff on it before and he loses interest pretty fast. Might try it again this summer since it's going to be so blasted hot here! DS2 likes to be outside, but definitely won't lay on a blanket...he's to busy crawling all over and shoving inedible things into his mouth, LOL. He is my 3rd high needs kiddo, but it's harder with the other 2 needing me for different stuff. Yep, I keep reminding myself "he's going to get older, he's going to get older....."

Kelly, wife to DH, mom to Caden Reese (10-2-06), Tessa Brynn (12-26-08 ), and Maddox Quinn (7-16-11). Fur-mama to Finnegan, Ripley, Raisin (my little kitty amputee) and Kimchi. 748/2011, 2028/2012-I did it!! 2023/2013-Again!!! 404/2014
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#9 of 9 Old 05-05-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curlyfry7 View Post

Sorry-didn't get the notification!! DS1 is actually not interested in using the computer. I've shown him stuff on it before and he loses interest pretty fast. Might try it again this summer since it's going to be so blasted hot here! DS2 likes to be outside, but definitely won't lay on a blanket...he's to busy crawling all over and shoving inedible things into his mouth, LOL. He is my 3rd high needs kiddo, but it's harder with the other 2 needing me for different stuff. Yep, I keep reminding myself "he's going to get older, he's going to get older....."

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intactivist.gifwinner.jpg fambedsingle2.gif  learning.gif homeschool.gif buddamomimg1.png gd.gif delayedvax.gif selectivevax.gif  supermod.gif (Yeah right)

angel3.gif loss 2/28/03           photosmile2.gif  ds 1/5/08             asl.gif dd 2/8/10
 
When we know better, we do better. ~Maya Angelou 

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