I know I'm not the only one. We're due in less than 2 months and I'm not so worried as how schooling will get done I guess, I figured we'd take a break, but I didn't count on completely flaking out early on :)
I feel like I have no patience for the simplest lesson, and for us that's math and lang arts. It's been tough getting started and then getting through it.
Is it a pregnancy thing-like focused on end stuff for baby? I don't wan't to fall too far behind, we did last year, it's possible, but feel maybe I should relax a bit on things? We're using Singapore math, so it's fairly easy to keep up with, but we're using Phonics road to spelling/reading, and if we start skipping too many days, we get way behind. I've thought about having the kids watch the dvds, but still would have to do the lesson/writing part.
I also feel like this year I wanted to do some unit studies-mainly for the 3rd grader-a few weeks on US history/landmarks, few weeks on holidays, stuff like that. But I feel like I can't get anything together and now wondering if once baby does get here, if everything will fall apart. Dh mentioned earlier this year how he doesn't know how I'll do it, and I assured him all will be fine, but now I'm major second guessing myself.
I am in that boat now, Homeschooling my 6 yo with a newborn (and 3yo!). At the end of my pregnancy I was very short on patience but it got better after DD3 was born, hormones leveled out I guess? We took a 2 week break after the birth and then started back up again. The return of a routine was actually really good for the older two and helped them adjust to the new baby. Can I ask if this is your second or third baby? I found the one to two transition hard (getting used to juggling multiple kids) but the two to three transition has actually been easier. I think so much of it depends on 1.) temperment of new baby, 2.) what age your older kids are, 3.) how you do homeschool and what your state requires. For us, DD3 has been pretty easy. I can sit and nurse her while I do a lesson, she has been fine on outings so far. We have been using Oak Meadow which is very relaxed and flexible and supplementing when necessary. In our state they require pretty much nothing so if we get behind it's no big deal so we can be pretty relaxed about it.
I think the key is to not stress about it. Your kids WILL learn regardless, it's what kids do. We have fallen behind on bad days but have caught up fairly easily on good days. I stay flexible, if we have to do school on a Saturday to cover something we missed we do it. If baby is fussy or 3 yo is being a bear and we need to skip something we simply leave it for another day. If I see an opportunity to learn even if we aren't doing formal school I take it. (i.e.- learned about division and measuring temperature while cooking today).
We're expecting baby #3 in 2 months too! My oldest would only be in K this year...but we were reading quite a bit together before I got pregnant, and took a really long break during the first trimester, as I was really feeling crappy, short-tempered, and not up to doing anything beyond day to day survival for the first 3 or 4 months of pregnancy. Surprisingly (or not), ds didn't lose any reading skills and actually improved quite a bit during that time. He only picked up books that interested him (instead of ones I was trying to interest him in) and read miscellaneous things everywhere...also, I started to rely more on him to keep ds2 entertained, so he would read to ds2 at bedtime and probably got quite a bit of self confidence just by being in that role. We don't use curriculums, so I can see where keeping up with a specific curriculum may be a challenge at this time, but maybe you can just encourage your child in how he can help you at this time? So maybe instead of doing unit studies on landmarks, have him figure out what baby clothes are needed, how many diapers per day you'll need, what books will baby like - honestly, that'll be so much more relevant to him at this time - and instead of using your limited energy to create something for your older child, you can involve him in issues that are actually relevant to your life right now. We also have a bunch of workbooks (some I've bought and a lot donated by relatives) just laying around. Sometimes ds1 feels like doing them - I don't really monitor what he does with them, except out of curiosity...
I'm also pregnant with my third and hoping the baby decides to come any day. I do feel some guilt around my desire to do more with my eldest, especially since this is our first year of homeschooling and extended family have less than supportive things to say about homeschooling.
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)
Crunchy- We're doing 1st and 3rd gr. We do have workbooks as standbys, ones we did during the summer. If we're caught up for the week they do them Friday, but haven't been able to do that yet. I was planning on them doing those during when we take some time off when baby is born. Or try a 3 week on, 1 week off, or type of block learning.
Revolting-my inlaws still think we're wrong to hs. When we started first grade, ds2 was only 4, so they had plenty to say about everything, including how was I going to teach and occupy the little one. One thing I think that helped was that first year doing a test instead of a review at the end of the year. Where he "tested" sort of quieted them, since they don't hassle us much about it now, and we're on year 3. I'm sure I'll hear something though with the new baby and school. Negative people :(
I tried to be more relaxed about things this week. A few days we split lessons into morning and afternoon, because we had stuff to do, but it still got done. They do understand getting everything finished and then having the day to play is much better, but it's just not feasible this year.
I hadn't thought about how getting back to school after taking a break when baby comes, may help them adjust to new normal. Makes me feel better.
Every single morning I wake up and all I want to do is go back to bed. I try to do the most important things first, and I tell myself that as soon as that's done, I will go take a nap. (School is always the most important thing, and the most important school is whatever will be hardest to catch up. And, honestly, it's much more important for my high schoolers to finish their lessons than my kindergartner.) But then, when the most important thing is done, I try to do the next most important thing, and tell myself I will take a nap after that. Some days I get everything done. Some days I eventually go take a nap, but it's ok because the things I put off are the least important. We started school the day after Labor Day this year, and so far I have only had one day where I was too exhausted to do anything at all. IMO, that's pretty good.
(It's also really important to not try to do everything yourself. My kids all have chores, and my DH helps out a lot. And if something just doesn't get done, then it just doesn't get done.)
Luckily, this baby is probably going to be born Christmas week, so we have a built-in school vacation. Otherwise, I would plan to have at least two weeks of no school after the baby is born. With my youngest, I spent the first two weeks doing absolutely nothing but lying in bed with the baby. (Of course, he was a c-section. Hopefully this next one will be an easier recovery.) I do have pretty easy babies who, as newborns, are happy as long as I am holding them, so I expect to be able to fully resume school as soon as vacation is over. We usually do school around the dining table, with everybody working on their own work and I walk around answering questions and giving help, so there's no reason I can't continue to do that with a newborn in a wrap or sling. (I'm also pretty adept at nursing in the sling.) And my kids are used to waiting their turn, so if I have to stop for a diaper change, it shouldn't be an issue.
I have a 1st grader with my newborn twins right now. I had them late in the spring and took the summer off of school. Thankfully, dd reads very well so I bought curriculum that is mostly self directed. Even so, it's pretty hard to keep up. Some days are more productive than others. We do our best and try not to stress about it. It will get done eventually even if we need to get creative and do work in the car or on the weekend.
mama to three little ladies
I have a newborn, a 4 year old, a 6 year old and a 7 year old and I am worn out. I am finding that the days that I am more flexible and less set on accomplishing material in a certain amount of time, I am a much happier Mama.
I've found the transition from two to three easier so far than one to two. Newborns sleep so much! We get a lot done with him sleeping in a carrier with me bouncing on the ball when he starts to stir or nursing (either at the table or for read alouds, in bed). I don't know how it will feel when he gets older and more awake, but I just plan to keep things relaxed.
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)
Revolting- thanks :) I'm hoping for the same initially. Sort of an "easy" baby, meaning no high fussy/high need, breastfeeding problems, recovery problems, etc, so I can just keep baby in sling and go over schooling. Maybe once spring comes and he's more mobile, we can wrap up our core early.
Did you take a bit of time off?
Sstrip-I'm learning to be more flexible. It's the great thing about home school, but I've had to be even more flexible than I ever thought I'd be, with the end of this pregnancy. I'm less stressed out those days too. I only have our standards to go by, not the county's, so not sure why I stress about it.
I know! But sometimes that makes us even more stressed, right?
We are almost in our third month and it has gotten easier. He is taking more regular naps now and we get the bulk of our work done while he is sleeping. You can do it!!
Hang in there, it can be hard, especially when you were set out with a plan (Historical landmarks, unit studies, etC). If it's any help, I sometimes try to imagine what if my son were born in France (we are French) and knew no English and not many US things and then we moved here when he was 10 well he would be behind many other kids, even if he was advanced school subject wise in France. So it's all relative on location. If you kid had good morals, good work ethics and math, well even reading and writing are very location based, but current trends are that it's good to be good in English everywhere around the world, so it's good blessing.
I am not sure if this would work for you, but at the library they have many Junior and even first grade books on the civil war etc and US landmarks with the history and some are mini chapter books of 4 pages or so with questions at the end. (Aka pre made unit studies!) With my son I was thinking of leaving him the book to read and then discussing the questions together after and then maybe penciling in a revision (i.e. going over the question a week or so later to see if the info is still in his mind. Might even be worth to redo the book 6 months later as revision.). Because it's all mostly self led study (i.e. your child reads and the discussion can happen as you're resting in bed or doing chores etc or even an older kid/ grand parent could be the listener over the phone) , it won't take as much time as it seems. Maybe just a basic chart like this: An older kid could write the info in for you too, or the kid himself. Also there may be some educational videos that could cement the whole thing together. Good luck and also librarian are really good helpers when it comes to educational series, reading level, etc.
Land mark 1 Land mark 2 Land mark 3
Read on: insert DATE Read on: DATE Read on: DATE
Orally revised on: DATE Orally revised on: DATE Orally revised on: DATE
Final revision (i.e. 6 months later) Final revision (i.e. 6 months later) Final revision (i.e. 6 months later)
Thanks for the country comparison, it's veey helpful.
Well our baby is a bit over two weeks. Took the first week off. Did one day on Eng core, and mainly doing workbooks, reading and science shows. It's gi,oing to have to do for now. It's enough to get people fed in the morning and tackle some type of school We aren't tv people but I'm so tired, and at least it's educational stuff. I think come the new year we'll have some type of new normal.