It’s Day 2 of the Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop! Yesterday we talked about our flexible homeschool schedule. Today I am going to talk to you about homeschooling with a newborn and a toddler.
How To Homeschool with a Newborn and a Toddler
We welcomed our fourth little baby late January. As I said before, my oldest is six and we have definitely gotten serious about school this year. I’ve had to do a little rearranging with the way we did our work and my expectations. On top of that, we also have a little two year old in our homeschool and we have to learn to work with him, too.
First, let’s talk about tips for homeschooling with a newborn.
Take Time Off
While you are pregnant, plan to take at least two weeks off from school after you have the baby. You need to adjust to having a new little one to care for and your kids need to adjust to a new sibling. Let this time be about family bonding. Your kids will still learn lots of valuable lessons during these couple of weeks. Let them help you with the baby! Then, slowly ease back into schooling.
The Homeschool Bag/Basket
When we started easing back into homeschool, I set up a bag with our homeschool essentials. Our schoolroom is downstairs away from our main living area. I did not want to go down there to do school everyday during the first few weeks. The bag includes the bare basics. My teacher’s manual, the kids’ workbooks, crayons, scissors, and glue. Which brings me to the next tip:
Be Content with the Basics
You don’t have to be supermom. Skip the crafts and the big projects for the first few weeks. We tend to follow a Charlotte Mason approach in our home, but I’m not above using simple workbooks. Also, my older kids love to make up their own projects, so I let them.
If you get nothing else done during the day, read a book to your kids. It’s easy to do when you’re feeding baby or baby is napping.
Now here are some tips for homeschooling with a toddler!
Set Up Preschool Boxes
Create preschool boxes for your toddler to use while you school your older children. Your toddler will be occupied for a little length of time while you do one-on-one with an older child.
Let Them Join In
I let my two year old do activities with us. If we are painting, he gets to paint, too. He has his own pair of safety scissors and will cut up paper while we do a cut and paste page. He sings song with us and just participates as best he can.
This is real life homeschool. Activities will only occupy a toddler a certain amount of time and chances are it won’t be long enough. My six year old has learned how to do some of his work with the nose of a whiny toddler in the background. He has had to deal with interruptions while I try to corral the toddler. We don’t typically do school while the toddler naps. That does work for some homeschoolers. We have just learned to go with the flow, and yes, there are days when everyone’s attitude gets so bad we just bag it for the day.
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