Homeschooling While Pregnant — The Survival Guide
There are many challenges we face as homeschooling moms, but none so overwhelmingly daunting as homeschooling while pregnant. The morning sickness, fatigue, housework, meal planning, homeschool lessons, and, many times, care of young children can leave us wondering, “How in the world am I going to do this?”
Fear of Failing Your Kids
“I’ll never be able to keep up this pace.” “Maybe I need to send the kids to public school this year.” “How in the world am I going to do this?”
Those are all questions I’ve asked myself when finding out I would be homeschooling during pregnancy. I survived, I didn’t fail my kids, my home didn’t fall down around me, and yours won’t either.
Anytime we go through a change in seasons or situations in our home life, adjustments must be made. It doesn’t even matter what’s happening. You could have a teething baby or a violent stomach virus running rampant through everyone in your family. You make short-term adjustments for those situations. Having a baby is no different. You just need the adjustments to last a little longer and that’s how you have to look at things.
Points to Remember
Give yourself an abundance of grace.
I know I talk about giving ourselves grace a lot. As homeschool moms, we wear so many hats and do so many jobs every day that we sometimes forget that we are just human. We have limits and we shouldn’t exceed those limits. God gave them to us for a reason.
When pregnant, our limits shrink. WE ARE GROWING ANOTHER HUMAN! Our bodies are making changes to accommodate this little life we’ve been blessed with and we have to accept the fact that WE CANNOT DO IT ALL. So, that’s where grace comes in. Do the things you must do to keep everyone fed, safe, and decently clean, and let the rest go for this season. Do some of the other things when you have especially good days where you feel good or have more energy, but don’t overdo. This would also be a great time to teach older children to help out if they aren’t already.
Take care of yourself first.
Something I’ve also said many times is to take care of yourself first. Pregnant mamas, oxygen masks on. Give yourself the care you need right now so that you can take care of your family. If you are more tired, go to bed earlier, sleep later, or, if you’re like me, do both. If taking a shower every day makes you feel more human, make certain you get one. The kids will not kill each other in ten minutes, I promise. If you need to, take the toddler into the bathroom with you with toys and let them play on the floor while you shower. It’s not the ideal situation, but it gets the job done.
Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. That’s not being selfish, it’s self-preservation.
Cut back on activities outside the home.
Yes, I just heard you gasp. “But my kids need their piano lessons.” Well, no, not really, they don’t. They need food, water, and shelter. Music, sports, and any other lessons your child may participate in can wait until you feel better. Or, maybe you could put all of your kids in one activity together instead of them running in several different directions all week.
You could invite friends over for a homeschool playdate once a week, or get together to do a craft with friends. It only takes a few minutes to find an activity on Pinterest and put together a list of supplies for each family.
Take a more laid back approach to your children’s learning.
Being more laid back isn’t slacking off. It’s just taking a different approach. Do more read alouds, or begin read alouds if you’ve never done them before. Let your younger children read to you.
Watch documentaries with your older kids and have them write you a paper on what they learned. Writing papers would incorporate the theme of the documentary, such as science or history, grammar, and writing. The History Channel and National Geographic can be a treasure trove of laid back homeschooling information.
My blogging friend, Heather from over at FearlessFaithfulMom.com, has a great resource for homeschooling with documentaries. There’s a link to get your copy of The Exhausted Mom’s Toolkit in her post, Life With Chronic Illness: 3 Ways to ROCK Homeschooling, Heather has graciously given us a coupon code for 50% off her regular price. Use the code EXHAUSTED to get your discount. Her post is a great read even if you don’t have a chronic illness, but need some learning ideas for a slower homeschool season.
Let your child pick the topic of the week and do some internet research, with parental supervision, to learn more about their topic. This could also be a good time to teach your children how to seek out truthful or reputable websites for their information.
There is a multitude of online resources for learning. These are great for busy times of life, times of sickness, and times when mom is just not feeling up to par.
This is only a season.
This season, like so many others we experience, will only last for a time. Soon, you’ll be holding a new baby in your arms and your season will change from pregnant and homeschooling to homeschooling with a newborn.
Homeschooling is HARD… Sometimes, that’s a fact, but we don’t need to make it any harder than it has to be. There are ways to make it a little gentler, even when things around you are rough.
To see how our homeschool is adapting to my pregnancy, follow me on Instagram.