My toughest homeschooling year also happened to be during my most difficult pregnancy. Pregnancy number four, if I remember correctly… which is debatable, since my brain was parked in neutral for much longer than I care to admit!
Will I ever believe that my tough pregnancy and that very difficult school year just “happened” to occur simultaneously?
Not a chance, sister!
If you’ve ever homeschooled and been pregnant at the same time, then you probably won’t be easily convinced otherwise, either.
I’ll just be honest here: it’s tough to keep up with homeschooling when you’re pregnant. And if you already have a few children in the mix, well, life sort of morphs into survival mode.
Today I want to share three ideas to simplify your life as a homeschooling, pregnant mom. I’ve been blessed with eight homeschooling years (so far) and five pregnancies, so consider this gentle advice from a mom who’s been there!
Since I’m calling these “homeschooling hacks,” I decided I’d better find out exactly what a “hack” is. The online dictionaries I consulted gave this definition:
“A quick solution that solves a problem, but does not solve it particularly well, or in a particularly good way.”
So I guess that means you can consider these “quick fixes” or “temporary solutions” or “survival mode tricks.” Maybe not long term lifestyle choices, but short cuts to help ease the pressure while your body is busy creating that precious miracle!
3 Homeschooling Hacks for the Pregnant Mama
1. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
If you tend to be a perfectionist or a mama who stresses over the little things, it’s time to let some things go!
Maybe it’s time to pull your kids out of the extra curricular activities, just for a semester?
What areas are causing the greatest amount of stress for you right now? How can you creatively simplify your life for a few more months in order to ease the pressure just a bit?
2. Focus on the Biggies with Homeschooling
Educators called these the “core subjects.” Most of us probably refer to them as “the basics.”
For you, the pregnant mama, these are “the biggies”… and everything else is small stuff.
I’m talking about the Three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic, and these subjects can be your focus for a while. Especially if your children are still young, don’t stress over trying to fit too much into your homeschooling day. Now isn’t the time to tackle a new, complicated art curriculum, or dabble with science experiments (unless that is just really your thing)!
Keep a narrow academic focus for a while. It’s better to do a few things consistently, and well, then to tackle too much and feel overwhelmed and defeated.
3. Think Way Outside the Classroom
During the months of morning sickness with my last few pregnancies, I spent a lot of time on my couch or in my bed. I battled some pretty painful varicose vein issues, as well, so I had to sit a lot throughout the day in order to give my aching legs a rest.
During those months, my homeschooling didn’t mirror the classroom setting. At. All.
Imagine kids sprawled all over the living room rug, along with papers, books, crayons and pencils, and Mama settled nearby on the couch with her legs propped on a pillow, a toddler on one side and a lesson plan and stack of books on the other… and that’s what a lot of my “homeschooling” looked like!
Another way to think outside the classroom is to adjust your homeschooling schedule according to your family’s needs, not just the typical school year calendar.
Do you need a few weeks or a month off in order to get through a difficult season of pregnancy or postpartum recover? Then take a break. You can make up the missed school time over the holidays or summer months.
Homeschooling should suit the needs of your family, not feel like a task master.
For now, let formal school work ebb and flow with the bends and climaxes of a family life that’s stretching to embrace one more little person.
Are you a pregnant, homeschooling mom? What “hack” keeps you surviving during this busy season?
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