Homeschooling is challenging enough as it is, throw a baby in the mix and you may be wondering if it is possible… I’m here to tell you it is! This post will give you some practical tips you can use NOW to manage homeschooling and nursing and naptimes and a SERIOUS lack of sleep! Keep reading to find out more but first pin this image!
Tips to help you homeschool with a baby.
Don’t throw in the towel yet! Remember that it is just for a short while. Each year the dynamic will change drastically! Depending on your baby, the first year may be a total cinch while homeschooling with a toddler could be a nightmare. “Just keep swimming” mama, this too will pass! And your children are learning SO MUCH just by being a part of their siblings life!
Take a look at these top tips to help you manage the craziness and homeschool with a baby.
1. Don’t be a slave to the schedule!
This is important guys! The schedule and routine is not the top priority! If something get’s missed, it’s okay! Remember your kids are getting some real like CAPP, learning how to take care of a baby. You don’t have to start at 8am, start when you feel human again. Sleep in if you can! You can do school in the afternoon, even in the evening!
2. Take advantage of naptime.
If you have a newborn, you probably don’t have set nap times to plan around, but that is the beauty of homeschooling! Do school when baby is sleeping, take breaks when he/she is awake! Your kids will love the constant breaks in their school day and you can get a lot done in that time!
3. Can anyone say baby wrap?
I say baby wrap you say YES! BABY WRAP (yes!) BABY WRAP (yes!) 😉 No joke, a wrap or carrier can save your sanity! Invest in a good one. The moby wrap is like a huge piece of material you warp around you body, keeps baby nice and snug to you. They are great for newborns but not good for 2-3 months plus. They start to really pull on your shoulders for heavier babies.
My fav carrier that you can use all the way through is the LÍLLÉbaby! I tried the Tula along with every other carrier in the specialty store and none of them were as comfortable as the LÍLLÉbaby. It’s the cheapest carrier for the best quality! It has more padding than the Tula, and it carries the weight completely differently. 90% of the weight is on your hips. Not your lower back, not your shoulders, it is comfortable and versatile! Seriously, SO worth the investment!
4. Set up a playpen in your school room.
If your babe is 3 months (ish) and up and starting to play with toys, set up a mobile/some toys in a playpen in the corner of your school room. Don’t let them in that playpen unless it’s school time. As they grow a bit older, those are the special toys they only get when you are doing school. Because they don’t see those toys all the time, it helps to hold their interest and they often get really used to having that quiet time.
5. Take care of yourself!
I can’t even stress the importance of this. You are under-slept, you just had a baby, you are (possibly) breastfeeding, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! School should be like fourth priority under your hubby and kids and baby and yourself. All those things come first! Have a nap if you need it, make sure you stop and EAT SOMETHING! Take some time to pray or go for a walk if you can, you need every extra ounce of strength you can get at this point in your life. Just please please please remember that even if you did no school for 3 months to have time to adjust to the new little one, your kids will be just fine! Focus on yourself, your baby, your kids, fit in school if you can.
I know this kind of clashes with number 1, but number 1 supersedes this point. So this is a practical tip, but if it isn’t working, just let it go. Ready?
SCHEDULE! Especially if your baby is a bit older, try to get them on a schedule. My babes always ate every three hours around the clock, I scheduled that in to our school day. I scheduled in naps and nursing and fit everything else around that. I scheduled when my baby would be in the wrap, when she would have time in her playpen, when she would be in the swing, etc. etc. Now, I wasn’t a slave to that, but on the days it worked it was fantastic! I felt like I had a semblance of control and could fit in what I needed to!
I used this book to help me, there is a whole chapter on scheduling your school day around a baby, I found it SO helpful!
7. Take advantage of nursing/bottle feeding time.
When you are nursing or bottle feeding on the couch is the perfect time to do some quiet work with one of your children. Read a story together, help them with their math, watch a lesson, etc. Take advantage of that time, don’t write it off completely! Take it as an opportunity to slow down and cuddle your kids close!
8. Stay home, don’t overcommit!
This is not the season of your life to get the kids involved in a bunch of extracurricular activities. Choose one or two if you must, but otherwise put those on hold for a year! You are going to be scrambling to keep up just with life and home and schoolwork let alone trying to get everyone packed in the car to go to different activities! Take it easy, resign yourself to a quieter year and focus on your family! Your kids will be fine!
9. Get the older kids involved.
If you have older children, get them involved helping the younger kids! Your grade 2 or 3 can help read instructions to your Kindergartener! Your grade 4 can teach science to your preschooler. Your older children will get a great refresher, your children will grow closer together and you may find it is a huge help when you homeschool with a baby!
Try to pair your kids up according to personalities if you can. If you have two kids who just fight constantly, you will not find it helpful to pair them up together.
10. Utilize these top baby attention entertainers.