Homeschooling can already be challenging on it’s own, add in pregnancy to the mix, and it takes homeschooling to a whole new level.
Although it can seem daunting growing a life inside of you and teaching your children, it is possible!
I am now in the last leg of my 6th pregnancy and homeschooling a 1st grader, 4th grader and 6th grader and have a 4 year old and a 2 year old.
A lot of things change around here during my pregnancies. Thankfully the kids are pretty good at adjusting and I am learning to give myself a lot of grace.
Here are some ways that I have learned to not only survive homeschooling and caring for my family while pregnant, but to embrace and enjoy it as well:
Adjust your schedule
Although I am generally tired at the end of our school days, I am ten times more tired when I am pregnant.
One of the biggest changes for me during pregnancy is being more tired and less motivated. I usually thrive on getting up early, exercising and having my quiet time but during pregnancy, I just don’t do well getting up at 5am!
When I have tried to get up early I usually start fading around 11 or 12 and have to take a nap and our school day suffers. The first trimester I take a nap most days despite whether I get up early or not but I have found that in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters I can do without if I have gotten enough sleep.
Another big factor in me being tired is insomnia. So if I just have not had a good night, I sleep in and we start our school day much later. I have had to let go of what I would like our ideal school day to look like and do what we can as I am able. Some days that might look like not getting done with school till around 4pm.
If you have found that you just can not function with an early school schedule then change it and find what works for you, your family and your growing body.
Change your style/method
I have found that the best way for me to give my children the attention and education they need while I am pregnant is to stick to the couch, incorporate as many subjects in one lesson and to encourage my kids to be independent learners.
If my children are interested in a certain subject or or project I let them go at it. They are much more excited to learn when they are the ones initiating the learning. With my supervision they search the internet and books for what they want to know. I am always amazed at how much they discover on their own and through youtube videos.
I have been loving our narration and dictation time when the older boys and I read, they then narrate to me what they read and then I dictate a paragraph for them to write. This simple time is not only their reading time but, writing, spelling and grammar as well. We also do this for science and history as well but add in art, experiments and even a educational video.
If your method of schooling is not working for you during pregnancy then change it up and try a different approach!
Keep it simple
I am always worried about not doing enough in our homeschool but I have come to realize that it’s often the simple things that stay with my children and keep them motivated to learn. If I try to attempt to do what is physically and mentally too draining for me during my pregnancy, I get easily overwhelmed and exhausted.
Just trying to keep my family fed and alive and house clean, is already a big task! I have come to recognize where I need to draw boundaries, make exceptions and keep things a little simpler than normal.
For you that might mean making a simpler, less complicated meal for dinner, getting doughnuts for breakfast, streamlining your homeschool, cleaning once a day instead of all day, cutting out extracurricular activities and projects.
Simplifying your life during pregnancy is not only necessary for you and your baby’s health but your family’s as well. Not only is your body changing but your hormones and emotions as well.
Get out/get creative
Some days it’s hard to function and it’s best to get everyone outside. When you are not feeling good the last thing you need is your children running around crazy. On those days when I can’t get off the couch, I try to give them work to do that I know they can do independently and if they need me…they know where to find me;) On the days when I am feeling well I try to get the kids out in the morning on a nature walk. I find that it lifts my spirits to get out and everyone is tired out when we get home. We then have a nice quiet time of reading, writing and art when we get back. This allows me to make the most of the energy that I have and be able to rest in the afternoons.
Since my brain tends to not function as well during pregnancy and sometimes the thought of doing school all day is just too daunting, I try to focus on one subject for that day or a special project. I have actually loved the freedom it has given us of really giving our full attention to one subject and delving into it deeper than we would normally. I tend to try to fit in as much as we can some days and just like checking off my lists of what we need to do. So it has really been good for me and the kids to let go of perfection and getting it done for the love of learning!
Give yourself grace
Sometimes it’s hard to let yourself rest(especially when you have so many depending on you) but I have found that everyone benefits from Mommy getting her rest. I tend to want to be superwoman during pregnancy and try to prove that I can do just as much as when I am not pregnant, but this only proves to backfire on me, because well I am just not feeling like my normal self. Instead of trying to live how I do when I am not pregnant I am learning to embrace this amazing time of growing a new life inside of me and all the wonderful, as well as hard side effects that come with it.
Include your children in the pregnancy
I have loved including learning about how life is growing in my womb in our homeschool. Every week the kids get excited to see how much the baby has grown and what fruit or vegetable it is the size of this week. It’s an amazing opportunity to teach them about how precious life is and the Creator of life.
I realize more every day what a gift I have been given in being able to not only carry a new life inside of me but have my children by my side each day to teach and train. I have been so thankful for them as they have learned to take on new responsibility as I have been out of commission some days. I have seen them rise to the occasion and grow and learn in ways that can’t be taught through books and lessons.
When your children know more about how their little brother or sister is growing inside of you and how it is affecting your body, they will tend to be more understanding and willing to help!
I hope that you are able to embrace this time of a new life growing inside of you and at the same time learn how to embrace the ones outside your womb; leaning on God’s grace to teach and train them.
What has helped you to embrace and survive homeschooling during pregnancy?