Babies - Teaching while expecting, taking time off

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
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Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Babies - Teaching while expecting, taking time off

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Need encouragement for teaching while expecting a baby!
Mommie25 wrote:Well I am expecting baby number 3 now in 10 days and I am homeschooling my daughter Morgan who is 7 and we are doing 1st grade and I have another daughter that will be 3 in December.

I feel so guilty about it but i just feel like i don't have the energy to put into it. My daughter can't sit still for anything and loves art, science all hands on stuff but learning to read not so much which in return leaves us both frustrated..i so recognize that she is a different learner and I want to find ways that embrace her style of learning so that she loves to learn and finds enjoyment in it..i just need help in finding ways to do this..

Also any encouragement that things will get easier and it won't always be this tough! lol I know once the baby is born and i can get back on a routine and get my body back and i feel like getting out and taking the girls places and doing things it will help out ALOT..i just want to know that I can do this and not eventually give into that nagging voice in my mind that i just need to send my daughter back to school...because i know in my heart that is NOT the best for her..please tell me i am not the only one who has felt like this...:(
Oh Mommie! If you were in the work force, you'd be on maternity leave already! Is there someone close that can take your kids for a day or two and let you rest - and nest? You need naps and time to put your feet up and dream and pray.

Everyone goes through doubts and frustrations. Lately my health issues keep me from doing everything I feel I should be doing, but I have faith that homeschooling is my responsibility and that God will help me through. Fact is, we don't have school everyday, but we do have school every week. There is teaching and learning taking place -- and I'm learning in the midst of it. I've learned through the support of this board to give myself a break when I need it. Somebody's comment about considering how many years I have to teach my child versus this short time of struggling helped me put it into perspective. And sometimes the bookwork is not the most important part of training a child -- showing them that we can persevere and do our best even when things aren't going our way is a very valuable lesson.

Please be encouraged that you are not alone, and that your feelings are valid and normal, but that you absolutely will get through this season, and good will come out of it for you and your children.
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used MFW from K through WHL
Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Re: Encouragement

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

10 days away from your due date? You are one tired momma right now. And the hormones are raging, and everything is so overwhelming.

On another post Julie just finished telling me not to worry over-much about high school (see? I was listening:) and here I am to tell you not to worry over-much about 1st grade. Cyndi's advice to you was so perfect. Despite all my worries and fears and misgivings along the way, it really has worked just like that in my real life. It really is okay to look at the big picture of what is happening in your dd's life. She is home with you! The person who loves her most in all the world. Nothing can replace that. If she was in a classroom, she would be one amongst the many. Even the best teachers can never give in a classroom setting the kind of individual attention you can give at home. And she is about to become intimately involved with a miracle -- a new baby. These days are precious. She can be your biggest and best helper. At your house she has some very important jobs now, and you quite literally will need your big girl in the coming days and weeks. That is so good for children and cannot be duplicated in a classroom.

There is a wonderful article on the lovetolearn dot net website called "The Baby IS the Lesson," or something like that. Maybe you could find the time to go over there for a bit and read it.

So, the nitty gritty. She has to test this year, right? The home schooler's vision for allowing each child room to grow at her own pace is very much at odds with the state of NC's vision for mandatory early testing, imo. But since it is a reality of life here, I wanted to let you know that with some tests you can request a non-reader's version of the test for the first year or two. I wasn't aware of that when we first started out with homeschooling and would have saved myself untold amounts of stress if I had known that little fact. If that is a possibility for your dd then maybe you will be able to worry less about the phonics and be more free to allow her to progress at her own natural pace. Just wanted to mention that in case it applies to your situation.

I hate that you even have to think about that right now. I am just wondering/thinking there might be a possibility that it is less about needing a new phonics program and more about needing a little more time for those developmental readiness things to kick in for your dd... take it fwiw, it may not apply to you.

There are a lot of practical ideas that we could talk about regarding the in's and out's of how to make all this work in the next several months for you and your precious children... but this post is getting a little long, so I will go. Let us know if you want some of those more specific ideas. And definitely let us know when the baby is born!

Praying you will find your answer.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
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Re: Encouragement

Unread post by bethben »

Here's what we did (we didn't know about mfw 1st)...I used very short lessons (15 minutes per day max).

Sometimes, if it was a lot of words, I would print them out on scraps of paper and play musical words. I would put them in a circle and sing and when I stopped singing, ds would read his word and mine. If he got it totally wrong, I would correct and put it back in the circle. We walked around the circle until he was done with his words for the day.

Another thing we did was I would put all the words on one side of the room and yell out a word to find. He would have to run and get the correct one. Basically, anything to get him moving.

You can involve the 3 year old too by just letting them dance around the musical circle or running words back and forth. I have active ideas for math too if you're interested. Mostly running, jumping, and tickles, ect. My son is just learning how to sit still and even then for short periods of time.

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Do you break for a baby?

Unread post by rebeccal2002 »

lea_lpz wrote:My plan was to be able to do school 4 days a week during the school year so my dd could do nature classes. So the idea was to do the classes one morning, 1 exploration day and 3 days of regular school a week. I really want to do the nature walks and science journals, and I know my dd who is really a hands on learner will benefit from the reading games and pattern blocks, so I felt like if I tacked those things on to the end of the other 4 days a week, it wouldn't happen.

But with the possibility of having a baby, if I consolidate the 5 days into 4, we could finish up the entire school year before baby is due and then take end of march until the end of August or early September off. When you have a newborn, how long have you taken off? I know I probably don't need that long off, but it's an option.

I kind if wonder if the structure and stability of school would be better for the kids with a new baby anyway as we'd just be home a lot any way. In that case maybe I would only break a couple weeks. I am curious to hear what others have done.
Having a newborn just about every two years is how we started schooling year-round. I was always slow to recover from childbirth and sleep deprived for at least two months. So our baby break lasted for 2-3 months. I always had some sort of schedule going during that time so the kids didn't just run around like crazy people. :) The older ones would keep up with their math lessons (we do Teaching Textbooks, so they didn't need any help from me), reading, typing and music. The older ones would also help me with the toddler, especially when I needed to be nursing all the time. :) After about 6 weeks usually, I was able to start "teaching" again during the little one's naps. By 3 months, we were back into the swing of things, but the schedule was geared around nursings and naps. LOTS of little breaks during the day to tend to the baby and toddler.

HTH and CONGRATULATIONS! I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly and that you feel well!

HS'ing since 2006, MFW since 01/2011 :)
2015/16: ECC (2nd time around w/ 3rd, 6th and 8.5 grader), WHL (10th). Also 2nd half of K and 1st for 6 year old.

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Re: Do you break for a baby?

Unread post by CaseyVG »

I had a baby 1 1/2 years ago, when I was teaching K and also had a 3 year old. I took 3 full weeks off, and then it seemed the kids were so restless, they needed to get back to a routine. The 4th week, we only did 2 days spread out over the whole week. The 5th week we seemed to be back on track. Of course, I did have to break for nursing, etc. I started our school year the beginning of Aug so I wouldn't feel guilty about taking off some time. But, I was only teaching K then. Now, I am pregnant again and due mid-Dec. We are starting this next week to get a head start, then I plan on schooling until the baby comes (as long as I'm still able). We'll take off all the way through Christmas and start back up again some time in Jan, hopefully mid Jan. I'm not setting any specific dates, it will just be when I feel like I can handle it. I'll be teaching Adventures and K, and having the toddler this year is going to make it more challenging!

How old is your daughter? Can you do the nature walk/science stuff in the afternoon on the same day as she has her classes? They don't take much time. Then you'd have 1 day of classes/exploration day and then 4 days of school. Whatever you do, don't stress about it! It's ok to take a break for the baby, she'll be learning life lessons during that time too!

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Re: Do you break for a baby?

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

I have a 9 month old. We were doing 1st when I had him and added K for my twins when the baby was about 4 months old.

Personally, I found that I needed more time off before the baby was born. I had stuff I needed to prep, but the bigger problem was my nesting. :~ It was on overdrive and I just could.not.concentrate on anything other than keeping my house clean and organized. Well, with 5 kids 6 and under (at the time, now I have 6 who are 7 and under), I couldn't do school and keep the house clean 24/7, which was what my nesting was forcing. I ended up taking a month off before the baby was born when I hadn't really been planning to take off at all. I was distraught about it because I'd planned a month off after.

When the baby was born, it turned out that we really needed to get back to our routine. The kids needed the structure of school to help with the transition of the new baby and *I* was really ready to get back to it also. So, I ended up only taking 2 wks off after the baby was born. It was really nice to get back to "normal."

It turns out that if you are flexible, schooling with a newborn really is not tough. We did a lot of stuff on the couch while I was nursing and I nursed the baby at the table often. We were all flexible with our schedule and just did school when I had free moments. We did it throughout the day as we could. We didn't do everything we were supposed to do every day, but we got it in. I was even able to add in K for my 5 year old twins when the baby was about 4 months old. It turned out that I was worried for nothing. :-) Now, schooling with twin 2/3 year olds...that's a whole other story! ;)

Every baby is different, but I wouldn't assume that you need as much time off that you think. Plus, keep in mind that your family might need the structure and normalcy that school provides.

Congratulations !!

ETA - I would stick with your current plan and adapt as needed later on. We school year round so we can have more flexibility to do things and to get derailed from our school plans randomly. :-)
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Re: Do you break for a baby?

Unread post by gratitude »

Congratulations!! :-)

If I was delivering in March I would take off until September with children the ages of yours. But that is me. The new baby time takes me at least 3 months to get on my feet again (not literally...I mean in terms of adding extras beyond baby feedings and feeding everyone else! :) ).

When my fourth was born I was doing pre-school with my oldest, so it was easy to break from. She was born in February and I didn't start again until September.

I think the adjusting to new baby for everyone takes time....the hormones least 2 or 3 months.

You know best though how you handle new babies in the home. Prayers for your decision to make the best choice for your family and for you and your children.


P.S. Another thing to think about is since ADV is a 2nd and 3rd grade program, if you stay with MFW, there is time for you to take time off for your new little one. You could finish first in the first part of second and do ADV for part of second and part of third, and still reach high school ahead of freshman year.
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Re: Do you break for a baby?

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Hi and Congratulations!

I agree with a few of the pp's that getting back to a routine/semi-routine quickly works well for us. I had my fourth in February while we were doing 1st with my oldest. I ended up taking off 2 weeks before, mainly because he was almost 2 weeks late and I was READY to have him AND I was in nesting-hyperdrive. I even went over to my mom's house and did some organizing for her after my "nest" was set. :-)

After ds was born, if everything had been going as planned (haha, right?), we would've gotten back into school within a couple of weeks. But, I ended up experiencing some hormonal issues, including horrendous insomnia for quite a few months. Still, we tried to get back to a routine as much as possible, and did school when we could. We were still able to consolidate the remaining days of 1st and finish by June, which was my goal. We just bumped out "Exploration Day" and still schooled 5 days a week for a couple of months until we finished. Worked out great! We finished up some of the missed science and art this summer.

So, I think your plan sounds good! Just be prepared to be flexible if something comes up that throws you off. Gratitude made a good point about Adventures being for 2nd-3rd grade and could be stretched if needed. I think you'll be fine, though, and starting early like you have will leave you a lot of flexibility. Best wishes!
Kelly, blessed mama to
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Re: Do you break for a baby?

Unread post by NJCheryl »

I had my littlest 1 week before Christmas. He was 5 wks. early and had a NICU stay of 12 days. We took off 3 weeks. We probably would have only taken 2, but with Christmas, New Years and the NICU it wound up being 3. I did find it helpful to get everyone back to a routine fairly quickly.

I am actually due with baby #5 on Oct. 6. I kinda feel like we will just be getting back into the groove of school when we have to take a break for baby. My plan is to take as little time off as possible, but I am also keeping an open mind and reminding myself to be flexible with the plan. I am anxious as to how things are going to go since I will have an 8th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader, almost 2 year old and the new baby. I think the little guy is going to give me a hard time when his little sister arrives.

There was a blog post many years ago that I often find myself going back to called "The baby is the lesson." I'm sure if you google it you will find it. Just a little something us moms need to remind ourselves before we try to "do it all."

When that precious little one arrives, don't forget to enjoy. They grow so fast!

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Re: Do you break for a baby?

Unread post by mommaklee »

Definitely take the time you need to rest and recover. It will look different for each mom.

With our last, we got into routine right away as it was better for the older kids and it was when the baby slept the most. It really helped me to keep the read alouds handy and do that whenever the baby needed to nurse. It was actually harder when the baby got to the 6 month age because then he was bigger, more interested I (read grabby), and wanted to be more mobile.

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2011-2012: MFW-K, Adv
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