Homeschooling with Baby

My favorite blogs are the ones who get honest about what doesn’t go right in a school day. The beautiful pictures and brilliant ideas are inspiring, but it’s always nice to know what’s going on behind stage and in the wings—what the camera did NOT capture. Since we’ve added an adorable new person to our routine, I thought it might be advisable to show you just what our homeschool looks like right now and how we’re managing.

First, I’m struggling to get a morning routine going right now, so school starts whenever I get to it and often no earlier than 10 a.m. Littlest is sleeping for good stretches through the night but not reliably all the way through the night, which means his morning feeding times cannot be set in a schedule. That also means my breakfast, shower, and morning chores routine is not set either. All that translates into a very unpredictable morning schedule.

When we do begin, Littlest is either starting a feeding or will be starting one soon, and as I’ve mentioned before, I prefer to take care of that on the couch rather than in the school room. Consequently, school is more often than not at the kitchen table or in the living room. While the baby impatiently waits his turn, I gather the work pages, readers, flashcards, crayons and anything else we’ll be using and bring it all to the table. I read directions and hand out assignments, then take my place on the couch.

I have brought back the timer, which is on my ipod and convenient for me. Setting the timer for 10-15 minutes per activity keeps me from having to nag and keeps them accountable even when I am not right over their shoulder. When they have a question or need a new set of directions read to them, the kids run their papers over  to the couch, and we look at them together. Right now, we’re only tackling phonics and math on most days, even though I really want to get back to our geography. Our un-routine mornings keep thwarting those efforts.

Our latest attempt at geography (notice Mr. Not-so-happy in the background)

Some days, Littlest will eat his fill and then quietly take a nap during the rest of our school time. Other days, he’s up for the extent, either watching us all from his vibrating chair or fussing his burps out over my shoulder. We usually finish up by about lunch time; and though I could tackle geography after lunch, I’m usually very ready to have a few moments relatively (very relatively) to myself.

My Happy Face
My Not-so-happy Face

Beyond that, I’m merely trying to keep up with laundry and to remember to defrost what I need for dinner. Then, there’s blogging: my mental exercise to be sure that I can still form a complete sentence. And that’s the “new normal” right now. I’ve also taken advantage of every free trial offer computer school that I can find: Reading Eggs, Time4Learning, and now Reflex math (which I totally love, by the way).

It’s not perfect or ideal; it’s not even what I’d necessarily prefer. But it’s learning, and I’m so grateful to have us all learning to learn together.

One thought on “Homeschooling with Baby

  1. He is a handsome little boy! And, it sounds like you are doing great – you are managing to meet the baby’s needs and the needs of your older children. Great job!

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