Mention simply homeschooling and you’re sure to get a look; but mention homeschooling while pregnant, and that opens an entirely new dialogue. I’ve seen the questions asked, “Should I homeschool while pregnant? Is it appropriate to take a break? Should I send my children to school?” And trust me, those are all valid questions.
Seeing how I am expecting my third blessing, I thought it would be a great idea to share practical tips and suggestions for homeschooling while pregnant. Keep in mind that every mama is different, every pregnancy is different, and every family is different. So take what I say and filter it through your unique situation.
(Holistic Homeschooler is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an associate advertising program designed to provide a means for Holistic Homeschooler to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and associated sites, at no additional cost to you.)
Should you try to homeschool while pregnant?
Speaking from personal experience, homeschooling while pregnant should be based on your health. In the first trimester, some mamas experience the level of sickness that keeps them from moving an inch, lest they get sick and need the closest trash can. For other expecting moms, they can barely tell they are pregnant at all.
In essence, take your health into consideration first and foremost. And with that in mind, think about how much ‘schooling’ you want to do with your other children. It’s totally okay to dial it down a bit. Instead of doing 4 lessons, condense it down to 2. You’d be surprised how much your child is still learning.
We homeschool year round which will surely be helpful this year so we can take a break when baby arrives. I am hoping to get the first 12 week term in before he gets here. This way, we can just be together as a family and focus on connecting, bonding, and relationship building with a new sibling. We may still read some good books since we all seem to come together joyfully during read alouds but overall I intend to rest during the new baby season. If you know you will soon be expecting, perhaps try year round homeschooling for a time and see if it helps.
You’re committed, so what do you do?
In my honest opinion, life doesn’t have to completely change just because a new bundle of joy is on the way. In fact, your pregnancy can be used as one of the best subjects to study for your other children, no matter their ages. Doctor appointments can become real-life learning moments, and your growing belly can become a hands-on science lesson.
My children of course had lots of baby questions. How are babies made? Where do they come from? You know, all of those kinds of questions. This is a natural time to teach sex education to our children. My best advice is to answer their questions honestly without mincing words and sticking to answering what they asked without adding more. In this way, you can assure you’re teaching them what they are developmentally ready for. I personally used books one and two from God’s design for sex series. Book one answered all of my 5 year old’s questions appropriately and accurately. Book 1 and 2, answered all of the questions my 8 year old had. I saved the others for when they are a bit older.
You may see your pregnancy as a disruption, but trust me, it’s not. Even if you’re experiencing complications, homeschooling provides you the flexibility to work around it. Speaking of flexibility, there are a number of adjustments that can be made:
- Merge subjects together – this is where unit studies come in.
- Use different resources – opt in for watching a documentary or video.
- Read all the books – reading aloud is a great form of learning.
- Incorporate games and other fun resources.
- Allow your older children to help the younger ones.
These are just a few ideas but are big life savers when it comes to homeschooling while pregnant.
Give yourself extra grace for homeschooling while pregnant.
Truth be told, children can adjust pretty well with natural changes. And if you find that yours are not – maybe because they are fairly young and don’t have the words to say – there are ways to guide them into understanding. Involve them in different aspects of your pregnancy. Let them help with cooking meals, rubbing belly butter on your tummy, or grabbing pillows to help keep your feet propped.
Another grace giver is taking a break. Choosing to put homeschooling a few spots down on the priority list doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom or that your children will miraculously stop learning. This actually shows that you value your health and are embracing the journey your family is currently on. If you feel like it’s necessary, take a break.
Give yourself grace by making any necessary changes to your schedule and/or your homeschooling method. Put those nature walks on hold and adopt a more relaxed style, if necessary. When you’re feeling up to, hit the great outdoors again. In other words, don’t hesitate to tweak your homeschool style. There are many ways to continue accommodating your children’s learning styles.
Last but not least, my best advice for homeschooling while pregnant is to keep it simple. At the end of the day, that’s always been my go to. I embrace the fact that my children are well taken care of, they are learning regardless of how many worksheets they do (or don’t do), and we are all on this journey together.
As you navigate your own journey of homeschooling while expecting your new bundle of joy, keep these tips and suggestions in mind.
I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you’ve homeschooled while pregnant? Let me know in the comments below!