...as a new homeschooler, I'd love to hear how you've dealt with homeschooling while both feeling terrible during pregnancy (I don't actually puke during my pregnancies but usually feel like I could and I sleep twice as much as usual) and then recuperating postpartum.
But your last baby was definitely mid-school year. Did you stop school entirely for a month and make it up early/late in the year? Did you plan curriculum in advance that didn't require much micromanaging so you could go on auto-pilot when things were rough?
I feel like I've got a handle on homeschooling, planning meals, working a few hours a week ... and going to a gym regularly, but throwing a pregnancy in with everything seems like it would be tricky.
I'm a control freak, so I get what you're saying.
Tricky, yes. So far for us, impossible, no.
Since pregnancies and school years are the same length, if you are going to have a pregnancy in the middle of the school year, you know it with enough time to adapt your schedule.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, #3, my oldest son was 5. She was born in the summer, but the morning sickness and fatigue was midyear.
If I was doing it over again I wouldn't even have worried about it (kindergarten! sheesh!) but back then, since he was my very first homeschooled child, I felt some pressure to keep up the schedule. I let the five- and two-year-old boys watch a lot of DVDs in the afternoon.
One thing I did during a period when I felt guilty about how much screen time the two-year-old boy was having was to lay in a supply of good educational or otherwise quality DVDs. That two-year-old was fascinated by nature documentaries, so I bought this huge collection of BBC nature documentaries.
Yes, it was expensive -- I remember the sticker price, $180 at Best Buy back then. (Same price at Amazon today). In retrospect, because that two-year-old watched every single disc many times, it was money very well spent. We also invested in a lot of Signing Time.
When you have a plan to use DVDs, you can show a lot of DVDs while you are napping and still feel like you are Sticking To A Plan. At that time, I felt okay in the morning, so we did math and reading first thing and then I put on DVDs while I slept in the afternoon. Here is a blog post I wrote around that time:
There is an unbelievable amount of stuff that has to get done around here. My Ideal To-Do List is about twenty lines long. My Real To-Do List is as follows:
- Get dressed
- Feed children
- Do math or reading
- Feed children again
- Take nap while children dump toys on floor and watch DVDs they got for Christmas that I haven't had time to screen yet (please, someone tell me that Madagascar is not too objectionable, because they've already watched it four times and I haven't seen it yet)
- Possibly make dinner
That's all that happened today. Laundry? Nope. Clean up after breakfast or lunch? Nope. Schoowork prep? Nope. Packing any boxes (supposedly we're moving on Saturday)? Nope. Blogging? Okay, one entry (other than this one), made while we ate breakfast.
When I had my boy who is three years old today(!), the morning sicknessand fatigue came in the late spring, a time when I'm winding down anyway. Once again I felt okay in the morning, so it did not cause too much trouble, as we could have easier afternoons. Since he was to be born in late January, I planned my year to include an extra three-week break after the birth. I started school on August 17th and my records seem to indicate that I stopped around June 14 or 15. We always do sporadic lessons in the summer, so I never worry if I have to cut the regular school year short by a day or week here and there.
I operated on a somewhat reduced schedule for the first couple of weeks back -- my oldest was in fourth grade and could work pretty well from a to-do list, but I cut back to essentials (math, reading) for my boy who was in kindergarten. H. and M. took good care of me on co-schooling days, which remained at my house for several weeks.
I'm always helped by my drive to "get back to normal" after a birth -- a few days in bed and I'm itching to get up. Not so good for my pelvic floor, but good for schooling, I guess.