Pregnancy and homeschooling aren’t words that go hand-in-hand. Here’s some advice from veteran homeschooling mom of seven children.
Pregnancy and Homeschooling – How to Homeschool When Pregnant
Homeschool in Bed
During the first trimester, when you are feeling ill, homeschooling while lying in bed is a viable option. Make sure to open the drapes and have the bright lights on so you don’t get too comfy, though.
Get a box to place next to your bedside so you can tote your homeschooling books back and forth from your room to your homeschooling area.
Have Easy Meals
We are looking to save money and know that having ready-made meals can get expensive, but if any time in your life you splurge on ready-made go-to meals it’s during pregnancy.
Cereal is also an easy and inexpensive option for any time of day. For snacks, I recommend small kid-sized fruits, portion-controlled cracker bags and
Go-to meals for breakfast time are especially helpful for that I-can’t-get-out-of-bed-I’m-to0-nauseous feeling.
Grocery Shop Online
This is just a no-brainer in general for any homeschooling mom whether she’s pregnant or not because it saves money and time, but especially for a pregnant homeschooling mom who needs even more rest and less stress.
I love Walmart.com because they don’t charge a fee AND I’ve price-matched their products. Everything seems to be the exact same price in the store as it is online.
Instacart, HEB curbside and others seem to have fees and less price-matching.
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Take Breaks When It’s Too Hard
Grace is the one word you should remember throughout your pregnancy. Grace for yourself. Grace for others. Grace. Grace. Grace.
When life’s too hard, you’re feeling too sick or you’ve just had enough: Take A Break!
Homeschooling, chores and everything else WILL BE THERE when you return.
Take Advantage of Media
While personally, media for school is limited in our house (though we love DuoLingo.com and TypingClub.com), I do use it during those times when I just can’t muster up the strength to homeschool.
Here are some we like to use:
- Magic School Bus
- Netflix for History
- Liberty Kids History DVDs
- Math Bingo App
- Spelling Space
Take Your Prenatals
I can’t live without my prenatals even when I’m NOT pregnant, but if I don’t take them when I’m pregnant I feel like I’ve gone out drinking the night before.
Prenatal vitamins not only help your baby, but they will help you survive your homeschooling day!
If you can’t stomach them, I recommend Thorne Research’s Basic Prenatal formula because it splits it up into three different pills. If you find yourself losing your lunch after taking one, you still have two more chances to keep it down!
They also have folate instead of folic acid which is good for those who have the MTHFR gene mutation which can lead to cancer, fetal risks, and cardiovascular problems.
Get Out of the House
When all else fails, get out of the house for your homeschooling day.
Small, non-stressful, field trips or doing homeschool out of the house can be a great distraction for everyone.
I like spending a couple bucks at a fast-food restaurant with an enclosed playscape over a park just because I don’t have to worry about them running to an area I can’t see them. I prefer Burger King over McDonald’s as my kids always seem to get sick when we go to McDonald’s (probably because it’s busier which equal more germs). Also, their 10 nuggets for a couple bucks will feed a few of my smaller non-homeschooling-yet kids while they go back and forth on the playscape as I school the older ones.
We also utilize the meeting rooms at the YMCA to do school while the little ones go to the children’s play area.
Naptime is For Everyone
If you have nappers in the house, there are a couple options for naptime in my opinion:
- Use naptime for those subjects that the other kids can do themselves so you can take a nap.
- Use naptime for hard subjects that are too difficult to do with a toddler running around.
- Make naptime be a time everyone takes a break and goes to their own space for much-needed rest.
You don’t have to stick to one option, use them all at your discretion, but be forewarned that children usually do better with a routine.
Keep Snacks at the Table
If you’ve homeschooled any period of time, you know the words “mom, I’m hungry” happen the moment you’ve entered into your most productive homeschool inertia zone. If you add in your pregnant body’s own need for a constant supply of calories, it can feel like you will NEVER get anything, other than eating, done.
Keeping a bowl of dried fruit and nuts or a plate of assorted fruit & veggies will help bridge the gap so you can get things done, avoid morning sickness and frustration.
Push Yourself…a little
Pregnancy is one of those times in life that everyone will give us an excuse to “take it easy.” I’m a HUGE fan of being gracious to yourself when you are pregnant, but if you want to continue homeschooling successfully while pregnant AND you want a large family, you’re going to have to push yourself…a little.
Sometimes you will have to homeschool while pregnant, even when you are nauseous, tired and frustrated. It sucks, but it’s just part of what we signed up for when we decided to homeschool AND have another baby. No decision comes without those difficult moments. We just have to push through and know that all our hard work WILL pay off in the end!
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)
A Note About Older Kids:
My older kids are so helpful. I don’t even have to ask most times (they are actually preparing a cooler so we can go to the library and YMCA while I write this blog post). But I want to caution against the overuse of your older children when you are pregnant. I support having them “prepare for adulthood” by picking up the slack, they still deserve a childhood. No matter what I do, I try to remember that it’s MY HUSBAND AND MY decision to have a large family and that it’s MY HUSBAND AND MY responsibility to do the heavy lifting. Obviously, there are seasons when it’s okay for children to do more than normal, but prolonged overuse* (*keyword) of children in your large family home may cause them to grow bitter against your family and having large families in general. They are not mini-mom and mini-dads. Because my children are so helpful, I’ve actually had to restrict my older children from doing too much to protect their childhood.