Sunday, January 27, 2008

Homeschooling with a New Baby

As the final 4 weeks until baby #7 arrives, I am reconsidering my original plan for this homeschool year. The original plan allowed for a full month off after baby came as sort of an "extended March Break". But as the time is getting nearer, I'm realizing this is a bad idea for a few reasons.
1) The original plan of no school for a month worked only so far as we actually did complete every expectation on every day of the school year leading up to our Baby Break....this has not exactly happened.

2) When given total free reign for a length of time, children tend to go squirrely (at least I believe so). So a bit of structure to the time would be great.

3) If we don't have something planned to do we are all going to just sit and stare at the gorgeous new baby, and as indulgently wonderful as that sounds, I'm sure we can use our time a bit wiser.

So, here is what I am thinking we will look at over the 4 weeks following the birth. If any of you have recently done this "schooling with a new born" thing, I'd love to hear how you made it work.

The criteria for "what we will do" is this: things that are mostly independent learning on the children's part; things that I can help with while laying on the couch drinking tea; things that will be fun and feel like a 'break' from the normal routine; things that we want to squeeze into a regular school year but never find time; things that will not create more work/mess/stress/trips out of the house/expense than we will already have; and finally things that others can step in and do with/for me.

I will have the older girls continue on in their Math and English workbooks one lesson a day as that is something they can complete almost independently.

The plan is to do "Color the Classics: Hymn Writers" in a condensed schedule. Instead of doing one hymn writer for weeks at a time we'll do days at a time.

I'm hoping to find some great Canadian Biographies that are at the girls' levels so they can read somewhat independently to continue the learning they've been doing in their Canada Studies this month, and to prepare them for the Prime Ministers Lapbook I want them to do in the Spring.

I haven't asked Kristina yet, but maybe in here somewhere would be a good time for us to do the units we were thinking of working on together with her boys and my girls. We have an artist lapbook and a science unit that we could do with a bunch of the kids (read: she could do while I lay on the couch and drink tea!)

I was partly thinking of doing a Valentine's Day Lapbook, but that might take more effort than I am willing to put out (not to mention glue and little bits of paper to cut and clean up.....)

And after looking at Knowledge Quest's Globalmania I'm thinking I might get the children to play some Geography games on the computer using Seterra to reinforce the Canada lessons.

I'm hoping my husband will be able to take some/all of the kids skating a day or two when he has sometime off.

And of course there is Grandma, and Oma, and Aunt Sue who I am hoping will have a day here or there to do those baking/sewing/quilting/crafting things with the kids that I can't do while laying on the couch and drinking tea.

Finally I do hope to have lots of time for the bunch of us to just sit around and stare at the beautiful new baby. We can call it science and bible and health class if we need to justify it as we marvel at God's creation, and His goodness, and the mystery of the whole thing. Otherwise, we'll just call it REALLY good.

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