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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
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The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling Special Situations


We're Having a Baby --
Can We Still Homeschool Our Older Child?

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006


If you have a baby, or one on the way, you need to be realistic about
your short-term homeschool goals.  During the first several (mostly
sleepless) months with a new baby, mom will have little time or energy
left over for direct homeschooling.  This is a time to "stock up" on
educational activities that children can do on their own, or with just a little
guidance from mom or dad, such as workbooks, board and card games,
low-key art projects, and building sets.

Another option is to check out educational videos from the public library,
such as those in the Schlessinger Series (dozens of titles on various K -
12 topics), the Magic School Bus, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and
Standard Deviants.  You can also pre-record or TiVo good selections
from PBS, Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, and other educational
stations, so that you will not have to count on the TV schedule.

New baby time is also a great time for family reading.  Mom can read
quietly to younger children while nursing or holding baby.  Older children
can read to younger children, too, to give mom a break.  Bedtime stories
can include educational readings, as well as childhood favorites.  Books
on tape are a nice way to share family time, as well.  If getting to the
library becomes too difficult, have Dad, or a friend, do the weekly library
trip for you (many libraries have an online system for reserving books
and videos - they can be waiting for pick-up in a day or two.).

Older children can be set up with easy but interesting self-directed
projects, such as comparing original literature with movie versions of
classics like Ann of Green Gables, Oliver Twist, Willy Wonka,
Frankenstein, or works of Shakespeare.  You can do studies of various
types of music using CD's from the library.  This is also a good time to try
out free online lesson plans and tutorials, or distance learning programs,
if the budget will allow.   

When baby falls into a more reliable routine, there will be more time and
energy for tackling regular lessons.  Also remember that "baby" makes a
pretty good "curriculum" too!  There are many life skills to be learned in
caring for an infant, and homeschooled children have the wonderful
opportunity to be involved -- to learn from, and to bond with their new
sibling.  



Other Resources:

Baby *IS* the Lesson by Diane Hopkins -- a tender look at homeschool
priorities in a family with young children, has a Christian focus

Babies Need Books by Elizabeth Montgomery

Ready, Set, Read!  How to Read to a Young Child by Dorothy P.  
Dougherty -- tips on reading to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers

Games To Play With Baby -- free online ideas from Fischer Price

Baby Games: The Joyful Guide to Child's Play from Birth to Three
Years  -- a book by Elaine martin

Musical Songs and Games -- free from the BBC online for babies and
toddlers

Homeschooling a Houseful -- for those with large families trying to
homeschool many different age groups at the same time.

Twenty-ish AP Moms -- a support group for young mothers practicing
attachment parenting., and other forms of instinctive and gentle
parenting, natural living, homeschooling, etc



Related Issues

Listening to Nursing Children by Patty Wipfler -- crying is one of
baby's way of communicating... this article talks about learning to listen

The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff -- "...in order to achieve
optimal physical, mental and emotional development, human beings —
especially babies — require the kind of experience to which our species
adapted during the long process of our evolution..."

Teaching Baby to Eat Healthy Foods by Bonnie Sherman

Is Your Baby on Track? from WebMD -- discusses developmental
milestones for babies and young children  

Learning to Communicate

Signing Time -- teach babies and toddlers to use sign language,
promotes bonding, may ease tantrums, free online video demo



Since babies grow up (too quickly) --
check out the
Homeschooling with Toddlers section, too ;-)
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