I love talking with you. Going live is one of my favorite things about what social media platforms have to offer. Your questions are also brilliant! While some of the content related to your questions may have been addressed in various videos, overall I find it helpful to answer your questions this way because sometimes, what you are looking for is lost within a video about a unit study, or review video. So it’s with great pleasure I am making this series for you. In September of 2020, I shared via Instagram that I would be going live to answer your questions. I offered a question box in my Instagram stories and you came through!! I started answering your questions during the live but I didn’t get through them all. Then I hosted another live, and still couldn’t get through them. So now, I’m sharing the answers to your questions in individual videos so you can quickly access what you need. This is possible because of your questions! Keep them coming by adding your question in the comment section. And for now, enjoy these videos.
Live Q & A from Instagram
This is my Live Q & A from Instagram. I answer your questions, well some them. There were many questions, and I didn’t get to all of them, or half of them. But it was so lovely catching up with you and sharing my thoughts with you after a week of Day in the Life content on Instagram. For our first week of school, I showed in detail (in my Instagram stories) how our day goes while homeschooling. One day wasn’t enough, so I showed a whole week. And truthfully, it takes longer than that to really show the ebb and flow of our work and life. At the end of the week, I held a live Q & A on Instagram to answer the many questions that came in during the week. Even after an hour of answering questions I still have a lot more to get through.I plan to do this again, so join me on Instagram for more info. In this Q & A, I start off talking about low energy and a podcast I listened to (shared to me by my sister in law) on the Infradian Rhythm. The podcast is superb! I highly recommend it. It’s called Broken Brain with Dhru Purohit and it’s episode #94 Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage by Harnessing the Power of Your Infradian Rhythm with Alisa Vitti.
Live Q & A from Instagram
I’m answering your questions live! There were so many, but don’t worry, I’ll get to all of them over time through more videos and lives. Be sure to find me on Instagram if you want to see these live and also, add your question to the comment section, so I can answer it in an upcoming video!
Adapting the Waldorf Philosophy for the Muslim Homeschool | Live Instagram
Are you curious how Waldorf education connects to other educational philosophies? Are you curious to see how it can be adapted to suit the Muslim family? Today’s Live Instagram with Noor from Leaders Amongst Mothers (on IG as @SimplifyHomeschool) is a candid conversation about the Islamic view of raising a Muslim, the Waldorf educational method, and Anthroposophy. Please remember that both Noor and I are not scholars, and we ask you to forgive us for anything we said that contradicts Islamic teachings. Also remember that there are various schools of thought on topics. One thing I said that I want to point out that I forgot to provide context for was the breastfeeding comment. I meant to say that the financial support that is obligated for the father to pay the mother is in reference to a divorced couple, not a married one. If a couple are divorced and the mother is nursing a child, the father is obligated to pay for that specific support up to two years (he is obligated to support his children far longer, please refer to a scholar for specifics), the absolute limit on nursing is when the baby teeth have fallen out and the age of awareness is upon the child. This age is about 7 years. Also bear in mind that while we do not take events or behaviors that happened to the Prophet (saw) before prophethood as evidence for Islamic conduct, remember that the Prophet (saw) was protected from any haram all his life, so if he was breastfed for 3-5 years, we must consider that he would not have engaged in haram if indeed nursing must stop at 2 years of age.
How Do You Lesson Plan?
Welcome to this Question and Answer series! These first series of videos are based on the questions you’ve asked on Instagram. If you want to participate, you may leave your question in the comment section below. Today’s video touched upon lesson planning and how I’m planning these days. It’s not the best system for us for the time being, but it is quick. One pro is that it’s like a checklist independent of clock or calendar. The con is that we are not held as accountable to the schedule. We don’t get as much work accomplished and we are more flexible, which can be a very good thing indeed! But for me, there is a harmony between structure and flexibility and I know when I’m being too much of one or the other. If you are needing more flexibility, this system might work well for you. All you need is a composition book and you are ready to go! Likewise, if you are doing a lot more workbooks or a boxed curriculum, I would recommend using Homeschool Panda. I love the autofill option for lesson planning. It’s brilliant! Here are the vendors I mentioned in this video: Rainbow Resource, Acorn Naturalist, Nature Watch, and Educational Innovation. Links to the vendors on the blog post that accompanies this video.
Waking Children up for Fajr
Today we are talking about waking children up, for Fajr or any other time. I’m of the opinion that you let children sleep. If there is a need to wake them up, I’m also of the opinion to do it gentle, like raising a curtain, turning on a soft light, speaking gently to them or another way that works for you (maybe turning off the fan or opening the window, etc.). What we can do as parents is mind or at least help with a bedtime. Now that I’m speaking to you as a parent of a 9, 14, 18 and 22 year old, bedtimes are vastly different than when they were little children when they nursed to sleep or slept early. Now that they are mostly adults, they go to sleep much later and they are fully responsible for their wake up times. When it comes to Ramadan, my method of waking them up was to come to their room, turn on a light and say it’s time to wake up, or good morning, or Asalamu Alaykum. Then I would leave. I wouldn’t wait until they were up, I would however wait until they stirred. Then I would leave. It was always my responsibility to wake them (for Suhoor or my husband’s), but never my responsibility to get them up. It was always on them to get up and get out of bed. And knowing I wasn’t going to hover over them, probably meant they were going to get up then and there rather than fall back asleep. Plus with the light on, that helped them awaken. Granted, if they didn’t come downstairs after several minutes, someone would check on them 😉
How Do You Teach Math?
It’s my opinion that the best math teachers are the ones who didn’t do well in math in school. When we struggled to learn a particular subject, I feel we are better at teaching it because we know how hard it can be to grasp a concept. We tend to be slower, more compassionate and more creative in our teaching. I’m not such a math teacher! I am impatient and don’t know why it isn’t obvious. Aside from my shortcomings, I am creative and flexible, so utilizing manipulatives, games and pictures books is something I do well. In this video, I share the math chart that I have on the chalkboard in the background and in my mental math curriculum for grades 3-5.
Do You Need Extra Book for Live Education Curriculum
Gosh I like books. They bring me such joy! I love picture books and well written non-fiction books to accompany our main lesson blocks. But do you need so many books for a boxed curriculum? The answer is no. You don’t need this many books for a boxed curriculum. What you may want is one or two resource materials and maybe a a book or two for assigned reading for a middle school aged student. But alas, that’s not what I do. I get over excited about books and end up adding more and more to our main lesson blocks and ultimately to our home library.
How Do You Motivate Children to do Schoolwork
Motivating children is tricky. Actually motivating anyone is tricky. I find that motivation is less about what someone else does to me and more about what I feel about my own tasks, projects and accomplishments. I need my work to feel meaningful, productive and worthwhile. It may be that some children feel the same way. In which case, busy work may not be the right kind of work for them. As homeschoolers, we can provide opportunities for meaningful work that may not always be an option in other school environments. Of course, before we can talk about motivation, let’s talk about two other things: first, are you motivated to do the work you just assigned? If not, why? Is there a way to find work that you would be motivated to do as well? Is the task of building habits what’s needed? And secondly, is your child hungry, tired or unwell? If so, motivation will mean very little. Instead, meet the needs of your child before diving into the bigger school stuff. And lastly, notice if the unmotivation is acute or chronic. You’ll be needing a different approach depending on which it is.
Sick days are not easy whether it’s the parent or child going through them. Sometimes it’s just a cold and that doesn’t impact the day as much as the flu or maybe it’s something even more impactful. When I was in university, I was washing dishes one evening when I slipped my hand into a large tumbler with the sponge to clean it when the glass broke and my index finger (right at the knuckle) slipped into the cut glass and I sliced my finger pretty bad. I grabbed a dish towel and wrapped it around my hand but the blending didn’t stop. Two hours and 9 stitches later, I was back home and in the worst pain I had been in in all my life. I was wincing at the pain enough for the nurse at medical center to say, “you just wait until you have a baby.” Fortunately it was the start of the summer term and I only had two classes. The pain was so bad I couldn’t write and eventually I had to drop both classes. The point of this story is to say that even a small thing can have a big impact. You will know best how to adjust for a sick day, but overall, if you are staying on task on most days, it’s okay to take a sick day, even if no one is sick. Sometimes we need a rejuvenation day, so we can avoid running into the ground and having to take even more time off.
What Goes in a Main Lesson Book
Main lesson books are like blank notebooks. They are a place to deposit the day’s learning in the form of written or illustrated work. While in many cases, there are specific lessons which go into the main lesson book, there is also a lot of room for flexibility. Sometimes, we do our main lesson books with pastels, watercolors or color pencils. Sometimes I have a chalk drawing to accompany each lesson, and other times, my children create their own entries.
Main Lesson Books
The Waldorf curriculum we use doesn’t have a teaching manual and textbooks. There are no workbooks. We might not even see regular subjects as you’d expect in other traditional methods and the scope and sequence may be new to you. So what do you get when you order a Waldorf curriculum and what will your children do? I’m sharing our main lesson books for 5th grade. They are over a period of several years and with multiple children as well as my own ‘teacher’ main lesson book I make to use as an example for my children. I’m sharing with you the main lesson books for Botany, Geometry, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient India, The Ancient Culture of Persia and Ancient Greece.
Main Lesson book are the main notebooks used in Waldorf schools and Waldorf homeschools. They are typically 8″x10″ with lined and blank pages for students in 5th grade and up and blank notebooks 9″x12″ (and larger) for students in 1st-3rd grade. While I bought many of mine from http://www.waldorfsupplies.com You can make your own, too. I’ll show you how to make some simple ones at the end of the video by cutting drawing paper and construction paper down to size at your local office supply store and having them bind it with a coil or comb.
Homeschooling on a Limited Budget & Educational Funding
There are two resources at your disposal: Time or money. When we first started homeschooling, we had very little money, so many things we did were heavily budgeted. I bought things from eBay, or second hand or saved for a few choice items. We used our library extensively and I kept my eyes open for homeschool materials at discounted shops. After a few years of homeschooling independently, we joined a charter school. This charter school provided funding for their families to buy educational material to use in a home setting, i.e. homeschool. This was a game changer! I loved buying books and supplies and curriculum, and spent several years building up our basic supplies. When we don’t have the budget to buy all the books and kits, you have to get creative. Sometimes that means using the library or buying second hand, sometimes it means taking the time to find free resources online. Other times, it means tapping into your local homeschooling community and setting up a trade. You can also pool your resource to buy curriculum that you may each use in turn.
How to Plan for the Homeschool Year
Planning is one of those elusive things because mostly what you see is the final process: The process of putting your final thoughts on paper and organizing when lessons are going to happen. When you plan for the school year using unit studies or another method which is more flexible than a boxed curriculum (and even with a boxed curriculum), you’ll find that a lot of planning is happening outside of the planner. That planning is happening in your head! It’s happening all the time and a lot of planning work happens before you even put pen to paper. Once I figure out the units I’m doing, then I can arrange them in the year. This is easy for me to do because I do my grammar and math in the fall, history in the winter and science in the spring. And because we are always a bit behind, whatever science we didn’t get through in the spring gets bumped to the summer/fall.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Tutor
Sometimes we need help. Actually if we admit it, we probably need help much of time. When we homeschool, we are still caring for all of other responsibilities (usually), and so it makes sense that sometimes, we’re going to need to outsource things. Sometimes the things you outsource are meals in the form of take out, or housework in the form of a cleaning service, and sometimes they are lessons in the form of a tutor. While I haven’t used a tutor specifically to help with a subject area insofar as to supplement my teaching, I’ve outsourced lessons in the form of mentors, classes and co-ops. While it isn’t typical for us to outsource a lot of activities and lessons, it does occur several times a year. There is benefit and cost for such outsourcing while mostly I see benefits, there are some factors to consider: the time it takes you to drive to these activities, the cost (financially) and the type of lessons or methodology of teaching.
How to Keep Your Students Focused on Their Work | ADHD
It seems like staying focused it harder and harder these days even without the challenges of ADHD. While I am unable to speak about ADHD and other learning modalities and challenges, I know two women who can. Tanya from Project Happy Home and Michelle from A Common Life are both knowledgeable homeschoolers with years of parenting experience. I encourage you to check them out on Instagram and YouTube for videos on these specific parenting and homeschool challenges. Two tips I got from these women which I find helpful for all students are setting up good study habits and minimizing distractions.
Structure for a 5 year old
Because I’m a huge proponent of formal education and a play based early childhood, I’m mostly suggesting that instead of structure for a 5 year old, we look at what natural pillars exist during the day that we can take advantage of. For young children, there are usually meals and bedtime routines that stay fairly consistent. If you are struggling with those, let’s start there. Get your bedtime routine down first then begin to tackle the rest. When my children were young, it looked something like this: dinner, dishes, bath, stories and bed. By 8pm I was done! As they got older that changed of course. Next came a solid breakfast and morning routine. I left big portions of the day as open as possible to minimize my own stress. Most of our extracurricular activities were in the afternoon so that marked the end of our school day when the children were older.
Delayed academics isn’t a route every parent may want to take, but it may be one many children would like. How does delayed academics work and what are some of the pros and cons? I’ll touch on these and share a few personal experiences as well. At the heart of delayed academics is a trust that your child (and all children) can succeed and thrive. Sometimes we have to hold our breath and see it come together on our child’s own time schedule, other times we need to delay academics because of learning delays or other similar situations. I allow myself a long runway to educating my children, trusting that they will make to the ‘end’ knowing the foundations of education and hopefully attaining a love of learning and an ability to learn. I have two milestones: 6th grade and 9th grade. By the time they are ready for 7th grade I want my kids to know the basics in reading, writing and arithmetic.
Waldorf Grade 2 | Saints and Heroes
We love our Waldorf curriculum and the opportunity it provides to suit our family depending on which stories we use for each grade. Trading out stories to reflect your family’s cultural, religious or ethnic background is one of the underused and overlooked aspects of the Waldorf curriculum. In Grade 1, fairytales are used as the lesson content to teach the letters of the alphabet. In Grade 2, Saints and Heroes and Native American or Indigenous tales and legends are used as lesson content and in Grade 3, Hebrew stories are used. Knowing the why behind these stories allows us to trade them out for stories that suit your family. For us, I used the previous prophets for Grade 1, native stories or companion stories (seerah or biographies) for Grade 2, and Prophet Musa for Grade 3. We used the Companions (Sahaba) for grammar and writing in Grades 5-8. And focused on Islamic history in grades 7-8. While I made a lot of changes, and also didn’t stick to my own timeline, this was a general idea I wanted for my unique approach on Waldorf education. I would love to hear how you alter the philosophy to suit your needs.
Why are Fairy Tales Important in Waldorf Education?
Video releasing Thursday, June 17, 2021
Why are fairy tales important in Waldorf education and what are their deeper meaning and purpose? If you know the why behind a lesson, you have great mobility in changing out that lesson with one that suits your family needs better. For our family, we traded out the classic fairy tales for the stories of the previous prophets in Grade 1. You can trade out the stories of the fairy tales with stories that exhibit truth and falsehood, right and wrong and good and bad. These strong and polar ideas are especially well received by children around the age of 7 years old. You may remember asking these questions when you were younger or hear your children ask “are they the good guys or bad guys?” They aren’t capable of understanding the subtleties of graynes or the idea of good people doing bad things or vice versa. They need things that are stark and more clearly defined. So choosing stories with strong examples of good and bad (as you see it within the context of your personal, political or religious beliefs) will be well suited for the child. In the video I mention the Fairy Tale book we’ve read in its entirety. It’s The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales with illustrations by Josef Scharl, and while the cover may have been updated, the content is the same. There are many versions of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and while some are more popular than others, there are also some that are more gruesome than others. I suggest a pre-read of fairy tales if you have particularly sensitive children. Also, children don’t perceive the gruesomeness of some stories the same way we do as adults (think of Little Red Riding Hood), so while we may have a gut reaction to some stories, they may not be ‘as bad’ as you think. Use your best judgement according to your principles.
Waldorf Festivals for Religious Families
Video releasing June 24, 2021
Celebrating festivals and engaging in traditions is something you are going to find in Waldorf schools that brings rhythm and expectation to the year and seasons. But what if you don’t celebrate those festivals or would rather celebrate other things? Why celebrate in the first place? Having tradition is a good thing in my opinion and something that young children and old, revel in and look forward to. Whether it’s seasonal changes, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, we like to celebrate and look forward to those events. They mark our year and provide a break from the everyday.
As a Muslim family, we avoid most holidays and only celebrate the Eid al-Fitr which is the celebration at the end of the month of fasting called Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha which occurs during the month of Dhul Hijjah when Muslims from around the world make pilgrimage to Makkah to perform Hajj. But even though there are only two holidays in Islam, there are other ways to build tradition.
Two weekly activities that promote tradition and a rich Islamic experience are Juma and the fasting days of Mondays and Thursdays. For Juma (the day Muslims have the Khutba (sermon) at Friday Prayer which occurs in the Masjid (mosque)), you may include reading or listening to surah Kahf as part of your homeschool activities. You can turn this into a main lesson block that spans the year and focuses one lesson a week. You can bake special treats for Juma (option and not part of the Islamic tradition of reading Surah Kahf and attending the Masjid for Juma), or choose it as your fun or family day for the week. As for Mondays and Thursdays, chances are your children are too young to fast regularly, but you can! Seeing parents engaged in Islamic behavior is more educational than telling your children to do something. You are their example. Even if children are not fasting, they may enjoying breaking fast with you at iftar. There are daily rhythms as well. Our five daily prayers are the pillars of our day and working our life and day around them provides comfort, direction and expectations in our day.
How Do You Balance School Work and Handwork?
Video releasing on July 1, 2021
Do you struggle with balance? Of course you do because pretty much everyone does. Think about it. If you are balancing on a balance beam or tight rope, it takes a lot of effort, skill and concentration. Rather than finding balance in our life, how about we seek harmony? Harmonay allows for the ebb and flow of our day, season or season of our life. It also flows better with most but not all people. Harmony works with your natural rhythm rather than creating an artificial schedule. As a side note, I’m not opposed to schedules. They are stellar in so many ways, and with some gentle modifications they can not just suit the person who struggles with schedules but may actually enhance that person’s life.
So how do we balance school work with all the other fun stuff we have planned in our school day? Simply put, we can’t! But with some creative nudging and orchestrating, we can achieve something we can be pleased with. For some (like me), it means being intentional about our written work as we (I mean I) can get carried away with our hands on activities and handwork. If you struggle the other way, maybe doing one project per main lesson block or unit study is sufficient. Or one big project for the whole year. Or if you engage in smaller projects that span the unit, maybe break it up so you are only working in small chunks of time to avoid project and academic fatigue.
How to Have a Fulfilling and Productive Homeschool Day
Video releasing July 8, 2021
Homeschooling (or even parenting) when you have multiple kids or a baby or toddler is super challenging. Throw on top of that a productive and fulfilling day and it seems like you are chasing a fantasy. How do you have a productive day when you have little children. In part I would recommend looking into child development and pairing that with a good parenting book. That’s going to give you “what to expect” from your child at any given age based on her development and give you the tools to have a meaningful relationship with your children as they grow through these phases. It’s a challenge and one I failed at more than I succeeded at (sorry my children). So how do you have a fulfilling day? And when you are thinking about how to achieve that, don’t forget to include you in that list! The way I have done this in the past is by doing three things: I focus on the academics of the oldest child, I allow for a lot of play time and I meet the emotional needs of my children over their academic needs (especially so the younger they are). Again, I’ve made a lot of missteps here as well, but the basic idea for me is that I’ll spend less time teaching a skill when my children are ripe to learn it than if they are a bit young and need a lot of help through the process. Imagine teaching consistently a grade behind and how much easier that is than teaching grade level and how much easier that is than teaching a year ahead. This may not be the case all the time, but in general, when children are ripe for learning, it’s easier for both the teacher and the student.
Opinions on Media and Screen Time for Kids
Video releasing July 15, 2021
No matter what you chose, remember it’s your choice, your family and ultimately, you know best what’s right for your family. My opinions on screen time are my own and ones that reflect my personal research and principles. The big thing to note here is that the children’s screen time drastically changes in high school when they have more autonomy of their screen time choices. Also, when my first children were younger, we didn’t have ipads or iphones or laptops (as two of them weren’t even invented then), so I had less challenges to deal with compared to my last two children who see the phone as everything but a phone.
Because I am a huge advocate of play, I want to be clear on how we can have successful play that is meaningful and promotes healthy brain development since I usually prioritize play over academics. This is possible because I avoid screen time for my children. When I say I let my children play, it’s not screen time play and it’s not even organized or purposeful play, it’s open ended play.
Screen time is something our children are going to deal with more and more as they get older and I would rather eliminate it as much as possible when they are younger because it’s very likely they are going to be on it a lot as adults. We already know so many downsides of being on screen, so I don’t want to enumerate them here. No doubt there are positives to media and screen time, but I would say that the positives are not comparable to the negatives of screen time when children are young.
Screen time is one thing, but technology is another, and social media is on a different level all together. All these things are neither inherently good or evil. But we may find benefit in minding our intention and seeking moderation.
Patience in Parenting
Video releasing July 22, 2021
I’m not a naturally patient person and actually I think I’ve been practicing patience all wrong these years. I have a new understanding of it and my understanding of patience is likely to change again in the future as well, but currently I’m recognizing I don’t have to endure or suffer unnecessarily to exhibit patiences. Patiences is a natural consequence of choices or a mindset, and not something you bottle up inside and appear patient while your insides are boiling. Stating clearly my needs and expectations and the consequences of those expectations not being met is far more productive for me than getting frustrated and then having to pose as patient when I’m not because I’m practicing becoming more patient.
Patience when dealing with children comes easier when you put yourself in their shoes. Naturally we connect with their feelings in that moment and can be more patient because we can relate to them. Patiences isn’t seething on the inside and smiling on the outside. You are just going to pop sometime later and it will be such a mess! Children test our patience, every single day. Every hour of every day…every minute of every hour! We are being tested a little bit at a time and sometimes in grand ways. I’m still on my patiences journey, so in the future, I’ll likely have more to say on the subject.
Isolation and Loneliness While Homeschooling
Video releasing July 29, 2021
Are you the only one homeschooling in your community? Maybe you are, but chances are that there is someone else just like you in your community thinking or feeling the same way. If you are feeling lonely or isolated as a homeschooler, here are two things you can do (and one of them wasn’t even available when I first started homeschooling!). First thing is you can connect with others online which is a mixed blessing. I love how we can communicate and connect with homeschoolers worldwide, but that connection is only virtual (unless you plan a meetup). But at the very least, it’s an opportunity to learn, grow and connect with others even when there doesn’t seem to be anyone in your community. But is there really no one in your community? If there are no co ops, park days or meetups, then you are blessed with the special opportunity to be the seed of your new homeschooling community. Start by planning a park day. It will be a lot of work at first, but over time, your community will find you. You just need one other person. Someone to lament to when the homeschooling gets tough, someone to share successes with and hopefully someone who has children the same age as your children so the kiddos can play while you can chat.
How do You Start Homeschooling?
Video releasing August 5, 2021
How do you actually start homeschooling? If you are in the state of California, check out this video on your schooling options. Remember that laws are constantly changing and I highly advise that you check with your local State Department of Education for the latest rules and regulations. You can also check out HSLDA for your homeschooling rights in all 50 states.
When it comes to homeschooling, there’s the legal how to and then the practical how to. The legal part is straight forward, but please be sure you do it correctly as truancy is against the law and we don’t want to risk losing our children to PCS or incurring other issues because we illegally pull or keep our children from school.
Once you know the laws, you’ll know which options you have and that can help direct your curriculum choices. If you are confused about which choices to start with, I like recommending a boxed curriculum. They can be quite pricey, but the perk is that you get all your books for all subjects in one curriculum which makes it easier for families just starting out. I like Oak Meadow curriculum for this reason. I feel it’s a great option for boxed curriculum that is secular and easily accessible. For Waldorf, I like the Live Education curriculum. Even if you don’t stick with a boxed curriculum for the long run, it’s a nice place to start.
How to Encourage Love of Learning and Lifelong Learning
Video releasing August 12, 2021
I thought cultivating a love of learning for my children came from cultivating engaging lessons that meaningful and memorable. I had glorious aspirations and now 2 decades into my homeschool journey I feel like some of those choices didn’t materialize the outcomes I expected. What I see is that my children’s lifelong love of learning is more an immersion into a field of study or interest in which they are self driven to learn for their own sakes rather than from an external push or obligation. Maybe something I did while they were young homeschoolers left a seed of curiosity and commitment to education, or a desire to learn more or a striving for understanding, but in retrospect, I can’t say for sure one way or another.
Dealing with Mom Guilt
Video releasing August 19, 2021
Mom guilt is birthed the moment we become a parent. It’s like it’s delivered with the baby. Mom guilt has a place, but we need to recognize when it’s not welcomed and actually destructive. When it comes from an outside source, peer pressure or cultural norms, we need to evaluate and even scrutinize it. Chances are, you are feeling unnecessary guilt. But what if the guilt is well placed? There were some years in our homeschooling journey where my guilt was well placed and it took about 1-2 years to change my course. Sometimes that guilt is telling us we are not being intentional, or doing right by our children. Especially when we homeschool, we need to be mindful of our children’s academic and educational well being which includes (and isn’t limited to) their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well being. Parenting is hard. We mess up daily. But at the same time, it can be fulfilling and rewarding.
Homeschool Routine with Newborn and Young Children
Video releasing August 26, 2021
Finding any routine, let alone honing a homeschooling routine, is near impossible with a newborn and even more challenging when you have other children as well. In those years in our homeschooling and parenting journey, it meant one of two things for us: Either we let go of those months and let the children play or we planned ahead and either modified what we planned to do or intentionally took that time off so we could spend time with baby and live by a newborn’s schedule. Those times don’t last forever, but if you have a few children, then you are dealing with toddlerhood, you can quickly see years go by the wayside and it seems like nothing is getting done. This is the one time that media saved the day in the form of audiobooks. My children loved listening to books while they played and they played a lot when they were younger. It kept everyone happy and fulfilled while we adjusted to life with a new baby. Once we observed a nap pattern, I would use that time to read aloud to my children because it was the one thing that was so difficult to do when baby/toddler was awake. Nearly everything else we could modify to do when baby/toddler was awake. So, the longer the baby slept, the more we could read aloud or do something else that was too difficult to do when baby was awake.