We all have times and seasons that are tough points in our homeschooling careers. For me, homeschooling with a new baby was difficult. Babies are the sweetest blessing and the biggest challenge. The exhaustion coupled with adjusting to babyhood again makes it hard to be 100 percent.
When my two oldest were 4 and 6 we started another school year, but with a new baby. My kids still needed a lot of help and attention in the their schoolwork. It felt hard. And I mean HARD. Teaching two kids to read and do math while nursing the third felt exhausting.
When my son was born (number four), we went through all that again. This time #3 was two years old. When your kids are:
- a curious, rambunctious 7 year-old
- a 5 year-old sponge
- a 2-year-old, not quite ready for formal schooling, but definitely wanting attention
- an infant, who wants to nurse and be held 24/7
it can be hard to just get through the day, much less teach them something along the way.
As a mom, I often feel very pulled in many directions, and also quite inadequate as I watch my wonderfully laid lesson plans go by the wayside as I tend to kiddos who need me in more pressing matters.
[mantra-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]My kids are learning so much more than just what’s in their books.[/mantra-pullquote] At some point along my journey I had an epiphany though. My kids are learning so much more than just what’s in their books. They see that I value my children as I tend to our little baby. They see that our family takes priority. They see how important it is for a mother to be a nurturer. They are learning– not just about how to change diapers alongside mom, but also how we treat each other, how we care for each other, and how we value each other every day.
All of a sudden, the way I taught my kids changed forever. I hug them and hold them more during school and not just when I tuck them into bed. I spend more time reading stories with them all around me. I don’t panic when we don’t get to everything on my daily to-do list. I don’t get upset if something interrupts our school day. I remember that my character and my choices are a lesson to my kids, that I am modeling the kind of person I want them to become. I’d rather they have a calm, loving mom than a crazy person stressing out to make sure every step of the science experiment is properly recorded on our scientific method worksheet.
We may have six months or so where science and history are more neglected than I’d like, but still there are lessons happening. Life lessons. Lessons about things that really matter. The baby IS the lesson.