Home Education, Homebirth & Motherhood

What to Expect When You’re Expecting & Homeschooling

Not too long ago we found out we were expecting baby blessing number five. I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming because my husband had been talking about wanting more children. I also lifted my “heck no” ban and told God to have His way with our family, surrendering my will.

We also recently entered into our 6th year of homeschooling, having slowly merged into a year-round style mixed with a relaxed, eclectic approach. A new baby was not part of the plan. Perhaps you are an expecting mother who homeschools as well. Maybe you have no idea how this is going to work.

Allow me to ease some of your stress, concern, and worries by sharing 5 things to expect when you’re expecting and homeschooling, and how to handle them. Yes, some of it will be humorous… but that’s the point. 😉

Panic Mode!

This mode happens to most of us, especially if you’re expecting baby number two, or three. After four (or more) the attitude is usually, “Oh, what’s one more?” followed by the thought of how much crazier can our circus get, LOL.

Either way, it’s common to slip into panic mode for a bit until reality sinks in and you realize that you can do this. You’ve been blessed with this gift, and the Giver is just as merciful to see you through. You’re homeschooling the others, so this one will naturally fit right in.

Instead of panicking, or at least staying in panic mode more than you need to, begin counting your blessings. Choose praise over panic, and take control of your thoughts in the process by choosing joy in the journey.

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Throw Your Current Plans Out the Window!

Okay, maybe not all your plans – but, what I strongly suggest is to give yourself some cushion (especially if you can be a little OCD). However, cushion, in my opinion, doesn’t mean to let everything go.

In my personal experience, cushion may look like less busy work and more field trips. Or, more read-alouds and documentaries.

Instead of thinking that your plans have to drastically change, consider naturally adding the journey of expecting a new baby into your homeschooling journey. Not to mention, the kiddos will get to see you physically growing, and at some point they will be able to feel baby move. Invite them to workout with you, and get them in on eating and preparing healthier meals.

One Million Questions

Yep. If you have little ones, expect a million questions. I am asked no less than ten times a day, “Mama? Do you have a baby growing in your belly?” And my response is always the same until I can show them how much baby has changed, which thankfully is on a weekly basis.

This kind of goes back to my last suggestion of including the pregnancy journey in with homeschooling. I want my children to be a part of this pregnancy journey just as much as they want to be.

So, instead of getting exhausted about the million-question-askers, jot down their questions and work them into your homeschool schedule. If you’re a morning basket mama, include age-appropriate books that talk about having a new sibling or even the growth process of baby. If you choose traditional medical care, see if your children can go to your appointments with you.

There are many, many ways to use your kiddo’s questions as fuel for lessons that you know they’ll be interested in because they keep asking! Use their curiosity for your benefit, and theirs.

Where am I in All of This?

You know what I’m talking about? Those recurring thoughts of keeping up with homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, making sure everything is in order – on top of dealing with what comes naturally when you’re growing another tiny human inside you.

It can become really easy to forget about you, what you need, your alone time, and so on. If your life is anything like mine, you’ll get the occasional question of, “How are you feeling?” and then attention quickly shifts to the other kiddos and what they think, how they feel, etc.

Instead of feeling like you’re even more invisible (besides the growing belly, LOL), find time to journal and just focus on you and baby. Journal Scriptures, affirmations, and even prayers. This goes back to the praise over panic suggestion. When your focus is on the blessings of this journey, you’ll start to see yourself as the superwoman you really are!

CHECK OUT MY PREGNANCY-TRACKING JOURNAL HERE!

Mom Guilt Overload

I edited this post to add this because a dear follower of ours reminded me of the realities of mom guilt. Whatever you choose to do because of expecting a new bundle of joy, never allow yourself to wallow in the mom guilt of not measuring up, not doing enough, or wishing you could do more.

The pregnancy journey is a unique one, no matter how many children you have. Each pregnancy is different. Each birth, and each child. This is true for your homeschooling journey as well. What it looks like this year may be totally different this time next year.

Whatever you do, DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE MOM GUILT! Instead, do what you can do when you can do it and leave the rest alone. Don’t feel bad for hiring a babysitter to get time alone. Don’t feel bad about planning extra play dates just to get adult interaction. And don’t feel bad if homeschooling takes a total back seat.

In the End

When it comes down to it mama, you are awesome, and you are blessed. Choose to be intentional in everything you do… from being a wife, a homeschooling mom, and whatever other hats you wear. Choose to love and embrace this journey you’re on. It’s yours.

CHIME IN: What are some funny tips you’d like to share about expecting and homeschooling? Let me know in the comments below!

Family: Marriage & Parenting, Home Education

Operation Homeschool Success: Parenting Styles

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been on a “styles” kick. You’ve probably heard of learning styles and homeschooling styles as being very important facets in home education – but what about the role that parenting styles play?

In our Facebook group, With the Huddleston’s Homeschooling Community, we started a two-week mission called Operation Homeschool Success. The idea behind this movement is to show just how eclectic each of our homeschools are and share information, wisdom, and knowledge that could help us along this journey. Each day a question is posted and we all share our experiences.

The question about the effects of parenting styles came to the table and a wonderful amount of responses sprang from it. Some mamas shared the importance of parenting styles in their home while another shared how embracing her children’s learning styles on top of her parenting style creates positive change in how she leads. (AMAZING THOUGHT!)

I did some research to better understand parenting styles and I started thinking about how it is just as important as all the other styles we talk about. In my book, Just for Today’s Homeschooling Mom, I devote an entire chapter to learning and homeschooling styles because they are always in the spotlight. But what I’ve come to realize is that the way in which we parent is just as important – and a crucial piece of the puzzle in the picture of homeschooling successfully.

So what kind of parenting style do you mainly operate in? The brick wall parent who has to have total control with no bending… or the jellyfish parent who operates with no boundaries or expectations? Or how about the better-now-than-later parent who wants her child reading by age two? There are a few more to this list and I recommend reading about them here. Then, think about the way your children learn. Are you helping or hindering them by your parenting style? Does this compliment your homeschooling style?

We tackled all of these questions in my Facebook group and a lovely discussion video came from it too! It’s already on YouTube so go check it out, subscribe while you’re there (because I’m always adding valuable content to our channel), and share your thoughts about how parenting styles effect homeschooling!

If you’re new to homeschooling and have no idea about all these different styles, let alone how to implement them – I’d love to help you out! As your personal Homeschool Lifestyle Consultant, it is my desire to he

lp new (and veteran) homeschooling mamas create a path of homeschooling success and have the confidence to live unapologetically authentic in the process! Schedule your free discover session with me today!

 

Until next time, happy homeschooling y’all!

Home Education, Reviews

How I take my kiddos around the world without leaving home!

Our family absolutely LOVES the idea of traveling around the world. In fact, we have several locations pinned on our family dream board. Although we can’t just hop up and go wherever we want right now, that’s okay! You see, the season we are in is one of planting, and boy is there a lot of planting going on with four young kiddos (the youngest being 1 month old). 🙂 But hey, we are cool with that because behind the scenes, the hubby and I are mentally mapping some cool plans and working diligently for when the season of travel arrives in our driveway!

In the meantime, this frugal mama is able to make our dreams become a reality with resources like Paradise Praises’ Kids Travel Calendar! The simplicity of this calendar makes it easy for my kiddos to focus on what the calendar actually has to offer. While they are fascinated by the ability to color the pictures, write in the dates, and take note of any special occasions in the boxes – I am thrilled about what’s taking place behind the scenes (and you will be too).

The Kid’s Travel Calendar is helping my children with:

  • time comprehension
  • fine (and gross) motor skills through coloring
  • writing
  • creativity
  • thinking and sharing (speech/communication)

It has also helped spark some creative lesson plans! Since each month has a different country with a greeting in it’s original language, I figured that we could “travel” to the difference places each month and:

  • learn about their culture (language, lifestyle, way of life)
  • make an actual play trip packed with plane tickets and passports
  • look up recipes and try an actual dish that’s well known in that country
  • create a lapboard to house the wealth of info we find

Add some YouTube videos and a few crafts and we’ve got a full blown unit study that will last the entire year! Not to mention, we are able to save (LOTS) of money! This calendar is less than $6. Add that to a Dollar Tree store trip and I won’t spend over $20!

Another major go for me is that fact that I can use this calendar with all of my children, including my two-year-old. They have been gracious enough to include a single-family use reproducible license, making it super simple to make copies for everyone in my family.

It’s resources like the Kids Travel Calendar that make homeschooling a unique and fun adventure, all without having to leave the comfort of our home. Don’t get me wrong, we like to get out but sometimes getting “out” isn’t always doable. So our next option will be turning our home into the places we want to go!

If you’re like me (or even totally opposite), you’ll wanna snag one of these resources. I’d even go as far as to say that every home, homeschooling or not, would benefit from having one of these! Get yours HERE (or by clicking on any photo)!

 

CHIME IN: Do you travel from the comfort of your home? Share you ideas and things you’ve done to make traveling from home a success!

Psst… don’t forget to stop by Paradise Praises and check out their other products. From home and family to homeschool, they have something for almost everyone!

 

Until next time, happy tavelin’ y’all!