When I was expecting Baby Girl, I wondered if it was going to make home educating the boys a lot harder.
Having a baby whilst home educating the three boys, is quite busy. But, it is possible, so I thought I’d share a bit of what it looks like, hopefully it’ll reassure anyone who is heading towards this.
While I recover from the birth and get my head around having four children, I have been cutting us all a bit of slack with schoolwork. But, we are trying to get into a new routine.
I fed Baby Girl at one and she settled for a long sleep, waking at six for a change and another long feed.
When I woke again at eight, my husband had gone downstairs and Youngling had climbed into our bed. I fed Baby Girl and hugged Youngling until they were both asleep. Then I got myself dressed.
Baby Girl woke up. So I changed her and brought her downstairs.
Middly was already downstairs, having a row with Husband about his Physics. He went back to his room to calm down.
I had breakfast while Baby Girl played on her play mat and cuddled for a while. I managed to talk about work with Husband, while we both drank coffee – an oasis of adult conversation.
Baby Girl needed another change and feed. Then she settled down for her morning nap.
I checked on Middly, but he wasn’t ready to return. I unstacked the dishwasher, then loaded it with last night’s dishes and put it back on.
Baby Girl woke for a change and a feed. I put her down for a bit of tummy time. I mediated a row between Middly and Youngling – who had both surfaced at once – then picked up Baby Girl, who wasn’t keen on tummy time and needed changing again.
I found clothes for Youngling and helped Middly with Physics, while Baby Girl watched from her bouncy chair.
Then I got book post!
I looked at Middly’s Physics again. Then I handed Baby Girl to Eldest, who held her while I made Youngling’s breakfast.
I took Baby Girl back and fed her while I talked to Eldest about his maths. She fell asleep. I reminded Youngling to get dressed and talked Middly through a maths problem.
Husband took Baby Girl upstairs to change her. I sat with Youngling while he did his History and Maths.
Nobody else was ready for lunch yet. But I was hungry, so I ate some more toast and helped Eldest with his maths. It was a bit tricky – he finds it very hard to listen to me explain things, and would rather know everything without any help.
I got a toy down for Youngling. Baby Girl fell asleep again, so Husband put her in her downstairs cot (she has a downstairs cot and an upstairs cot – I highly recommend this system, it means that you always have somewhere to put the baby wherever you are).
I took the boys climbing. We go with other home ed families once a fortnight. I watched the boys climb, whilst I fed Baby Girl and chatted to friends. Middly managed a climb that he hadn’t managed when Husband brought the boys climbing on Saturday, so I took a photo. Then Youngling wanted me to take a picture of him climbing as well.
I’d brought the latest issue of First News with me. When Youngling had enough climbing, he read that for a while. Once Middly had enough climbing as well, I changed Baby Girl and we came home again.
Husband made a late lunch of pasta. Then I suggested Middly look through a cookery book, choose a recipe, and make a list of what he’d need. I fed Youngling his sweetcorn – he’s wanted me to do that a few times since Baby Girl came along, I’m hoping that getting a bit of extra nurture is helping him adjust to no longer being the baby.
I managed to read the first chapter of ‘Keep Your Love On’.
Then I changed Baby Girl and fed her and put her in her bouncy chair to watch Youngling play.
Husband left then, he’s been doing a bit of lecturing on Monday evenings.
I helped Eldest with some maths.
The boys weren’t ready for tea, so I made bread and butter as a snack. I helped Youngling get his uniform on and finish off a drawing. Then, Baby Girl, Middly and I took Youngling to Beavers.
While Youngling stayed at Beavers, Middly, Baby Girl and I went to the supermarket. We picked up everything Middly needed to make a black forest gateaux.
We arrived back at Beavers in time to change Baby Girl and feed her again before collecting Youngling. I did that in the car so as not to distract Youngling.
Baby Girl fell asleep on the way home. I’m very grateful that she sleeps in the car. It makes it much easier to drive everyone around.
Back home, I sorted out tea. I ate with the boys. Then I made bread rolls for tomorrow’s lunch, while the boys watched TV and Baby Girl dozed.
Husband came home and put Youngling to bed. He took Baby Girl with him so I could put away laundry and put on a nappy wash.
Then I fed Baby Girl to sleep. Once she was settled down, I got the boys’ schoolwork ready for tomorrow.
Another pretty good night with Baby Girl, who woke up three times, though I didn’t make a note of when.
Youngling, Baby Girl, Husband and I were all awake at quarter to eight, so we got up then. Middly heard us and for up too.
I ate breakfast whilst feeding Baby Girl, then helped Youngling get dressed whilst talking to Middly about his English.
I sat with Youngling as he did Maths, then got him started on Handwriting and went off to change Baby Girl.
I checked in with Middly, and looked at his Chemistry. Then I put Baby Girl down for Tummy Time. Youngling came over to encourage Baby Girl in her head-lifting.
I put Baby Girl in her bouncy chair, and she watched me make a picnic. I carried her in her chair to look at Youngling’s Handwriting.
I changed Baby Girl again and woke up Eldest. Then we went to a roller skating meet up with friends.
Eldest helped Youngling to get his skates, while I fed Baby Girl. Baby Girl had a nap in her carrier. I chatted with some friends and had a cup of tea, half-watching the boys skating with their friends.
At the end of the session, we went to a local park with a few other families. We ate our picnic.
I realised that I’d left a bag behind at the skating rink, but – since it wasn’t the bag with my purse or phone in – figured I’d sort that later.
The older boys played table tennis and badminton with their friends. Youngling played on the park and in the ball pit with his friends. I had more tea and some cake. My friends held Baby Girl for me when I needed to settle a couple of minor rows with the boys. The boys’ friends had a cuddle with her too. Baby Girl is very easy going and happy to gurgle at anyone who hugs her.
A few useful conversations happened – we made some plans for Science Club and one of my friends asked Eldest to make her a nest box, as woodwork is the skill he’s working on for his Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Back home, I set Eldest up with Maths and Middly making a black forest gateaux. Husband took Baby Girl so I could get some work done. Youngling sat next to me, while I worked, reading and then playing the Happy Studio app on my phone.
He brought her back when she needed feeding. Then I put her in her bouncy chair and she watched me make daal for tea.
Husband and Eldest went back to the skate rink to retrieve my bag.
Middly helped me make naan bread. I changed Baby Girl, fed her and she settled down for a nap.
Baby Girl and I got up and dressed. We came downstairs and I ate breakfast and helped Eldest with his Maths.
I fed Baby Girl and helped Middly with his History.
Youngling came downstairs, so I made him breakfast and helped him get dressed. I read Each Peach Pear Plum to Baby Girl, and Youngling snuggled up to listen too.
I took Baby Girl up for a change, sorted the laundry and put a wash on.
I checked on Eldest’s Maths, which did not go well; then looked at Middly’s Biology, which went better.
I helped Youngling with his Science – making instruments.
Baby Girl had a nap, so I took the opportunity to review some documents for work. I made lunch and unstacked the dishwasher. Baby Girl woke before I finished, so Middly finished off unloading the dishwasher for me. Youngling laid the table and we ate lunch.
After lunch, Eldest got a bit worked up. So I took the rest of the children to the library and left Eldest at home to cool off.
When we’re out, I carry Baby Girl in a carrier, which leaves both my hands free. Fortunately, she likes her carrier – as long as I don’t stand still.
At the library, I helped Middly choose a recipe he wanted to make (a beetroot and goat’s cheese tart) and make a list of ingredients. I helped Youngling choose books, changed Baby Girl twice, and picked up a couple of books for myself.
We went into the supermarket – Youngling was very pleased to get a free clementine – and bought the ingredients for Middly’s tart.
I drove home and Baby Girl fell asleep in the car. When we got home, I moved her to her cot, helped Middly cook and did some laundry.
Unless I eat something in the afternoon, I get angry and stressed. So I ate a bowl of peanuts and drank a cup of tea.
Baby Girl woke for a feed. I took her with me to have a chat with Eldest. Often, the boys are more receptive when Baby Girl is around. She brings out their softer sides. Eldest was much calmer and we were able to put Maths aside for the day. He went out to play with his rabbit.
Middly finished making his tart, and we all ate together. Since we were all in one place and it’s Ash Wednesday today, I found our Lent Bible study and we did the first session of that, while I fed Baby Girl.
Baby Girl went back to sleep, Husband drove Eldest to Cubs. Middly, Youngling and I all read library books.
I had breakfast and fed Baby Girl. I helped Eldest with his Maths, and helped Middly with his.
I changed Baby Girl and got Youngling dressed. I put some laundry on, and looked at Middly’s Geography. I helped Youngling do his Science and Maths.
My mum came to visit, she held Baby Girl while I looked at Eldest’s Maths and Middly’s English.
I got Husband out of his office and we all went out for lunch.
I dropped everyone else home and took Baby Girl for her vaccinations.
When we got home, Baby Girl was a bit sad. I held her while I chatted to Middly and my Mum and admired Youngling’s comics.
We all had some cake. After a couple of changes and short feeds didn’t seem to cheer her up, I walked Baby Girl around a bit to settle her. She went to sleep, but wasn’t happy about going into her cot.
I helped Middly make biscuits while my mum held Baby Girl.
Husband took Eldest to Scouts. Baby Girl went to sleep. I made macaroni cheese, with a bit of help from Youngling.
Friday was a bit chaotic. Baby Girl wasn’t well. We had a home ed sports club, plus catching up on school work. There was also baking. But I forgot to take any notes or photos.
I considered trying again another week, but then I figured that this was a pretty good representation of how things go. Sometimes I have time to make notes, write blogs, even read a book. Other days are a bit of a blur.
While Baby Girl is so tiny, she doesn’t really need a lot of stimulation, but she does provide a non-judgemental source of hugs for the boys. Though she definitely takes up a lot of my time, I think on the whole she’s brought more peace to the atmosphere and not much more chaos. I’m looking forward to seeing how she fits in and what interests she brings into the household, as she gets older!