How to Homeschool When You’re Welcoming a New Family Member

Over the years, my husband and I have accepted the role of unofficial greeters in our area for families new to homeschooling. Because we lead an annual “Home School 101″ workshop and are present online, new families find us, migrate to us, and ask us lots of questions.

From one new mom, I was recently asked a common question that hit home for me in a fresh way. We have just welcomed our sixth child, so when a new-to-homeschooling mother asked, “How do I homeschool my 5-year-old with a newborn alongside?” I had to pause and answer the question for our family too.

Her question prompted me to pray for wisdom, do a lot of thinking, and ask my five kids (ages 6 to 15) what we should do to keep up formal learning now that the baby is here. Time for a balancing act!

Perhaps, rather than expecting an infant, you are preparing to move an elderly parent into your home. Or perhaps you are about to adopt a child or welcome an exchange student. In all these situations, how do you keep schooling? Even adding a four-footed family member, like a puppy or a farm animal, can be a challenge to continued homeschooling efforts.

As I tried to answer my friend’s question and apply the answers to our own recent family growth situation, the Lord put some answers on my heart. First of all, I told my friend to give herself lots of grace! God knew He’d be giving her and her husband this baby at this exact time in their lives. He also knew their daughter would be 5 when her new baby brother arrived. God isn’t surprised by their fatigue, their challenges, and their new stresses as they add the baby to their family and routine. I suggested that she take it easy, let her body heal, and focus on getting the baby to sleep well. Only gradually would I suggest she add more schoolwork back to her routine.

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Source: Crosswalk | Melanie Hexter, Home School Enrichment

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