Worried About Homeschooling with a Newborn

Updated on February 27, 2008
L.C. asks from Richardson, TX
7 answers

I'm hoping for some advice from all you homeschoolers that have been through this! I'd like to begin homeschooling my daughter in the fall for Kindergarten, but I will have a 3-month-old and 3-year-old at home as well. I'm worried about how to juggle the three of them during teaching time. Do you have any tips?

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So What Happened?

You've given me such excellent advice! I'm feeling much more at ease about starting this new adventure with my kids. Thank you all!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

I home school right now with a toddler and baby--trust me it is easier with the newborn :)
I remember usually wearing the newborn in a sling and/or nursing him during lots of studying.
For the three year old, I would create her own home school box with play doh, games, markers and craft stuff during home school time. If she is up for it, you can even make her little worksheets.
Best of luck--take each day as it comes!



answers from Dallas on

My children were 6, 3 and newborn during my first year homeschooling. I was concerned while I was pregnant but everything turned out fine. Here are some things I think you should think about:

1. Focus on the basics. For my son's K year we focused on math and reading and just read books and followed his interests with everything else. We spent no more than 1 hour per day on formal lessons, and by the end of the year he was still well above grade level. Because homeschooling is 1 on 1, it doesn't take nearly as much time.

2. You don't have to follow the school schedule. If things are still a little hectic when your newborn is 3 months old, you can just wait another month or two to get started and extend your year a bit further into the summer. In Texas, summer is a great time to homeschool because during the day it's too hot to go outside.

3. I wouldn't recommend putting the 3 year old in Mother's Day Out. One reason I'm extremely glad we homeschooled that first year is because I didn't have to worry about getting 3 children up and dressed and out the door at a specific time every morning, and waking a newborn up to go pick a child up.

4. Do school during your one of your baby's naptimes. Read or do a short activity with your 3 year old, then set her up with a quiet activity. It may help to rotate them on different days. You could give her some workbooks or coloring books one day (we love those jumbo coloring books), playdoh another, puzzles, art activity, etc. Keep them put away until school time so she has something to look forward to.

This site has some really simple preschool activities:

5. Don't get discouraged if you don't get around to everything you want to do. With homeschooling, you can never be behind because you set your own pace, and because of the one on one attention, your daughter will still get more than she would have in a classroom environment. Also, don't feel you have to do every single activity suggested by the teacher's guide.

We had so much fun that first year homeschooling, even with a newborn. I love that my children we able to be home with him that first year.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

L., you have gotten some great advice. When my oldest started Kindergarten, I also had a 2 yr old and newborn. We did everything listed in the previous posts, except the mother day out. The biggest thing, the only sit a desk school time was for learning how to read, handwriting, and math. about an hour of desk work a day, the rest we learned with everyday life. Sorting silverwear, cooking together, painting, playdo etc are great ways to learn.



answers from Dallas on

If you can afford it, you might consider having your 3 year old attend Mother's Day Out on Tue/Thurs at a local church. This will give you a couple days during the week where you can really focus on school without any interruptions from your 3 yr old. The other suggestions are great, too.

Also, I would take advantage of nap time and try to do some school then.

Another idea, when you are teaching reading or math (the stuff that is really important and you really want her to get) you might could have your 3 yr old watch a 30 minute video or something so that you can be one-on-one with your student. ;-)



answers from Dallas on

The great thing about homeschooling is that you have the greatest flexibility of all! I think the key for you is to set your daughter's kindergarten schedule, and then try to work everything else around that (dr appts, etc), but also remember that *everything* you do on a daily basis can also be a "teaching time" for her (math, colors, counting, alphabet, etc.) Remember to document these activities as well as your "tabled" learning time, because it does count! (My son is almost 17 and has been homeschooled by my parents his entire life. He has already finished his High School requirements, and is now working on post-High School/College credit materials.) When your 2 younger ones are down for their naps, you can use that time to "school method" teach your kindergardener. (Does that make sense?) Or when you are having "teaching time" with her, your 3-year-old can sit at the table with y'all and color or play with her play-doh, etc. She will also be picking up things that her sister is learning, even though she doesn't "recognize" it as learning.

Congratulations on the baby, and on your decision to home school!



answers from Dallas on

I am a homeschooler with three children of my own. My son is 8 my daughter is 5 and my youngest daughter is 1 year old. It is not always easy, but setting up times to teach is great Idea. Your girl is proberly too young, but my son gets up at six in the morning to start school, and my other daughter gets up a 7. Homeschooling with newborns is not as hard as you might think. Newborns can be nursed(fed), and taken care of while you are teaching. It would be a good Idea for you to get some teaching pages for your younger daughter, so while you are teaching your four year old, your younger daughter would not feel left out. (coloring pages, picture book, ect.).

Good luck



answers from Dallas on


I think I tend to be the more laid back one. i have 5 children. When I started K with my oldest I had a 5 yod, 3 yod, and a 1 yod. I was also pg with #4. I found that K only took me about an hour. We did reading, math, and handwriting. But I also look at all of life and school so we were always learning. I spent more time reading to my children than anything. That is most important. I have homeschooled for 3 1/2 years with a baby at the breast while I was reading.

Someone said that homeschooling with a newborn is easier. No joke. You can either carry them in a sling, hold them, or like me, put them in a bouncey chair right beside me.

I wouldn't stress too much. Unless you are planning to do school at home like you would in a classroom setting, then you can be as relaxed as you need to be. K in TX is not required. Attendance isn't required until they are 6 before the school year starts.

Oh, it just occurred to me that I have a 5 yod as well. LOL!!! How's that for relaxed. I don't even remember that I have a child that I would technically be schooling. She and I work on phonics. She is working her way slowly through the Primer in Math U See. And we are about to start copywork as opposed to a handwriting workbook like I did with her siblings. That's it. We only do that about 3 times a week (if that.) She's still so young. My other two just started reading when they were ready. We did phonics but it's wasn't all the time and it wasn't tedious.

I wouldn't stress too much over the baby being there. Even if you didn't get much done your will get caught up. If anything it will make learning even easier for her. Because by the time you are able to get stuff done she will really be ready. That is what happened with my 7 yod. I started phonics with him right after he turned 5. He wasn't ready so I put it away. I pulled the curriculum out about 5 months later. In between that time I put it away and the time I pulled it out he taught himself to read. He just wasn't ready when I was. If I had pushed him to do what he couldn't do it probably would have produced many tears.

You've gotten some really good advice from other people. Homeschooling with a newborn really is easy. This is one advice I would offer. Be very purposeful as your baby grows up about training them to stay on a blanket to play or spend time playing alone in the crib. If you do that it will save you hours of trouble. Trust me, I speak from experience on that one. It's very hard to keep my 3 yod occupied right now because I didn't train him. I am trying to change that with my 1 yod.

God Bless,


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