If you follow my Facebook page, and you really should, you know we are expecting baby #5 in July. And while most of the pregnancy seems to be going along in relatively normal fashion, I have been on modified bed rest for the better part of the last 15 weeks. However,this is a new experience for me, as I was only on bed rest during my second pregnancy and only for two weeks.
As with many pregnancies, this one has brought on several new experiences. Of course, keeping up with four kids is top on the list. But, bed rest is the most challenging by far. When the doctor told me I needed to be on modified bed rest, I might have looked at her like she had 5 heads. Of course, I laughed hysterically, before I realized she was completely serious.
Then, panic set in.
What will I do about homeschooling?
Who will watch the kids all day?
How will we have clean underwear?
Who will cook? Clean?
What if I just can’t move one day? What then?
So many things ran through my head, both serious and completely silly thoughts. But thankfully my husband was there to talk me down and reassure me it would all be okay. On our 1-hour drive home from the doctor, we hatched a plan to not only put my mind at ease, but to make sure nothing would fall through the cracks.
7 Tips for Homeschooling While on Bed Rest
- What Gets Done, Gets Done – At first, I tried to get done everything I got done in a day before bed rest. However, I quickly learned that was never going to happen. While my children started helping and doing more chores around the house (a blessing in disguise), they were not as quick at folding laundry or washing dishes and things just piled up. It happens. Same goes for the school work. Don’t stress over what isn’t getting done. You need to take care of yourself and that precious life growing inside of you first. Everything else will fall into place…even if its after baby arrives.
- Scale back. Most likely, you will not be able to get the same amount of schoolwork done while on bed rest as you did before. Its okay to scale back. If you’re in a state that requires reporting, consider trying a block schedule to relieve some of the daily stress. If you live in a state that doesn’t require reporting, simply scale back your daily work and extend your school year.
- Work on one subject at a time. Should you have the luxury of extending your school year, you can simply scale back to one subject at a time. We recently did this with our middles. Right now we are concentrating on finishing math for the year. After that, we’ll pick back up on our phonics and reading lessons and go through the summer. With me on the couch most of the day, this seemed much more doable.
- School on Saturday. This may not be the favorite option, but it has worked for us on occasion. My husband is off on both Friday and Saturday (most weeks), so I will often ask him to help with school on those days. It gives me a break, gives the kids a change of pace and has helped us keep up with our studies during this temporary time of bed rest.
- Enlist Family & Friends. If you are blessed enough to live near family, enlist their help! Ask them to take the kids for walks to study nature and gather leaves or look at bugs. If you’re in a homeschooling group, you could ask if others would be willing to take your kids along for a day trip or just to hang out with other kids for a few hours. Grandma’s and/or grandpa’s are great for read alouds and helping keep kids on task while you rest. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
- Take it to the computer. My oldest did nearly all his schooling on the computer this year. It has been great for his independence and given me the freedom to work more closely with the younger children. However, my middles still did papers for their work. But, recently we changed math curriculum for them and it has been a beautiful thing. They can sit next to me on the couch as I rest and do their math. It is also improving their skills as well as giving them more confidence in themselves. It is the best decision we’ve made in our homeschooling journey thus far.
- Make it fun. While its easy to get into a rut and start feeling down about being on bed rest, sometimes you just need a little fun. A new routine and a new location for school can be fun. Let the kids color pictures for you. Let them have some extra recess time – what kid doesn’t love to play outside. Stress isn’t good for you or the baby, so let it ride.
Have you homeschooled while on bed rest? What are your tips?