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Last Updated on January 10, 2018

8 Things To Expect When You’re 8 Months Pregnant

8 Things To Expect When You’re 8 Months Pregnant

The eighth month of pregnancy:  you’re almost there!  At this point, you’re eagerly anticipating having your baby in your arms.  Not only that, you’re probably beginning to feel pretty tired of pregnancy in general.  As your eighth month progresses, there are several symptoms that you should be prepared for. Here are just eight things to expect when you are 8 months pregnant.

1. Breathing will get difficult.

Your baby is compressing the space that would normally be occupied by your internal organs, so they’re all getting squished out of position. That includes your lungs, which are also working harder in the effort to bring in enough oxygen for you and your baby. If climbing a flight of stairs didn’t leave you a little out of breath before, it certainly will as you progress into your eighth month of pregnancy. This is the point where you should sit back, relax, and not be too hard on yourself. Some sources even recommend doing as little as possible, though that’s not a realistic recommendation for every woman.

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2. Your baby will probably turn head down.

This is the optimal delivery position. It also brings baby’s head into your bladder, where you’ll probably feel like baby is sitting all the time. Don’t worry: feeling as though you need to visit the bathroom every 15 minutes is perfectly normal. So is thinking that you’ve emptied your bladder only to stand up and realize that baby has shifted and it’s full again. Don’t use this as a reason to skip your water consumption, however! You and baby both need to stay hydrated.

3. Weight gain will slow down.

Many women discover that weight gain slows down in the eighth month of pregnancy. However, this isn’t true for everyone! If you’re gaining more than you’d like, try to look away from the scale, take deep breaths, and remember that this isn’t the time in your life to be worried about weight gain. It’s all for the baby in the end!

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4. You will experience heartburn.

As your stomach has increasingly less room, you might discover that small, frequent meals are the best way to keep heartburn to a minimum while still supplying the calories that you need. It’s likely that you won’t be able to eat as much as you usually can, and even your favorite foods will likely have to be consumed in moderation.

5. Your baby will begin growing much faster now.

This month, your baby weighs around four pounds. Within the next four to six weeks, baby will put on around half of its final birth weight. That means that you’re going to be growing, too–and growing increasingly more uncomfortable. Don’t be surprised when you need to slow down a lot more than you have previously throughout your pregnancy. Also, around this stage, you may find yourself refusing to take off your yoga pants, which is okay. They’re much more comfortable than any other piece of clothing you own and able to stretch to accommodate your growing belly–which at this stage of pregnancy is exactly what you need.

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6. Your breasts might leak.

If you haven’t already experienced yellowish fluid leaking from your breasts, this month may be when it starts. Your body is gearing up to produce milk for your baby. Colostrum will sustain your baby for the first few days after birth, until your milk comes in completely. If it happens to you earlier or later, don’t worry! When your milk starts to come in is no indication of whether or not you’re going to be able to feed your baby. Also, keep in mind that women experiencing their second, third, or later pregnancies are more likely to produce colostrum earlier.

7. Pillows are your best friend.

As your abdomen stretches, you may experience steadily more discomfort in your rib cage, pelvis, and abdomen. Toward the end of this month, you’ll feel like you’re running out of room in there! To help give yourself some relief, try propping up with several pillows. Lay on your side with one pillow under your head and neck, one pillow supporting your belly, and one between your knees. This will help take some of the strain off your body and make you feel more like yourself.

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8. You will experience mommy brain.

Have you had your first case of “mommy brain” yet? If you’re feeling generally fuzzy-brained and having trouble remembering things that you once took for granted, you’re not alone! Many moms-to-be experience difficulty focusing, concentrating, or remembering throughout their pregnancy and after the birth of the baby. What does this mean for you? Use the “notes” program on your smartphone or get used to writing things down.

The eighth month of pregnancy is often one of the most exciting. You’re getting close to the end, but you’re not yet so close that you’re counting down the days and wondering whether or not your baby will come on your due date. Many times friends and family will throw your baby shower close to the end of your eighth month so that you’ll have time to finish preparing for baby’s arrival. Enjoy this month of pregnancy as much as you can! Baby will be here before you know it.

Featured photo credit: La Curva de la Felicidad/Niklas Montelius via flic.kr

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Paisley Hansen

Freelance Writer

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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