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What To Expect When You’re 5 Months Pregnant

What To Expect When You’re 5 Months Pregnant

Five months (around 20 weeks) is over the halfway mark of your pregnancy. At this time your baby is usually approximately the size of an artichoke, and there are numerous changes that are happening to your baby and your body. Here are some of the common things that you can expect to be taking place when you are 5 months pregnant:

You may develop nightmares

During this time in your pregnancy you may find yourself having frequent nightmares. These are caused by a combination of insomnia and stress about being a new mother. When this happens, remember to first take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that the nightmare is not reality. Put on some soothing music or sip on some warm tea to lull you back to sleep. If you want, keeping a journal of your nightmares is a great way to record your bad dreams and release the tension that is causing them.

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You will probably have an obvious baby bump

You mostly likely will have a pronounced baby bump that will make it obvious to all around you that you are pregnant- and not just bloated from last night’s burrito. Of course, every woman is different in her pregnancy and it is important to not compare yourself with others if you are not showing as much as one of your pregnant friends.

You will be able to find out the baby’s gender

After five months of wondering if it will be a boy or a girl, you will finally have the opportunity to find out. This is one of the most anticipated moments of pregnancy and you can find out several different ways. If you want to just know the answer, plain and simple, without any fanfare, then you can just ask your doctor to let you know. If you want to do the big reveal with friends and family, then you can have a gender-reveal party where you can ask your doctor to seal the gender result in an envelope that you will hand over to a bakery. The bakery will either put blue or pink frosting inside the cake, depending on what is on that slip of paper. Of course, alternatively, you can always opt to not find out until the actual day. All options are perfectly acceptable.

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You will be peeing more frequently

Your growing baby will be pressing down on your kidneys and causing you to pee more than before. Make sure you are always by a bathroom and that you stay well hydrated. If you feel more comfortable with increased protection, consider wearing panty liners.

You will feel increased movement

Your baby is continuing to grow their limbs and testing them out by kicking and flexing. All this movement may be hard to deal with at times, especially when you are trying to sleep, but just remember that it means your baby is healthy and developing well.

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Your baby will continue to develop hair, nails and eyebrows

When you are around 5 months pregnant, your baby will continue to look more and more like a human being, rather than a little sea monkey. Crucial features like hair, nails, and eyebrows will continue to develop.

Your baby will start to develop Meconium in their bowel

Meconium is a harmless substance, made up of various things that your baby has ingested while in the uterus, including amniotic fluid, digestive secretions, and dead skin cells. It will contribute to your baby’s first poop after being born.

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You may develop round ligament pains

Around this time you may start to feel sharp pains around your hips, abdomen, and groin; this is completely normal. As your uterus expands, the round ligaments that are attached to your pelvic sidewall and on each side of your upper uterus are being pulled and stretched. Some things that will ease this discomfort include: applying warmth to the area in the form of a heating pad, avoiding sudden movement, and exercising regularly.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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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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