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5 Possible Risks Of Having A Baby If You’re 35 Or Older

5 Possible Risks Of Having A Baby If You’re 35 Or Older

Women nowadays are having children later because they are focusing on their careers and pursuing advanced education degrees. According to studies conducted by the Pew Research Center, 15% of American women were having their first child after 35, in comparison to a mere 1% in 1970. Having children later in life may be more commonplace, but there are some added precautions that older mothers must take into consideration once they reach thirty-five years of age and older. Here is a list of some of the most common pregnancy concerns for this age group.

1. Having trouble conceiving

One of the biggest problems with having a baby when you are 35 or older, is that it will be harder to get pregnant in the first place. Fertility rates are highest for most women in their twenties and then start slowly declining once they turn thirty. Once your turn 35, your fertility rate decrease rapidly. The average women can have a baby until she is 41, but there is no guarantee. If you are wanting to get pregnant and are in your mid-thirties or older, it is best to schedule a pre-conceptual counseling appointment before you try to get pregnant to weigh the risks and see what is the best route for you, since every woman’s body is different.

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2. More likely to have a baby born with Down Syndrome

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), if you get pregnant at 25, the likelihood of having a baby with down syndrome is 1,250, whereas if you get pregnant at 40, your chances are 1 in 100. Your risk goes up each year as you get older and having a baby born with Down syndrome or a number of other chromosomal issues is a very real concern for older mothers. To get a better understanding of your risks of having a child with a mental or physical disability, genetic testing can help reveal whether this will likely be a reality for your particular situation.

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3. Higher risk of having gestational diabetes

The older you get, the more likely you are to be at risk for developing diabetes during your pregnancy. This type of diabetes is risky, because it can go undiagnosed and can cause numerous serious health issues for both you and your baby. Complications from this condition can be life-threatening, including early birth and respiratory distress syndrome, where a baby has trouble breathing on its own. Gestational diabetes usually do not have noticeable symptoms, so it is important to consult with your primary doctor before and during your pregnancy to monitor your blood sugar and any complications that may arise.

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4. More likely to deliver through cesarean section

The older you are when you give birth, the more likely you are to deliver your baby through cesarean section (C-section). According to a study featured in Web MD, 40% of first-time moms had a C-section. A C-section is the delivery of a baby by creating a surgical incision in the woman’s uterus and abdomen. This method of delivery is riskier than a natural vaginal birth and is only done if there are foreseen complications or an emergency during the birth. It is important as an older mother to keep careful tabs on your baby and your body throughout your pregnancy and monitor any issues that may require a C-section.

5. Higher risk of having a baby that is stillborn

One of the risks of having a child when you are older is the slight chance of having a stillborn baby. This risk is due to the fact that older mother can have underlying medical issues that are common in women in this age group. It is therefore important to get all the important tests before you become pregnant to ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

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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