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10 Perks Of Being Pregnant That Are Unexpected

10 Perks Of Being Pregnant That Are Unexpected

Being pregnant is not for the faint of heart.

With the nausea, swollen ankles, headaches, back pain and pressure in unmentionable areas, my nine months of pregnancy sometimes felt like an eternity. I not only got more and more uncomfortable as the weeks progressed, but I also become more and more anxious and excited to meet that little baby who called my belly home.

Despite the obvious miracle of growing a human being, there were some additional and unexpected perks I discovered while being pregnant:

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1. The kindness of strangers

When you are pregnant, suddenly everyone wants to open the door for you, carry your bags, and give you their seat. Someone in line behind you at the store may be upset about how slow you are moving, but as soon as they see that belly, they smile sheepishly and offer to help you with anything you need. It’s pure magic.

2. An excuse for getting out of anything

Too tired to make it to that dinner party? Uninterested in sitting through another after work get together? No problem! Being pregnant is like a ‘get out of jail free’ card for leaving early or just plain not attending any social function.

3. Bigger boobs

If you are already large-chested, this may not excite you. But if you are small-chested like me, you will love your pregnancy breasts and will be sad when they are gone.

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4. A deadline to get things done

No matter how much procrastinating you do or excuses you come up with, your baby has a due date that you can’t change. Knowing this caused me to put hard deadlines in place for every goal I had to accomplish before our baby came. I was more focused than I had ever been before, knowing our baby was coming whether I was ready or not.

5. More empathy for others

I had never experienced true back pain like I did when I was pregnant. It didn’t seem to improve no matter how much I stretched or what positions I tried getting myself into. The one thing that helped was knowing it was temporary. I learned to have so much sympathy for people who suffer from chronic pain of any kind.

6. Self-confidence

I gained weight, developed weird skin tags, sweated profusely, had gas, experienced heartburn and spent more time in the bathroom than I care to remember. And yet, I felt more beautiful than I ever had in my life. There is something very empowering about seeing your body change and knowing it is for such an amazing cause.

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7. No hangovers

There were times I missed sipping on wine while I was pregnant, but I never once missed the hangover that comes with a night of too much drinking. I was happy to feel refreshed and rejuvenated the next morning.

8. Seeing a different side of your partner

Even the most stoic man can tear up when they first hear your baby’s heartbeat, see the ultrasound picture, or hear the words, “It’s a girl!” It’s amazing to see your partner evolve into a dad before your baby is even born.

9. The realization someone else is more important than you

While I missed sushi and wine and coffee, it wasn’t hard to give them up for nine months. Every choice I made was no longer about me, but about the precious baby inside of me. It was very liberating to know I was no longer the most important person in my world, and I never would be again.

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10. Feeling your baby kick throughout the day

Every time my baby girl kicked, I felt like she was talking to me. It became a wonderful conversation we had throughout the day that was just for us. There is no feeling in the world like your baby kicking and moving inside of you. When they finally join you in the world, you’ll feel like you already know them.

Featured photo credit: being pregnant via pixabay.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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