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Dad, It’s Your Turn: This Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist Will Lessen Your Wife’s Worry

Dad, It’s Your Turn: This Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist Will Lessen Your Wife’s Worry

The birth of your child is a life-changing event- from the moment your wife’s water breaks, to the surreal moment when you get to hold your little one for the first time. It is a special time, but it can also seem overwhelming, especially if it is your first time becoming a parent. Luckily, preparing a hospital bag well in advance of the big day will help ease some of the nerves and ensure that you will have all the essentials that are needed when the big moment comes.

Here are a few items that should definitely be in your hospital bag:

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Stopwatch

Whether you have one already available on your smartphone, or you prefer an old-fashioned one, this gadget is crucial for timing contractions. Make sure you know how to use it before the big day, since you don’t want to be fumbling around while your wife is in the middle of very painful contractions.

High-energy snacks

It is important to keep your energy levels up during the entire labor and birth process, whether it ends up taking eight hours or more than a day. Your wife is depending on you as her number one support system, the person who will be by her side through the whole experience. Snacks like dried nuts, protein bars (low in sugar), dried fruit, and beef jerky are ideal options that well help you to sustain energy over time. For her, have chewing gum or mints on hand, with a few bottles of coconut water for re-hydrating purposes.

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Hospital bag checklist

In the weeks leading up to your wife’s due date, draft a list of things to pack in your hospital bag to ensure that you do not forget any crucial items. You can make the hospital bag checklist on your smartphone with apps like Evernote. This allows you to make detailed lists and then share them with others easily.

Toiletries kit

Make sure to pack two sets of toothbrushes, travel-sized toothpaste, contact solution, deodorant and anything else that might make either of you feel refreshed. After spending a considerable amount of time in the hospital, washing up can do wonders for your physical and emotional state. Think of the things that will make your wife feel better; including small items like hair ties and lip balm may seem insignificant, but they could make a world of difference when the day arrives.

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Things to occupy your time

There can be a lot of downtime, especially in the beginning of the labor. It is important to bring distractions like an iPad full of your favorite TV shows or a few upbeat movies. It is important to keep the material positive, since you do not want to stress either of you out more than you already are. Genres like comedy are recommended, because having a good laugh together can help ease any anxiety you might have.

Extra clothes

Since you do not know how long you will be in the hospital for, it is important to bring at least one pair of extra clothes for both of you. Make sure to pack clothes that are comfortable and warm. Bring quite a few layers as the temperature can vary in a hospital. Make sure to also bring slippers and a robe for your wife that she can wear if it gets too chilly. Do not bring valued items, since you do not know what state they will be in when you leave the hospital.

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Basics for the baby

Nursing bras, maternity pads, a blanket, and some baby clothes are important to pack in your bag to ensure your wife and baby both have a comfortable experience after the birth. Make sure to bring extra clothing for your newborn, since they will need a few layers to stay warm.

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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