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5 Things You Should Avoid Saying To All Pregnant Women

5 Things You Should Avoid Saying To All Pregnant Women

Being pregnant is an exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also be nerve-wracking, as well. Unnecessary comments from friends, family, and strangers can contribute added stress. These people might think that they are giving helpful advice, but instead they are just creating extra worry for the pregnant woman.

These remarks are not intentionally meant to be negative, but to pregnant women who are going through numerous physical and emotional changes in their lives already, such comments hinder more than they help.

Even if you were once pregnant, it does not give you the right to say anything you like, and assume you can relate, since every woman’s body reacts to pregnancy differently. A good way to make sure you are saying something positive is to consider how you would react if the question was turned back onto yourself, your sister, or a close friend.

Here are a few things that everyone should avoid saying to pregnant women:

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     1. “This period of pregnancy was really rough on me…”

    Saying this may seem like you’re commiserating with a pregnant woman who may be suffering through debilitating morning sickness in her first trimester or having to deal with the aches and pains of the last few weeks before she gives birth, but it usually has a negative effect. Hold your tongue and instead say something positive and uplifting that will help her get through this difficult time. If you are especially close, ask her if she needs help with anything, from cooking to running errands for her.

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      2. “You look huge…”

      This is a common phrase that is heard around pregnant women, especially in their final trimester, but it is not always encouraging. If a pregnant women looks big, chances are that she feels ten times bigger than she actually is. It is important to be sensitive towards a pregnant woman’s physical appearance and instead ask her neutral questions like, “do you know if it is going to be a girl or a boy?” Taking the focus off of her body and instead asking questions that are likely to bring her joy is an important way of showing your support.

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        3. “[ … ] happened to me at this stage…”

        Comparing your own pregnancy with hers, whether you were pregnant before, or are currently pregnant, is detrimental to all parties involved. Comparison in general is not productive in any situation, especially in terms of a deeply personal experience like pregnancy. Instead of comparing your physical experiences of pregnancy, try to focus on other similarities, like are you both having boys? What about the name selection process? Avoid discussing the process of the actual pregnancy and focus on subjects that are bound to bring you both joy.

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          4. “Pregnant women probably should not […]”

          Any sentence that contains a negative statement like “should not” is an indicator that you are trying to offer your personal opinions on a topic. For pregnant women, they already have enough to worry about in their own minds, without unwanted input from others. Even if you are close friend or a family member, it is important to back-off on the unsolicited advice. If a mother-to-be wants your advice, she will ask for it.

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            5. “Avoid eating […]”

            The list of taboo foods a pregnant woman should avoid is extensive, but telling her that she cannot eat a certain item is more harmful than it is helpful. Her primary doctor should be the only one that consults with her about what she can and cannot eat. Every woman’s body is different during pregnancy and what is fine for one person may not be healthy for another. It is also important to take into consideration that there are different cultural beliefs surrounding a woman’s pregnancy that might influence what a particular woman may consider taboo.

            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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