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Your Baby Is Crying Again. Too Hot or Too Cold?

Your Baby Is Crying Again. Too Hot or Too Cold?

We all remember the lyrics to the popular nursery rhyme:

Bye, baby Bunting,
Daddy’s gone a-hunting,
Gone to get a rabbit skin
To wrap the baby Bunting in

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Since it’s initial publication in the U.K. in the late 1700s, parents have wondered if their baby was bundled up enough. But do babies need to be bundled up all the time? And how do you know if a crying baby is too bundled up or if they are actually crying because they are too cold? Here are a few things to look into:

Are you cold? or hot?

Temperatures can change quickly, especially as we move between indoors and outdoors. A doctor’s office may be overly drafty, but the park down the street may be sweetly warm. Some climates start out chilly in the early morning only to be blazing hot in the afternoons. You may have dressed your baby based on the temperature in your home or the weather at the start of the day, but things may have changed since then. Always keep a lighter set of clothes, sweater or a swaddling blanket in your diaper bag.

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What are you wearing?

If you’re comfortable with what you have on, compare it to what your baby is wearing. The general rule of thumb is your baby should be wearing, at most, one more layer of clothing than what you have on. So, if you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans and feel comfortable, your baby is probably fine in a light, longsleeved onesie and soft pants.

Is your baby crying when swaddled?

Swaddling is a great way to calm a newborn crying baby, but in humid weather or hot climates you may want to take extra care. Use a thin, breatheable cotton blanket so the baby stays comfortable and doesn’t overheat. You can also pull out a hand and not let it be captured by the swaddle — this helps keep the baby from getting too hot. (Note: Some babies actually prefer this anyway, for their own comfort.)

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In colder weather you can use a heavier swaddle blanket, but don’t pick anything that’s too puffy and make sure you aren’t blocking or covering their nose and mouth as you swaddle. Some parents prefer to always swaddle with the same thin cotton blanket and just adjust for warmth with the clothes the baby is wearing. In really hot weather, that may be nothing at all other than their diaper.

Are their extremities cold to the touch? Are their chest and back cold?

In general, your baby should be rosy and warm to the touch in both their extremities (hands, feet) and their chest and trunk. If you discover your crying baby has very cold hands or feet, but their chest and back are warm and toasty, first try mittens or a footie. Check again in fifteen to twenty minutes to see if things are better. A cold chest or trunk is not good — in these cases, bundle the baby up or add on layers of clothing so that they can stay warmer. Babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, so put on a hat. If your baby still feels cold to the touch after taking these precautions, contact your pediatrician for further guidance.

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Is the baby fussy or sleepy and disengaged?  

Your baby is much more likely to cry if they are cold then if they are hot — cold makes babies uncomfortable and fussy, but heat makes them lethargic and sweaty. If you have a crying baby, it’s much more likely they are cold than that they are hot. If your baby is nodding off more than usual during the day, they may be too hot and you can pull off a few layers of clothing to make them more comfortable.

Don’t forget, there are many reasons for a baby to cry. So, make sure you consider hunger, comfort, dirty diaper, or illness as well as temperature.

Featured photo credit: Aurimas Mikalauskas 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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