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What Should You Do If A Baby’s Crying Just Doesn’t Sound Right?

What Should You Do If A Baby’s Crying Just Doesn’t Sound Right?

If I asked you what concerns new parents most, you’d probably answer with some variation of “their baby crying.”

Why is that? Well, while a baby crying is usually no cause for worry, there are certain instances when you should be concerned. For more, read on…

Signs of baby crying abnormalities

One of the ways you can tell if your baby’s crying is abnormal is if it’s particularly high pitched (it will sound almost as if its reaching the range of a falsetto).

Indeed, research has shown that this kind of this ear-piercing crying is a sign of possible defects in your infant’s nervous system.

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It is important to note that the falsetto cry is common in the first few days after birth. If, however, you hear it consistently after that point then that may be cause for concern.

Another sign of abnormal crying is if the crying is particularly consistent. This usually is accompanied by other signs of sickness, like a fever or a cough.

Now that you know about some of the more common signs, what should you do if you think there is something wrong with the way your baby is crying?

First, check all of the basics

If there are no obvious signs of there being something wrong with your baby (besides the crying), the first thing you should do is make a checklist and see if you’ve taken care of all of the basics.

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In other words, have you fed them enough?

Is their diaper clean?

Are they too hot or cold? Are they in an uncomfortable position? Is the room too loud for them?

Is their blanket made out of a fabric or material that chafes or otherwise irritates them?

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Does it help if you rock them a bit?

Is there a piece of hair wrapped around their toes or fingers, cutting off their circulation (apparently this is called a “hair tourniquet” in the medical world and is fairly common)?

Something that most people might not be aware of is that babies do indeed feel anxiety. So one of the reasons they might be crying is because they are put in a new situation, like a new crib, or are suddenly around people or things that they are unfamiliar with. If you just placed your baby in a new situation and you hear strange cries emanating from them, it might be a result of fear or anxiety, so the best thing you can do is to be near them in order to provide some comfort.

If all of these basic things are covered, and your baby is still crying in a way that you deem to be abnormal, feel free to move onto the next step.

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Make an appointment with your pediatrician

If your baby’s crying is persistent, or particularly high-pitched (and you’ve checked all of the basics listed above), then you should try and make an appointment with your pediatrician as soon as possible. Most of the time there shouldn’t be cause for too much worry, but if you notice any other obvious signs of sickness accompanying your baby’s crying (like vomiting, fever, or rashes), definitely think of taking them to Urgent Care.

I should stress at this point that it’s important to realize that nearly all cases of a baby crying are related to things that do not require urgent medical attention. Most of the time, it should be relatively obvious if your baby has to go see the doctor. Indeed, an abnormal cry will just be one of what will likely be several clues telling you that something is going wrong.

But, that being said, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. You, as the parent, know best. If your baby has been crying one way for a while, and then suddenly switches things up without any other noticeable changes in their health, I encourage you to consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.

Featured photo credit: Shots Today/Nathan LeClair via flic.kr

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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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