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10 Smart Ways To Prepare For Your Baby’s Birth

10 Smart Ways To Prepare For Your Baby’s Birth

Once you find out that you are pregnant, you only have so much time to prepare for the birth of your baby. There is a lot to do, and many first-time mothers find themselves overwhelmed. It is actually really easy to stay organized and be prepared for the birth long before the big day. Here are some tips that will help.

1. Learn how it All Works

It is a good idea to learn about the birth process. That way, if you have any fears, they will be eliminated long before you go into labor. It is a good idea to take pre-natal classes, which will provide you with loads of info about each stage of your pregnancy and giving birth.

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Detailed Info & Useful Links: Parents, BabyCenter, WebMD

2. Choose a Pediatrician

It’s never too soon to choose the doctor who will be taking care of your baby after it is born. In fact, the sooner you make this choice, the less stress you will have about your baby’s health care.

Detailed Info & Useful Links: Healthy Children, The Bump

3. Work with Your Partner

You and your partner need to be on the same page, so they are going to be able to help you when you are in labor, caring for a new baby, taking care of household duties, making important decisions, and more.

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Detailed Info & Useful Links: BabyCentre, NHS, EssentialBaby

4. Talk to other Mothers

If you are a first-time mother, you can really benefit from the advice of other mothers who have been around the childbirth/child rearing block a time or two. Just be sure to weed the good advice from the bad, and ignore the horror stories about the pain of giving birth.

Detailed Info & Useful Links: Parents, The Happiest Home

5. Prepare Siblings and Pets

If you have other children, they need to be prepared for the new addition to the family. It is also a good idea to get your pets used to being around babies and small children.

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Detailed Info & Useful Links: ASPCA, The Humane Society

6. Pack Your Bag before Giving Birth

Once you go into labor, you may not have a lot of time to get to the hospital. Make sure that your bag is packed well in advanced. In addition to the regular items such as toiletries and a nightgown, consider other things like a comfy pair of slippers and your own pillow from home.

Detailed Info & Useful Links: FitPregnancy, Boots

7. Get Your Essentials

Babies need a lot of things, and many of these things need to be purchased on a regular basis (diapers, creams, etc.). Make sure you are well stocked up. You can use coupon sites to get great deals on many of the items you need, and save a lot of money.

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Detailed Info & Useful Links: Mashable, Kohls Coupons Online, NewParent

8. Choose the Person who will Attend the Birth

Make sure you have chosen the person will be with you in the delivery room. It may be that you don’t want anyone but your partner, or you may want to have certain family members or friends with you to witness the birth and help you through labor, or even a midwife to help.

Detailed Info & Useful Links: BellyBelly, NestleBaby, Healthline

9. Be Ready for Labor

You will need to know what to do when your labor begins. Make sure that you have a plan for who to call if you are alone, directions for the shortest and fastest routes to the hospital, when to call the hospital, when to go, etc. Make sure you have backups for those who you choose to drive you, just in case you can’t get in touch with them when you are ready.

Detailed Info & Useful Links: Parents, What To Expect

10. Get Help for after the Birth

You may find yourself overwhelmed after having a baby unless you are fully prepared, and have arranged for help ahead of time. This could be talking to your family about taking on additional responsibilities, hiring a nanny, or just having someone on call to help when things get hectic.

Detailed Info & Useful Links: Care, BabyCenter

Featured photo credit: il-young ko via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

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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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