So you’ve probably been wondering what homeschooling with a tiny baby around is like. No? I guess maybe that was all me, actually….for the past 10 months or so….”OMG; how am I going to do school AND have a baby?!” Because that sounded hard. Truth be told it is, so far, not all that bad. But this is because my baby is still fairly sleepy and can’t go anywhere unless someone takes him there.
Still, I decided to document a day in the life of doing school while having a baby. The pictures all suck because mostly I was holding Abe in one hand and grabbing the camera with the other. Also, I’m a little nervous that my camera is already having some trouble focusing, compared to how it was when I got it. But maybe it’s my imagination. Or cloudiness. Or something.
This is how things went down last Thursday.
Abe woke up at 7:30. Then I stayed in bed with him until 8:30 or so, at which point I finally gave up hope that he was going to fall back asleep and took him downstairs. I told the older kids to have breakfast and be ready to start school. Abe fell back asleep just after 9, and the big kids all started math. While math happens, I eat breakfast and read blogs and check e-mail and whatnot, interrupted frequently by questions about math.
Gus is scratching his nose, not picking it.
This is what Abe was doing:
That’s the sling wrapped around him, by the way. Not some sort of weird Victorian baby mourning outfit.
9:45–Baby still asleep! yay! Milo and Gus went off to read (Milo’s reading Harriet the Spy right now. Gus is reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School. And Ari’s reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. You know–all the classics).
Meanwhile I worked with Ari on language arts-y stuff–vocabulary, grammar, writing, etc.
This is the most me-intensive part of our day. I take turns doing this stuff with one kid while the other kids read, write, work on homework from classes they take, or whatever I can think of for them to do (it’s easy thinking of things for Ari to do, because he does a lot more independently. Milo and Gus are trickier).
Just before 10 the baby started making noises and threatening to wake up, so I turned some music on for him and he settled down. Abe loves music. We have a very musical house right now.
At 10:20 we rotated: I sent Ari off to read, Gus went upstairs to practice his songs and lines from the play he’s doing, and I worked with Milo.
Abe finally woke up at 10:45. I changed him then fed him while I worked with Gus and Ari and Milo worked on writing assignments. Then Milo practiced guitar while Gus wrote a journal entry:
And then Abe was demanding that I stop neglecting him, so we all convened in the den for baby poetry time.
Here is something I have learned about babies: they are kind of boring. They don’t do much. So what else are you going to do but read poetry to them, right?
Milo’s wearing The Beagle’s harness around his head.
See that Robert Penn Warren book? Fun fact: I’m in the acknowledgments section of that book. Because the guy who edited it, John Burt, was one of my professors in grad school, and I helped check the draft for errors–basically having two copies of the poems side by side and marking any place where there was a discrepancy. Which was tedious and oddly soothing.
Then what I wrote for the rest of the time before lunch is this: “blur.”
I wrote a little more, actually. Ari was still working on an essay. I was trying to do a writing assignment with Milo, but I needed to print something out first, only there was photo paper in the printer, and it was just a mess. And of course, this is the part Abe was awake for, which makes things more hectic.
But we made it to lunch time. And ate lunch. And took a long break. And I got Abe down for another nap.
After lunch I seem to have stopped taking pictures. We read about the Salem witch trials, and then the kids did some history reading independently (Gus read a book about the Iroquois, Milo read “Ben and Me” about Benjamin Franklin, and Ari started “The Crucible.”)
And then we went over to my friend Tracy’s house to play….there were many kids and many adults, and the adults took turns holding Abe, so that was lovely.
So, in short, as long as Abe always takes very conveniently timed long naps, we’ll be just fine. And I’m sure he always will because he’s a precious angel-baby who would never do anything wrong.