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So, we’re starting back up this week.  Most of our books are here, and we have some of our supplies on hand, so it seemed like as good a time to start as any.  Normally, we’d wait until after Labor Day, just to try to squeeze in every last minute of Summer before getting back to the table.  This year, though, there’s a good reason for getting an early start: the baby.

That’s right, when you homeschool, you have to take things like a new baby into account when planning out your school year.  It’s one of those many little things about homeschooling that works as a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, if you send your kids out, their schoolwork goes on pretty much without interruption because it has to; the rest of the class will not stop just because your mom had a baby.  They go out to school, bring home homework, deadlines have to be met.  The work may take some extra finagling, but it all gets done.  The downside to this?  They miss out on the first few weeks of their new sister’s life.

When they stay home, the work stops for a new baby.  I know right now, if they baby is due in early December, we will not be getting a bit of work done for the entire month and possibly part of January.  I mean, we’ll do our reading most days, because Mommy can listen to a book or read one while sitting on the couch resting or even while nursing the baby.  Other than that though, not much will be getting done, and that’s OK.  The upside of this though is that the big kids will be around to witness the baby’s first few weeks of life, up close, interacting with her, snuggling, playing, holding.  Sure, there will be some catching up to do, but for us, the trade off is more than worth it.

So, in an effort to get a leg up on the schoolwork, we’re going to start a week or two early.  We won’t be going full force right away, but with little kids, the first few weeks of school are taken up with learning routines anyway, so I figure at least I’ll be getting them back into the habits they need to have a successful school year (you know, like getting to bed and up on time, getting dressed first thing in the morning, being at the table by 8AM, etc).  It might not make a bit of actual difference in how far along we are able to get before December gets her,  but at least I’ll know I tried, and sometimes, that’s the best I can do.

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