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  • Writer's pictureMegan Estes

Creative Hacks for Homeschooling Multiple Ages With A Newborn

Teaching multiple ages all at once while running a household and caring for a newborn can definitely be a struggle some days! Thankfully, God continues to increase my capacity, as well as my awareness that I need Him at every moment. There are days I wish I had a nanny, or a second pair of hands, but for now I'm thankful for flexible kids, flexible schedules, and lots of grace. Here are some of the things I've learned to do in order to homeschool multiple ages well.


homeschool with a newborn

Latched Language Arts

You guessed it! A lot of the day I'm nursing our sweet infant and have my hands seemingly full. I'm torn between wanting to tell my other three kiddos to go watch a show while I just soak in this newest blessing, but I know that they also need their mama, too. So for now, I've learned to school and nurse just about anywhere inside or outside! Sometimes it looks like rocking a baby while teaching a lesson to a kiddo, other times it looks like baby being held by big brother or big sister while they do their work. I've also figured out how to lower my front baby carrier so baby can nurse in there while I teach as well. There's something so sweet about having a newborn in the home and my big kids don't want to miss out! They love holding baby and doing their work--it gives them an extra sense of purpose and motivation. School keeps going on when baby needs to nurse. Sometimes I have to remind my kids that I'm giving them my all--even though they wish they could have me all to themselves. They have to share mama, but instead of baby being an "interruption" to our school, I try to do everything I can to bring him in the middle of it and keep things rolling.


homeschool with multiple ages and a newborn

Rock A Bye Read Aloud

The above picture pretty much sums it up! I'd love everything to be picked up and orderly in the background, but I've learned that when kids are ready to learn it's time to get moving and not deep clean each room like my heart's desire! Lol! On this particular day we were finishing The BFG so we could watch it as a celebration later that evening as a family. I printed out BFG coloring pages and made sure everyone had something quiet to do while I read. This allowed me to soak in precious time holding baby, but also engaging with my older three. Learning to be flexible is key when homeschooling multiple ages as well as caring for a newborn. Sometimes when baby needs to move I've worn him in the carrier while walking around the room reading aloud. I know, it's a little scary walking, reading, and holding a baby but I remind myself that homeschool is my full-time job and someone's gotta do it! Ha! Other times I've swaddled baby in a blanket, held him in my arms, and walked a safe path back and forth while reading aloud. When none of these ideas are working I then pray to God for strength and a miracle that whatever book we are trying to work through is available on the Libby or Hoopla app for us to listen to! Some days I'm able to read a lot, some days I read just a little because it's too chaotic. When baby is extra fussy or is having a rough day I have to really let go--or stop school and wait until baby actually sleeps and then press on forward. Flexibility and grace are two things I'm constantly growing in with the Lord!


creative hack for homeschooling with a newborn

Picture Perfect Math

I owe this amazing idea to my oldest! We were having trouble working through her bookclub homework the other day because I was nursing and rocking and couldn't see her worksheet from where she was sitting--so she took a picture of her worksheet on her tablet and propped the tablet up on the coffee table next to me with a locked screen so it wouldn't go black! I wanted to cry tears of happiness! We've since used this idea for spelling, and now math as pictured above! Sometimes you need to be right next to your kiddo pointing things out for a lesson, but even so, this hack has helped us so many times! Instead of having a huge three inch math book being shoved into my face for a question while I'm trying to nurse a newborn, my kiddo takes pictures of the two pages they are working on and then when they have a question I can reference them while still caring for baby! While I often loathe some things that technology brings, I love when it helps lighten the load and increase my efficiency as a homeschooling mama of multiple ages!


homeschool spelling hack

Spelling Switcharoo

Not everyone has to be doing school at all times. Yes, we love taking breaks together to recess and snack, but I've learned to take advantage of the gift of siblings! My four kids are all about four years apart, so spelling is something that I really can't combine. Thus, we take turns. While I teach my oldest for fifteen minutes the middle two can play outside, take a break, or entertain baby. Then we switch! We don't always finish a lesson, but consistency is key! Fifteen minutes a day having a reading or spelling lesson one-on-one with mom has helped my kids really excel academically. I no longer wait until I feel like it's the perfect time to teach spelling. We press forward with great grace and flexibility. When it's time for spelling sometimes I have to take a kid into a quiet place and let chaos rein elsewhere! Not everything can be done at the kitchen table these days, and that's okay. Outside is my best friend. Even if it's chilly, great gear can get me thirty minutes of one on one time teaching inside with the others are making memories outside. Spelling switcharoo is my fav. We use the switcharoo concept for multiple subjects on some more difficult days. When kids know they just need to work hard for twenty minutes it's amazing how much they're able to focus and engage instead of being told "just work on this until it's done."

homeschool mom needs a quick cry

Quick Cry in a Covert Space

Please tell me I'm not the only homeschool mama that has found herself sneaking off to a secluded place to cry and breathe out the day?! As a homeschooling mom of multiple ages, there are moments where your humanity is thrust in your face so fully that you realize you're never going to be enough even on your best day, so you need Jesus. Completely and utterly NEED Jesus. It's only by His strength that I can truly live out the mission He's called me to. Sometimes I need to cry in my room, and other times I feel like I've conquered the hardest mountain with the joy of the Lord. There are good days, hard days, easy days, and seemingly impossible days, but we keep at it and adjust as needed cause that's what homeschool mamas do!


Homeschool Moms with Multiple Ages and a Newborn...

May the Lord be with you and all your sweet children in this homeschool adventure. May you never forget that it's really all up to Him. He's promised to give you what you need for each day--so focus there...on each individual day. And if a day seems like to much, focus on the next five minutes. Be creative, gracious, strategic, peaceful, and gentle with your expectations of yourself and your little homeschool. God has you homeschooling as part of His grand plan, and His grace is more than sufficient for your day. Trust Him.

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