5 Ways to Homeschool Through Pregnancy

a woman holds her pregnant belly

If ever there was a time I felt that homeschooling might be just too hard, it was when I was trying to homeschool through pregnancy. I’d done it once before, and while my pregnancies aren’t that bad compared to other women’s, it was still no picnic. It’s easy to feel like the burden of being pregnant is the end of your homeschool.

I'm not exactly looking forward to homeschooling through pregnancy again. However, I want to offer you hope that it is possible.

Having done it once before, I’ve realized it doesn’t need to be so difficult. With a few mindset shifts and strategic planning, you can successfully homeschool through pregnancy.

1. Live in the Moment

Having done the whole pregnancy thing more than a few times now, I can easily psyche myself out. I think about how I felt during previous pregnancies and anticipate all those negatives symptoms and experiences before they’ve even happened. (Can anyone say first trimester?)

Don’t do that to yourself. If you do, you’ll end up missing all the potential good days this pregnancy has in store for you.

Live in the moment. Assess how you are actually feeling today.  Choose to resist the urge to project future discomfort onto today’s experiences.

When you take it day by day, homeschooling through pregnancy is much more manageable.

2. Focus on the Three Rs

You know the ones: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Especially if you are having a rough first trimester or are facing complications later on in your pregnancy. Let go of trying to do all. The. Things.

If you usually do all the reading aloud yourself, this is also a great time to try audiobooks for your family read-alouds. You can still all listen together. But you can save your breath and energy for teaching that tricky math concept, as opposed to reading aloud twenty pages.

Also, math doesn’t have to be the next lesson every single time. If you aren’t feeling well that day, math could be extra practice problems from a stellar workbook.

Think outside the checklist and the schedule.

3. Ask for Help

If your spouse, parents, or friends are not usually involved in your homeschool world, now is the perfect time to involve them.

One of my husband’s favorite things to do with the kids is to find new and exciting educational YouTube channels. While I hate surfing YouTube, he loves sifting through the iffy content to find the few golden channels we’ve missed.

Ask those close to you if there is anything they love to do that they could share with your kids. It could be anything from a hobby or educational interest to sports or a small business. I’m sure they have something they could teach your child, something that could count as school, and your kids could benefit from while you aren’t feeling your best.

4. Accept That You Can’t Do It All

If there is any time we need to accept our limitations as homeschool moms, it’s during pregnancy.

I know there are some amazing husbands out there who pick up some major slack in the cooking, childcare, and cleaning departments (I think I’ve heard of one or two so far). But if you’re like most of the homeschool moms I know, you are juggling housework, paying the bills, meal planning, and homeschooling.

Then, there are those of you trying to work from home or work outside the home as well. You are rockstars.

Now is the time to accept that as often as balance is talked about amongst moms (especially homeschool moms), it's rarely achievable. I’ve heard it said that of all your various roles as a homeschool mom, you can only do one or two well at a time.

That’s it: one or two.

As a recovering perfectionist and constant achiever, that is the most difficult part about pregnancy for me: accepting that I have limitations. I’m not, in fact, the superwoman I think I am. I can’t do it all.

Some weeks, I have to accept that the house is going to look like a bomb went off every single day of the week. Other weeks, we eat out way more than I (or our budget) would like. Still others, my kids live like pure unschoolers. We follow their interests and do no formal schoolwork whatsoever. I can’t do it all.

And you know what? It’s more than okay that I can’t do it all. Life balances out.

Very few people have died from a messy house. Our budget will bounce back from one week of too much eating out. My kids can always benefit from play, and educational video options abound these days.

Life will go on—I promise.

5. Make the Most of the Days You Feel Awesome

Are you having a great pregnancy day? One relatively free of nausea, breathlessness or fatigue? Then, today is the perfect day to tackle a full day of homeschooling.

If you are backed up on all the extras—science experiments, art projects, hands-on bonus activities—today is the day to get ‘er done. Behind on read-alouds? Read an extra chapter today.

5 Ways to Homeschool Through PregnancyOf course, this is all assuming that your feeling awesome day happens to coincide with your kids feeling (and behaving) awesome. The stars can align occasionally, right?

If your “I feel awesome” day happens to coincide with your kids’ off-day, use all those awesome feelings on something else like housework or cooking ahead.

My first time homeschooling through pregnancy, I followed our curriculum up until I was seven months pregnant, after which our formal homeschool work dwindled into non-existence. My daughter fell in an age range where I wasn’t required to register her with the school district until grade one (kindergarten wasn’t required in our state). I took full advantage of that opportunity, and we had a beautiful year of reading aloud, playing with her younger brothers, and getting to know her new baby brother.

She not only lived, but she thrived! And we all had the margin we needed to adjust to being a family of six.

Now that I am homeschooling through pregnancy for the second time, life looks different with a first grader, a third grader, and two younger brothers (including a toddler), not to mention working from home as well. I will not be as laissez-faire as I was the first time around, but I will be strategically scheduling our breaks to coincide with historically difficult pregnancy months based on my previous pregnancies.

Homeschooling through Pregnancy: Every Circumstance is Unique

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to think creatively, to assess your current circumstances and decide what will work for your family in this specific season of your homeschool.

Every mom will do this whole homeschooling through pregnancy thing differently, and that’s as it should be. Every homeschool family faces different family circumstances.

What works for you might not work for your homeschool mom friend next door. Don’t feel guilty about your own plan but do come up with a plan. Find an approach that works for you because actually having a plan will make it easier to enjoy the next nine months guilt-free.

Ultimately, homeschool families make it through all kinds of challenges. They come out the other side even more convinced that homeschooling is the best choice for them. I believe you can homeschool through pregnancy and do the same.

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About the Author

june doranJune loves deep discussions about homeschooling, parenting, and minimalism. When she’s not homeschooling, decluttering, or blogging at This Simple Balance, she loves to enjoy perfect silence while sipping a hot cup of coffee and thinking uninterrupted thoughts—which, of course, with four kids ages eight and under doesn’t happen very often!