Written by Beth Watson of Classical Conversations at Home.
For the past six months, I’ve been in new baby heaven. Blissful, love at first sight, sweet smelling, all night cuddles heaven.
While I’ve been operating in a bit of a sleep-deprived fog, I’ve had the chance to relish my new guy and relive the babyhoods of each of my littles.
This time has reminded me of five lessons that can be applied to all my children.
1. Cuddle time is a need.
I’m a type-A, list making, get-er-done type of girl, so sometimes stopping to snuggle seems like time I don’t have. That’s pretty backwards, isn’t it?
Having a baby who regularly cuddles in for a nursing session, has reminded me that slowing down for snuggles is so good.
My theory is that just like my baby, my big littles (heck, my husband too!) have a built-in minimum daily requirement for snuggles — kind of like vitamin C!
That makes getting together on the couch under a blanket and reading a good book, even on the busiest of days, a very good idea for all of us, even me.
I’ve noticed with surprise that my less snuggly ones will also sit close if I make space in my schedule and invite them in.
2. Eye contact is a big deal.
I’ve found that relationships grow through simple, regular contact, starting with eye contact.
I’ve seen people try to entertain my baby with silly voices, bouncing, and more. But you know what gets the quickest smile from him? Looking him in the eyes and talking with him. That’s it and he’ll just light up!
That simple, I’m-giving-you-all-my-attention type of contact works for my baby and not surprisingly for my big kids too.
3. Sometimes all you need is a nap.
Can I get an amen?
This is true for my baby, for me, for all of us.
Not enough sleep can make a person at any age feel miserable and emotionally unpredictable. When any of us is having a ornery day like that, it calls for nap time.
Homeschooling allows us the freedom to make sleep a priority. When necessary, we’ll push the books aside and get in a good sleep.
4. Snacks are vitally important.
If my baby is hungry, he cries. If my other children are hungry, well, they don’t exactly cry, but it has a similar feeling to it.
They whine, they lay around, and are generally sluggish. Some of them are too young to recognize this as hunger.
If I’m quick on my feet that day, I usually identify it and call everyone into the kitchen for a snack to refuel.
And finally …
5. Each day matters.
Growth is easily seen in infants, but the growing big kids do is a bit more hidden.
If I’m not looking closely, I can miss the moment when my 9-year-old does his chores without reminder or my 7-year-old writes his name a little neater or my 5-year-old starts reading without sounding out the words.
I want to record these moments, much like the little hand written notes in a calendar I keep to track my baby’s growth.
Because even though it often makes me misty eyed to say goodbye to one stage, I am grateful to say hello to the next things too.
All of this adds up to me allowing more margin in our days to take care of my people.
Sometimes I need to remind myself that my homeschooling goal isn’t to merely check off the boxes in my kids’ education, but to love on and learn alongside these sweet little people I’m blessed to raise.
Have you had a new baby recently? What lessons have you learned that have helped you as a homeschooler?