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  • Writer's pictureLisa Metzger

Homeschooling on Bed Rest

Few things free up a schedule like being put on bed rest by your midwife or OB. Well, here I am....on bed rest with Baby #10! Emmaleigh growing safe and sound within my womb, and she's not due until July 22nd, but because of high blood pressure, she has permission to come at 37 weeks onward, which is a week from Sunday!

So for the time being, baby showers for "saves" (moms who chose life instead of abortion) have had to be rearranged, summer activities have either cancelled or rides found, and Mommy has been confined to 30 minutes in bed and 30 minutes of mild activity. It's definitely inconvenient, but it's all for a good have a healthy mom and baby at the end of this pregnancy!

So, some might ask how you can homeschool while being bed-ridden. As with most things concerning homeschooling, there is a way to school no matter what life might throw your way! After all, learning is always taking place. Life is a lesson.

Our family has continued homeschooling through mom (me) having morning sickness or being on bed rest and also while children were sick or when we traveled to adopt. Since life encompases our homeschooling, instead of the reverse, it is more of a lifestyle of learning, rather than just completing school work at home. This is something to really grasp and understand. Homeschooling is purposeful, but it fits into LIFE, not the other way around.


While on bed rest, my children are able to keep up with our summer academic schedule as usual since we have taught them to follow a schedule and to complete projects on their own. Do I still assist, as needed? Certainly. But so much can be accomplished by each child when they know that an expectation has been set and that they are capable of accomplishing what is required of them. Ahhh, the beauty of independent learning! It creates a lifelong template for gaining knowledge!


My being on bed rest fell at a perfect time. We school year-round, but have a little bit more of a relaxed schedule in the summer. Little was needed to cut back on with what was required with academic studies. However, if I had been on bed rest during the more strenuous part of the school year, we would have cut back out schedule to make it less demanding during this season of our homeschooling. Another beauty of homeschooling is that we can be flexible with schedules, especially since we school year-round.


Since I am immobile, we will cut back on outside activities. Does this mean that we are trapped in our home? By no means! We can still find rides to events that cannot be missed (like Ethan's 4H District competition in Science and Technology). Friends and family have really helped with this a lot, so that while we did cut back a little, we didn't cut it all out!


The children are still enjoying playing outside (yes, having older siblings to watch out for the younger ones helps a lot!), playing board and educational computer games, watching educational or family DVDs and reading (something we do a LOT anyway), When you have a large family, there truly is never a dull moment. However, if you have only younger children, consider researching and doing "rainy day activities" to help the hours pass more quickly and efficiently.


My oldest two girls, Annalise and Kaitlyn, love to cook, so I have no lack of dinner-time help in my house. Mark will have to step in and do the shopping, but the girls have the meal plan under control. If you have all younger children, ask for meals or help. When someone offers to bring you a meal, graciously accept. Be sure to send a thank-you note and return the favor to all who might need such help later on, as well. Ask friends and family to come one Saturday to assemble freezer meals (hubby purchases the food while friends and family assemble!). This is a great help and will take the load off the budget if you're not eating out every night!


Our family has spent years on "chore training". The children can completely run the house (with my direction), as needed. And since they know that Emmaleigh's arrival is soon, they are quite happy to pitch in and help! They have eagerly taken over the "Mommy chores" with no complaining. Have only younger ones? Ask for help in tidying up from church family, neighbors, friends or family. Again, send a heartfelt thank-you note and return the favor as needed. Deal with a little extra dirt and dust as much as possible and just remember that "this, too, shall pass"!


Remember that this is an important time of protecting you and your baby from possible health risks and roll with the punches.

Let this time serve as a reminder that you should look for opportunities to serve others that are bed-ridden and in need of meals, cleaning or a friendly visit.  

Use this time as wisely as possible. Spend time with your children instilling Biblical knowledge, reading aloud and doing things that a busier homeschool schedule might not allow. Homeschooling is and can be FLEXIBLE! Adjust your thinking to the fact that this is HOMEschooling, not school at home!

Lisa Metzger

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