I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

A Little Perspective for Homeschooling with a Baby

Written by Talvi McCuskey.

What is a good perspective to have when thinking about the importance of babies and toddlers, how they should be treated, what role they play in our society today? It seems like because children are small and cannot always articulate their needs and wants in a desirable manner, that much of society has devalued their worth and relegated them to the nuisance category.

If we're not careful, we, too, can easily slip into this mindset during the homeschool day. Admittedly, babies add an element of upheaval to a school lesson. But should we allow the minor struggles of homeschooling with a baby to spoil the short time we have in this season of parenting?

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All too often in our current culture, a mother’s act of getting pregnant, the accompanying baby shower, and preparations for the baby actually trumps the importance of then nurturing and celebrating the beauty of the baby after he is born. Society generally does not value the precious life of a baby, toddler, pre-teen, etc. Instead, mockery, sarcasm, and complaints have become the markers of mothering in the 21st century. The internet is full of "funny" memes designed to encourage moms to weep and wail over how hard it is to raise a baby, a toddler, a teenager. From a biblical standpoint, Psalm 127:3 states:
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” 
And throughout the Bible this has been affirmed that God values children deeply, and so should we.

As part of the curriculum I have chosen for homeschooling my children (Ambleside Online), we are supposed to read poetry every day. This term, we're specifically looking at the poetry by James Whitcomb Riley and Eugene Field. I was not particularly familiar with these poets prior to this year, but after reading many of their poems on childhood, I am captivated. Written in the 1800s, these poems are, in my opinion, odes to children of all ages, including babies and toddlers--odes to their games, delights, whims, and most of all, their value. This is in stark contrast to how children are spoken of in much of the media today.

One such poem by Eugene Field is entitled “The Happy Household.” I just love this poem because it captures the silly delight that somehow, magically, babies bring to our lives. In one part it says:

It makes us all feel good to have a baby on the place,
With his everlastin' crowing and his dimpling, dumpling face;
The patter of his pinky feet makes music everywhere,
And when he shakes those fists of his, good-by to every care!
No matter what our trouble is, when he begins to coo,
Old gran'ma laughs,
And gran'pa laughs,
Wife, she laughs,
And I — you bet, I laugh, too!

I find this depiction of having a baby around to be charming. And yet, because I currently have a 13-month-old baby boy in my household, I know that babies are not easy and are a lot of “trouble," especially during the busyness of a homeschool day. But when I'm able to set aside my wants and my desires in order to serve those God has given me, forget the temporary frustration of the moment, and remember that I am a mother first and a homeschool teacher second, I can see my son's delightful smile, little teeth, babbling noises, first words and first steps and be grateful for them all.

So why is this illustration of a happy household remarkable to me? It seems to be such a stark contrast to what the world focuses on with regard to little ones. It is easy to be caught up in the difficulties in raising children, and commiserating online and elsewhere. But let's not forget that these precious little souls are nothing short of a gift from God. Let's also acknowledge that in giving us such a sweet heritage, He must surely delight in us.

I hope that as homeschool moms we can help each other to not only share in the burdens, but most definitely share in the joys of having these little “pinky feet” and “dimpling, dumpling faces” around to lavish with love both in our homes and in our homeschools. Let's stop talking about how hard it is to homeschool with babies and toddlers and find ways to be excited for this short season and all that it brings to our lives.


  1. Thank you for this post and perspective. I absolutely needed this encouragement today.

    1. I'm so glad it was an encouragement. Sometimes our focus just needs to be refocused.