Life Learning: Lessons in Patience…

Learning about Pregnancy, Birth, and Babies: Lessons in Patience
(photo courtesy of my sister, Bethany)

One of the beauties of homeschooling is how life circumstances can lead into so many learning opportunities.   When we discovered that I was pregnant back in January, I looked over my ‘plan’ for the rest of the year and decided to make some tweaks.  I thought this would be the perfect time to learn about the beauty of birth, pregnancy and human development.  It was fun to put together some ideas to explain and help my children delight in this process of a baby growing and developing inside of me.

I organized my ideas by month gestation and we set to work exploring this miracle of life.  Here is a sampling of what we did…

We slid down a tube slide and talked about the fertilized eggs trip down the fallopian tube.  So yes, my children know more about reproductive anatomy than almost half of my students did in the Human Anatomy and Physiology lab that I taught at the university…
One of our favorite activities was talking about how each person has their own unique, individual fingerprint and that this forms in the second month when the baby is merely the size of a grape.

 

So we took some time to do fingerprint art.  We are all in love with Ed Emberly’s Fingerprint Drawing Book.  It is surprisingly doable for the the two older kids with very little direction or help from me.  Treyton merely enjoyed getting his fingers dirty and making fingerprints sans embellishments..

 

We also talked about the formation and importance of the umbilical cord.  What kid isn’t interested in his belly button???  Now they all know why they have one…

We decided to make umbilical cord replica’s.  This was another highlight.  You should have seen the look on the mans face at Lowe’s when he asked why I was purchasing clear tubing in the plumbing department!!!  With tubing cut to the average umbilical cord length (~20 inches) and then three pipe cleaners to represent the two arteries and one vein.  I originally intended to lube them up in some petroleum jelly to make it more realistic, but am glad that I didn’t due to the mess factor…  They enjoyed showing them off to our midwife and telling her all about umbilical cords…

 

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Here are some of our favorite books on the subject:

How Did God Make Me? ~ This is my absolute favorite.  It is written in story format.  I read it when I was pregnant with Treyton and now to all three boys with Greta.  It includes beautiful photographs of unborn babies at various stages of development and is very tasteful and age appropriate for the preschool/kindergarten crowd.

The Amazing Beginning of You ~ This book is geared for older elementary kids and frankly a little ‘too informative’ for my tastes.  I simply taped two of the beginning pages together so that my little reader wouldn’t find his way there.  I loved how it really broke down each month of pregnancy and gave some great and understandable explanations of fetal development.

LIFE ~ This coffee table style book is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!!  It is on my ‘must buy’ one of these days list.  Lennart Nillson’s pictures are just breathtaking and we enjoyed pouring over the pictures again and again.

The Story of Me ~ This was another good book.  It is geared towards the preschool/kindergarten crowd.  I appreciated the short section on appropriate and inappropriate touch and establishing modesty as that is something that I hadn’t discussed much with my boys.

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All in all, they have been very patient during this process.  I think I’m far more antsy than they have been.  They seem to think that my swollen belly is just the new normal…

Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  And I’m gazing longingly at it…