You may have noticed a recent lull in my blogging. A few months ago a family member was assaulted. It was devastating and sent our family into crisis. Everything stopped. Like any educator, I needed to take emergency leave from teaching to care for my family member in need. There’s just one problem. Unlike the employed educator, I didn’t get paid while on leave, nor did my child continue to receive full time instruction from a substitute. Everything just stopped, and rightly so.
I’ve seen it time and time again that an event like this sends homeschoolers back to the school system. I’m not necessarily against that it you feel it’s the best course of action- sometimes it’s necessary. But what if you really want to continue to homeschool long term?
Sustaining homeschool through crisis is possible.
Ways to be prepared.
Nothing prepares you for violence against a loved one. You ache for them and ask yourself why over and over. You search for meaning or some explanation. You wonder what you could have done differently to have prevented it. I am humbled by the recent violence in Paris and I realize that none of us are immune to crisis. It’s part of our human experience. I’m thankful to God today that healing and forgiveness are also part of the experience.
1.Plan to Plan
When it comes to homeschooling we can be prepared. I have struggled with planning over the years just like any other homeschool mom and the dubious task of balancing homeschool demands with other aspect of life. I’ve had more success when I have planned the entire year out ahead of time. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. I usually order books early and then take a month to plan a scope and sequence as well as daily assignments. It’s really easy to adjust later and omit as needed.
Because when crisis hits you can still do some homeschooling according to what’s planned and you really don’t need to think about it. You can focus on the crisis.
2. The 3 R’s
Reading, Writing , and Arithmetic. You can get back to the basics during a time of crisis. Just do what is necessary and take a break from the extras and keep it simple.
As a homeschooler today you have many choices. Outsource what you find optimal. It may mean dual enrollment at a public or private school, online enrollment, co-ops, private tutoring of a course or two, etc. Take advantage of ALL the resources available and do whatever you need to make your homeschool sustainable during crisis.
There is a light during all this darkness…
And at the end of the day, your child will learn more than just academics. He’ll (or she’ll) learn what it means to love each other through difficulty, share pain and joy as a family, and bear trials with grace and understanding. They will know the meaning of being loved and being family- this is your most important task as a parent and as the first teacher of your child. This is your finest hour. It’s when you practice what you teach.
So, if you are suffering a trial or other difficulty while homeschooling, hang in there. Do what you can and teach through love and grace.