Let’s say you’ve found yourself homeschooling, and you hadn’t really planned to do so. This could be due to a family illness, a financial crisis, a natural disaster (hurricanes here!) or…a worldwide virus. How can you homeschool, or continue homeschooling, when life is not normal?
first of all, realize you can do this
You can do this. You can educate this child. He is not going to turn out poorly. He isn’t going to “fail at life.” He will, too, be able to hold down a job. You are enough. You can do this.
If life is overwhelming right now and you can’t even imagine looking through curriculum or previewing books, you still have what you need to teach this child. You know more than your child, right? In at least one area? Begin there; teach your child what you know.
second: decide what you want to accomplish this year
Let’s not think about next year. Not yet. Let’s think about this year, or just the rest of this year. What would you like her to learn this year? In our family, we go by interests. Our teenager is interested in the Roman era right now, so we’re going to learn about the Romans and the Middle Ages. She is also interested in art (as always). This is an area that can absorb all of her time, so I have to think of ways she can make art while learning things other than art. We’re currently doing this with anatomy (she made this worksheet of a human hand skeleton for you)
I wrote a long post on how to plan your homeschool to fit your family – there is a way to suit every one of us.
third: set up a routine (of sorts)
I’m a flowy, free, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do kind of gal, but even I will admit that children do well with routines. The thing is, they don’t have to be rigid routines. But they might be, if that works for you! For me, our routine is more like a to-do list.
Homeschooling does not need to be difficult or miserable. It can be beautiful and rich in knowledge and memories. We encourage our homeschool kids to learn through hands-on activities and through seeking the masters.
remember: this too shall pass
I want to add an encouragement that “this too shall pass.” Our family has homeschooled through floods, hurricanes, tropical storms, a job loss, grandparents moving far away….life has hard times in it, doesn’t it?! Our kids learned even on the day when ‘school’ was ‘clearing the yard’ from the tornado that Hurricane Ivan let loose on us. That day, they learned how to clear debris, about flood waters, how water flows, what cedar smells like when it is torn, what a pine tree looks like inside…
“Let the baby be the lesson,” a homeschooling veteran said when we had our fourth baby while two of the others were homeschooling in their elementary ages. The baby was a lesson in kindness and in thoughtfulness, but also in cooking (they learned to help themselves more), in baby anatomy and physiology (baby’s soft spot, baby’s burps, baby’s tummy-aches…all the baby things), and in much more. There is no knowledge the children are lacking because we set aside that time; I have never regretted that we spent those months letting the baby be the lesson.
You’ve got this. You can get through this puddle.
p.s. If you need encouragement or advice, let me know in the comments below.