The past couple of years for our family have been tough. My oldest daughter went through ACL surgery and recovery, my youngest daughter has been going back and forth to Duke University Hospital to try to figure out why she hurts so bad all the time. Then just when I thought all was going to settle down as were coming to the end of another basketball season, my mom, who was very young, suddenly passed away. We spent days in the hospital with my mother in a coma praying for healing. Her healing and God’s mercy to protect her from living with the brain tumor she never knew she had. For that I am thankful.
This year, in particular, has been rough, to say the least. It’s always been something every year, it seems. I’m a serious planner over the summer for my school. I have everything all laid out for the year. But every once in a while I’m thrown a curveball. So what do you when you homeschool and it’s all up to you. School has to get done at some point, but on the other hand, sometimes life is just more important than the books. Here are some things to think about when homeschooling through tough times.
- Pray first! Pray for guidance and direction for your school and family.
- What really has to get done? Can you omit some projects? Do you really have to get every lesson in the book done? Is there some extra fluff you can cut out?
- Don’t do all of your subjects every day. Maybe alternate days. Switch to a block schedule.
- Do you need to simplify your curriculum for a time period? Do you need to switch to something easier for you; for example: maybe a computer program or something that can be done a little more independently?
- Assign them the things that can be done independently or things that require minimal teaching time.
- Can a friend or family member be a substitute teacher? Can your kids go to another homeschooler’s home for school if you are needed elsewhere for a while?
- Have easy to follow lesson plans if your husband, friend or anyone else needs to teach your children for a time. This will help them a lot! This doesn’t have to be detailed. It can be as simple as Emily-Math pg. 32 on Monday.
- Use movies instead of the book.
- Check out the History Channel, Discovery Channel, YouTube, etc. for shows about what you are studying.
- Remember you do have the summer. No one really likes to give up their summertime, but this time can be valuable.
- Double up on lessons on the days that you have time.
- Assign kids to do double lessons, but 1/2 problems on each lesson.
- Sometimes you just need to push the pause button and pick up later. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for an extended period of time, but sometimes it’s just absolutely necessary.
- Lean on friends!
- Do something spontaneous and fun to give yourself and your family something to smile about.
There are a thousand other things I can think of, but I’m sure you get the idea. Just know that school will get done. We have had to switch to a year-round block schedule. So, they are only doing four subjects at a time. They get to concentrate more on those subjects and it frees up the rest of the day for whatever our schedule dictates. It’s not perfect, but it’s better. Sometimes we have to let go of our perfect homeschool idea during tough times and go with the flow and simplify. When times allows, then we can dig in again.
Cut yourself some slack, give yourself and your family room to breathe during trying times. Things will eventually settle down or at least you will adapt to a new schedule. Give yourself time and don’t be hard on yourself for not getting “everything” done. Remember, think about what really is important and the rest will follow. God’s got this and so do you!