So, as we all know, homeschooling involves everyday real life, and real life is messy. In a previous blog hop, I gave a real honest look at what a not-so-good day in our homeschool looks like, but today, as part of our Crew Blog Hop with the theme 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents, I want to give some general tips for how to handle those days or seasons in life when things just don’t go the way you plan. Here’s how I handle it.
1. Take a Breath: The first thing you need to do is step back and take a deep breath. Remind yourself that this too will pass. Then assess how emergent your situation is, with as clear a head as possible. When I first started homeschooling it used to drive me absolutely CRAZY to deviate from my set plan, which led to a lot of internal stress and conflict. As the years went by, I learned to let go, and things got easier. I realized that life happens and I needed to learn to roll with it. Ask yourself if you are in the middle of something that has to be dealt with right now, or if your crisis is something you can handle later. If it must be dealt with immediately, then move on to the next steps.
2. Begin with Prayer: I have learned that is much better for me if I bring these things to God in prayer right away. I start by asking Him to give me strength and patience to deal with my current situation, then I ask Him to show me what is important in His eyes for me to accomplish that day, or that season, for homeschool and for life in general. Then I try hard to commit to following His lead and let go of my own controlling nature (which is much easier said than done!)
3. Take a Break if Necessary: In the midst of a major family crisis, remember that it is perfectly okay to take a complete break if you need to. Your kids will not be harmed by it. In fact, they will probably learn some valuable life skills from watching you deal with your situation and pitching in to help. For example, a few years ago, my husband went through a major medical crisis with his heart. For a short term, we had to take a break from school while we went out of area to get second opinions, procedures etc. I was racked with anxiety over my hubby’s condition and guilt over my kid’s lack of schooling, but you know what? My son, who is a graduating senior this year, has his eyes set on becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon, and a big part of the reason is the experience we went through when his dad was sick! So even though we weren’t “schooling” what we were going through was still having a huge impact!
4. Cut Back to the Basics: If your situation allows you to school somewhat, consider cutting back to just the basics. Focus on reading, math, spelling, and writing for a while. Let your kids read books for history and science. It won’t hurt them long term if you take a break from those subjects if you really need too. If it makes you feel really bad and you have older children, assign them a research project and let them do the work on their own.
5. Look into Online Learning : If your situation involves you being tied up working or caring for a sick loved one, consider looking into an online learning program for your kids. Websites like Time4Learning, IXL, and other programs offer instruction, grading, and more, allowing your kids to log-on, do their lessons, and all you have to do is check up on them later! We also like other options such as Teaching Textbooks which offer computer-based learning with similar options. Basically, look for anything that will simplify things for you at this time.
6. Cut Yourself Some Slack: Like I said, I was great at giving myself a guilt trip whenever moments of crisis would arise. I felt like I was somehow failing my kids by not being able to give them “school” every single day. However, I have now learned that my kids have learned as much about real life as they have about math, science, reading etc. and I think those lessons are just as important. Kids need to know what to do when they face a crisis, because things like this will come up in their own lives. By going through these experiences, they are learning life skills they could never pick up from a book, and I think there is a benefit to that!
Thanks for joining me today. Be sure to check out what my other crew members had to share here:
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Jennifer @ Faithful Homestead
Joelle @ homeschooling for His Glory
Joesette @ Learning Curve
Kari @ Random Acts of Boyhood
Katie @ Katie’s Daily Life
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Kim @ Homestead Acres
Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom
See you guys tomorrow when I share tips for making life easier!