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Some days it seems it is all you can do to just get out of bed and change your clothes. How do you go on homeschooling your children when you are struggling through life due to various problems? We all face different challenges and trials in life. Yours may include: the death of a loved one, marriage trouble, a new baby, an illness, a move, loss of a job or home, depression, or family trouble. These things will come at you at some time in your homeschooling journey if they haven’t already. Can you keep homeschooling through the tough times?
Homeschooling When Life Gets Hard
I have been thinking back on our homeschool journey and the things that have challenged me and my family. I think the biggest things I have learned is that most often the crisis becomes the lesson at that period of time. Think of all you can teach your children about these life lessons- of life and death, finances, love and sacrifice, sorrow and joy, of family. School may or may not be able to go on in the traditional fashion. Or, it may bring you and your children peace to keep going at your regular school pace.
About a year ago, I had a sister who attempted suicide and was put into a rehab facility while recovering. I drove out to California with my mom & my three kids to help sort out her life. It was in the middle of our homeschool year. I brought some books and we read together in the evenings. We were able to visit a few places that they had not been before, but school (in the traditional sense) just didn’t happen. This was a true family crisis, but I kept feeling pangs of guilt that my children were not doing school. I learned a lesson during that time that family comes first. Sometimes you have to just let go of the things you think you need to be doing and do what really matters at that moment in time.
Last summer we had wildfires raging through the mountains in our back yard (see my post about it here). We were close to being evacuated and I sort of panicked and decided to pack up the car with essentials. I laugh a little bit now at what I packed- all of our homeschool books (this was the first thing I packed!), a few clothes, a little food, and family records & photos. We were lucky enough to be spared and not lose our home or have any damage. But I remember the thoughts of what if… How would we go on? I know there are many who go through these challenges and have to pick up and move on.
I have had babies during our homeschool years. While a baby brings joy and excitement, it can really be a challenge to homeschooling families. I did a lot of work ahead of time to prepare for the new baby. I tried to keep homeschooling and did a somewhat decent job through it. We read together a lot while I fed him. We didn’t go on quite as many outings, but were still able to have adventures close to home- walks to the park and hikes with the baby strapped on. We talked a lot about the human body and watched the growth cycle of the child growing inside of me before he was born. We also did the same after he was born- what will the baby do this month? What will he learn? How much has he grown? A new baby can really be a continuous lesson!
I asked some other homeschoolers their thoughts on getting through tough times while still homeschooling. I loved the thoughts that they shared. Here are some of the responses I received:
Maybe right now is a hard time for you and your family. I hope you know that these challenges will come to an end and you will get through this time. Don’t give up. Remember why you chose to homeschool & keep that reminder there to help you through these times. Above all else, just be there with your children. Love and support each other as much as you can. Teach them that they can pick up and move on when life gets you down. Always lean on the Lord through your trials. He will always lift you up and support you when you need Him most. He is my greatest support.