Archive for Family Crisis and Home Schooling


Schooling During Crisis

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Over the years I’ve had my share of family crisis while trying to homeschool the kids. Many people have asked how to homeschool when life is in a crisis. Usually the moms feel like they are failing the kids because “life” has gotten in the way of their schooling.

Does that sound slightly backward to you? I mean, we put “schooling” in this separate category from what is real life. If we stop “schooling” our kids and start educating them, then we can use the crisis in life to help them be smarter, stronger, and more capable of weathering their own life storms.

There are some crisis that last a long time, but most are fairly temporary. Your kids will likely survive pretty well even if you were to stop all of their schooling for a time. There is nothing that says a child won’t learn it if it isn’t presented in Sept.

Let’s say for the sake of argument, you simply cannot do the bookwork with your kids. If they are young and need you right there explaining everything to them, but you’re on bed rest, the stress this will cause will likely be too much for you. And at this point, taking care of yourself is way more important than making sure your kids do their spelling. So, let’s shift our thinking from trying to school the kids, to educating them during this time.

I would recommend reading books to them while they play quietly. Another thing you can do is have them listen to books on CD. This will free you to rest, while they are absorbing. If all you did was had them listen to some books, you would be doing well. Relax and know that you are doing the best you can under the circumstances.

Take this time to talk to your kids about how life doesn’t always go according to our plans, but that it doesn’t need to turn us upside down when it happens. This life skill of being able to adjust to crisis in our lives is one of the best skills your kids could have. And here, right now, you have the opportunity to share with your kids how to deal with the difficulties in life. Ask them what they can do to help in the situation. Get their ideas. If it is little Johnny’s idea that he can play quietly with his dinosaurs, then it’s easy to remind him what he said about helping. Write down their ideas for them. My kids always loved being able to help where they could. They often would suggest things that I thought were really beyond their abilities. But let them try if they want to.

Allow yourself some grace to do things you might normally not do, like letting the kids watch educational videos on TV more than you normally do.

If you have family members who want to help, have them take the kids out for a park day, or field trip to a zoo or museum.

Give the kids activities that take a long time to complete – or something they will spend hours playing. If you have a son who loves playing with Legos – let him. One caution here is just bring out one or two things at a time, otherwise you’re going to have a huge mess to clean up, which causes more stress for you.

One thing I noticed when my kids were younger is that when the environment was kept fairly quiet, they would tend to be more calm and quiet themselves. Avoid having the TV on just for background noise. Try not to watch game shows, daytime drama shows, cops shows, and even the tv talk shows. Play some classical or relaxing music on the stereo system to evoke a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

The last thing Mom needs during a crisis is more noise.

Have a friend or relative take your kids to the library to pick out some new books to read. If you have kids who like to do crafts, perhaps this would be a good time to let her work on crocheting something. Yarn isn’t that expensive and can be a great way to clear your mind while listening to a classic book on CD.

Some of our favorite books on CD were The Chronicles of Narnia series and Lord of the Rings. We listened to a lot of history stories on CD as well. Diana Waring had some amazing ones.

If you’ve ever had a time when you were on bed rest, we would love to hear some of the things you did with your kids that helped educate them during the time of crisis.

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