This post is from contributor, Megan Zechman. Originally published Feb. 2014.
Back when my husband and I were making our decision to homeschool, I had visions of daily schedules, completed textbooks, and lots of learning. We were going to be well-oiled machines, never wasting a minute, easily getting hours of school work done every day.
And then I started to homeschool.
I realized that I didn’t really like textbook learning (and neither did my kids). Instead, we favored a more eclectic, hands-on approach. I discovered that homeschooling was just as much about life as it was about academics.
You know what? Life sometimes gets messy. And so can your homeschool.
In 2009, my children and I were involved in a very bad car accident, which eventually led to me being laid up for over a year at doctor’s offices, in bed waiting for surgeries, at the hospital, or at a rehab facility learning how to walk again.
It was so hard on all of us. I didn’t feel like a part of the family. I felt guilty because the girls were missing so much “school.” My girls felt burdened having to do so much at home. My husband missed his partner.
I did what I could, when I could, but we were behind and I couldn’t imagine ever catching up. My husband and I discussed putting the girls into school for this season. The girls were emphatic in their desire to remain home, which we allowed.
So what do you do when life takes center stage and “traditional” learning needs to take a backseat for a while?
Do What You Can
When I was confined to bed, we moved school in there. We read a lot of books together and talked. The girls worked on their assignments on their own and asked me questions when they needed help.
We worked when I could and took breaks when I couldn’t. Luckily, both girls LOVE to read, so I knew they were always learning.
This was HARD. My husband took over everything he could. I relied heavily on my friends. Thanks to them, my girls were able to continue with some of their co-op classes, which was a huge blessing. Another friend stayed with us for a week and taught the girls while she was here.
Trust That It Is Enough
When you’re in a season where school is taking a backseat, try to look long-term. Attempt to view the break objectively, as a part of your overall homeschooling journey. Give yourself a break!
Eventually you will be able to resume a regular homeschooling schedule and your kids will pick right back up.
Somehow, with all the time we missed and in spite of my continuous worrying, the girls did just fine on their yearly evaluation. Homeschooled kids understand that life is full of learning, and chances are they’re learning more than you think.
Learning Is Much More Than Book Work
True, during a break your kids may not be doing a lot of book work, but think about all of the life skills they are learning–important things like compassion, charity, and responsibility. As your family bonds are strengthened, it gives them a chance to see how important family is.
Have you ever had to take an extended break from your homeschool routine?
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