This is the final installment on our three day series on homeschooling through crisis. If you haven’t already, you may want to read day one: Should you? and day two: Emergency Relocation and Your Homeschool
It can be difficult to look at the big picture when in the middle of a crisis. Many of us focus on the loss and we struggle to see hope. If you are not careful, this line of thinking can take you to a dark place where you don’t want to go.
I frequently try to remind myself and my children that no matter how bad the situation is:
1- It could always be worse.
2- It is only temporary.
It could always be worse. There is always something to be grateful for no matter how small. Right now I’ve lost my home, half my belongings are boxed up in storage 15 hours away, and even a member of our family has been separated from us for an unknown length of time. But still I have much to be grateful for.
My health. My two fantastic children. My dearest friend who suffered a very long car ride with a breastfeeding infant to be with me and support me in my time of need. My amazing sister-in-law who drove for 3 days and braved adverse weather conditions to help my children and I relocate. My generous mother-in-law who opened her home to us and made us feel safe, welcomed, loved. My two brothers-in-law who take the time to play with my children and help ease their transition. I am indeed a very lucky woman with much to be thankful for.
It is only temporary. The event that our family recently went through will likely still cause us much pain a year from now, possibly even 5 years from now. But hopefully by the 10 or 20 year mark it’ll all just be a distant memory. In all likelihood we will grow old and look back and, despite the current situation, we’ll see more good memories than bad throughout our lifetime.
With all the uncertainties and the overwhelming fear that comes with so many unknowns, what I do know is this, you have to choose hope. You have to choose to find a reason to be happy, no matter how small it maybe. Sometimes that mere choice to be happy can feel like walking across a war zone. There are obstacles in your way that seek to trap you and take you prisoner in the land of misery, it can seem impossible to break through that opposing army and find your place of inner peace on the other side.
Now sometimes certain changes make homeschooling difficult- even nonviable or impractical. While I know of all types of homeschooling families who make it work for them despite the obstacles in their way(for example: single parents who homeschool and two parent households where both parents work full time and homeschool), sometimes life throws you a curve ball, you may be put in a situation were homeschooling isn’t possible for you.
At the moment I am not sure if I will be able to homeschool long term, as I had originally planned to do. I am disappointed that my hopes for my family and my children may not be realized however I do not feel like all is lost.
Many public school children excel in their education. Many public school parents find fun ways to teach their children after school.
Afterschooling in and of itself is just another less recognized form of homeschooling, and it can be an excellent way to support what children are learning in their classrooms as well as a great way to fill in any gaps in their education.
I know because I was afterschooled as a child. I didn’t know it at the time because my step-Momma never called it “afterschooling,” I only realized years later while researching the types of homeschooling families what all those worksheets and books she gave me were. For a time I foolishly thought that everyone’s parents gave them extra homework.
While my Momma’s approach to afterschooling was classical, that probably isn’t the best approach for most children now days.
The best approach to afterschooling in my opinion is to go with play-based activities.
Public school children in this generation spend too many hours a day listening to lectures and running memorization drills and doing worksheets. Play is essential to a child’s well-being and there is no shortage of ways play can be academically beneficial as well. There are whole websites dedicated to play-based learning ideas!
While there is still a chance I may be able to homeschool long term, I will not throw in the towel on all my hopes and dreams for my family if things don’t go as planned.
Our course maybe altered but our destination remains the same.
Bottom line: If you find yourself in a situation where you feel you have lost everything, where there is no hope for the future you once dreamed of, stop. Remember that it could always be worse. Remember that it is only temporary. And most importantly, find something to be hopeful about. Something worth fighting to be happy about.
You must choose hope and happiness because what is a life without either?