I can’t say that we have ever homeschooled during a crisis, or even experienced a crisis, thankfully. When I think of a crisis I think of a death in the family, a natural disaster, loss of a job, or a major illness. However, we have experienced life events that interrupt our regular schooling schedule and routine such as moving and having a baby. During our 6 years of homeschooling, we have moved several times and we have had several babies.
Here are 10 little pieces of wisdom that I have learned during our family times of “crisis” –
1. Pray. Pray together as a family. Pray about the crisis or difficulty and also pray about your schooling. Ask God for guidance in every area of your life. Continue to have faith and know that God is in control.
2. Put school on hold. The life lessons are far more important than the academic lessons. It’s okay to take a break from the books; they will be waiting when life gets back to normal.
3. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and definitely accept the help if offered. You may even be blessing someone by allowing them to be a blessing to you.
4. Just read. Snuggle on the couch and read with your children. If that’s all you have time for or if that’s all you can handle, that’s fine. If you have older children, have them read independently or have them read to the younger children.
5. Stick to the basics. Weed out all the extras that you don’t have time for right now like music, art, foreign language, or any other electives that you deem unnecessary at the moment. Just stick to the 3 R’s, and Bible too.
6. Electronics are your friends. Use the TV, ipad, DVD player, and computer. Allow your children to play some educational games on the computer or ipad, or watch an educational DVD. We really enjoy Liberty’s Kids, Life, The Magic School Bus, and The Animated Hero Classics.
7. Continue on. This may seem backwards, but for some kids and some families, it’s best to just continue on and provide comfort from the “normal” routine and schooling. Only you know what’s best for your family situation.
8. Think outside the “home”school. Depending on your crisis, you may have to take school with you – in the car, in a waiting room, at the grandparent’s house. You can listen to audio books in the car; use the ipad (or other device) for reading, movies, or educational apps; keep a book bin in the car; have your child start a journal.
9. Focus on teaching character qualities. No matter what the crisis or circumstance, this is an opportunity to talk with your children about and to even put into practice many different character qualities such as generosity, faith, compassion, flexibility, and availability.
10. Let go of guilt. Don’t feel guilty that you aren’t providing your children with the academics that you think they need. Remember that this is a season and it will pass. The life lessons your children are learning during this difficult time far outweigh what they would be learning academically.
And here are some excellent posts from around the web about homeschooling during a crisis and/or difficult times: