Homeschooling Through Hard Times

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Life Happens

Homeschooling will differ day to day. There will be days where you go on field trips, do nature studies, and finish planned book work. It may seem like perfection. Other days won’t go as planned. There will be moments of burn out, chronic pain, migraines, PMS, trauma, pregnancy, or other situations that interfere with routine. It’s hard to find the energy to do planned lessons or activities when these situations occur.

Recent Events

I can think of two recent examples. Last month I got hit with a severe migraine that lasted a week. I ended up resting on the couch while my children binge watched PBS Kids or played Mine Craft. Soon after, the genocide of Palestine started happening and it was hard to be mentally present for my children. I was so heartbroken by all of the images that I saw on the ground from Gaza. They were the most horrifying images that I have ever seen in my life. It drained me.I pretended to push through for my kids but I really just needed time to process, pray, and take action. I felt extremely guilty in both situations because I wasn’t giving my best as a mother.

Tips on Homeschooling Through Hard Times

Be Completely Honest With Your Kids About How You Feel

Explain how you feel in a way that they will understand. I’ll say things like ” today we are going to have an educational screen day because my body hurts.” I also talked to them about the recent events in Gaza and told them I felt extra sad and that I needed some quiet time. Surprisingly, they were very sympathetic in both situations. I grew up around elders who always internalized how they felt. I want to teach them that taking breaks is normal and healthy. Don’t let the guilt of not doing enough consume you.

Make an Emergency Activity Basket or Bag With Self Directed Activities

Having an emergency kit of self directed activities is useful for when you don’t have a lot of energy to get through a normal homeschooling day. This activity kit could include coloring books, markers, crayons, workbooks, card games, encyclopedias, or puzzles. You can get really creative with this. You can make this an on-the-go activity bag for doctor’s appointments or a basket for on the couch activities.

Stock up on Healthy Frozen Dinners and Easy to Prepare Snacks

You still have to nourish yourself and your children when you are sick. It’s not easy to cook meals from scratch in moments like this. Plus, who wants to worry about all the dishes? Having something that you can just reheat or pop in the oven is extremely helpful. Also, washing and preparing their favorite fruits and veggies in advance saves time. There are many time saving tricks that you research on social media.

Don’t Be Scared to Use Screens

It’s true that screens aren’t always the best option but they are extremely helpful during trying times. My kids have learned a tremendous amount of science and math from Wild Kratz and The Odd Squad on PBS Kids. They have also learned about native Alaskan culture by watching Mollie of Denali. They complete math lessons with Teaching Textbooks, listen to audio books, and read e-books on their tablet. They are learning a lot and probably think that it’s fun to get to use their screens more than usual.

Snuggle Up Together or Get Some Fresh Air in Nature

Do things that lift your spirits. For us, this is cuddling on the couch while watching a movie or sitting outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air. These are our favorite activities during our low seasons. We like to bring our big fluffy blankets out and pick something on Netflix. This is also a good way to catch a quick nap. Sometimes we will sit on our balcony and watch the birds and squirrels when we don’t have a lot of strength to go on a full nature walk. Allow yourself to take it easy and don’t feel guilty about it.

You’ve got this! Take it easy on yourself.

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