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Keeping your Homeschool Going in Times of Stress

We’ve all been there and will be again. Moving, Illness, Loss of a Loved One, Military Deployment, Holidays, Company in Town – all challenging, stressful, routine-busting events!

How do we keep our homeschool rolling along without making everyone miserable?

Here I offer some suggestions to implement gently during such times.

• Strip your routine to bare bones. By this, I mean: Decide what daily activities MUST happen and which you can let go. It feels so much better to intentionally pare down the schedule, rather than feel like you are “letting things slide.” By acknowledging that this is a challenging time, you will take more joy in the simple activities you focus on. For example, keeping bedtime routines stable (if that’s important to you) can help a lot when the family is facing a big transition – it’s a great time to read an educational book and recap with your kids on the events of the day.

• Take the challenge and make a Unit out of it! Holidays are great for this: just decide how much time you want/need to devote to it and focus your time on learning about the holiday, making decorations, practicing observance, finding out how this holiday is celebrated around the world, etc. If a family reunion is happening, do a family tree unit and have your kids interview each family member for information – great opportunity for genealogy and teaching your kids about their heritage. Delving into family customs, foods, and history can be rich with opportunity for your children.

• Choose a read-aloud and commit to 30 minutes of reading time each day, even in the middle of the chaos. This is such a stress-relieving activity for a family and helps them escape to another story for a while. This is a great way to keep education and dialogue going in your family, even during hectic times.

• Have your kids journal daily during this time! It’s a great way to practice writing (you can tactfully address spelling and grammar issues), and will also help them process their feelings about whatever is going on. Ask to describe specifically what they see, how they feel, what they hear, who they’ve met – journaling is something we can easily forget and can be valuable here.

• Focus on being outside! Weather permitting, declare the week/weekend a time for Outside Adventures! Sometimes fresh air and exercise are just what is needed to help cope with the changes or exciting times kids are experiencing. Science and Art can easily be practiced outside. Do a nature journal, write about what they observe outdoors, find a bug or animal to photograph and draw – just be outside.

Please don’t try to do all of these! The idea is that any one of these tools can help you navigate extraordinary times and still feel that you’ve been productive in your homeschool.

Do you have more ideas? Please share! And, let me know if any of these work for you.

Life happens. We keep going. Good luck!

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