Homeschooling through a move. Or new baby. Or any number of other large transitions. How do you do it?
What’s the most important subject to not let fall by the wayside? What should you make an effort to be consistent in? What is okay to slack on? Should you just wait until the move is over and you’re settled in again before getting serious?
My family is preparing for an impending 3000 mile move across the country in a few months. A move that involves selling almost everything we own. Which causes my house to be in a bit of a controlled (or sometimes not-so-controlled) chaos. Dressers have to be emptied to sell, shelves have to be decluttered, many many books need to be listed for sale online, and great big piles of yardsale fodder sit stacked in various corners of my home.
So where does all the homeschooling come in? How do we stay on track? What if we get behind!?
Well, can I let you on a little secret? Maybe there’s no such thing as “behind”. Life is an education. If you are living, then you are learning. You may not be able to check it off on a planner or take a test on it, but if your children are still breathing, then they’re still learning.
As homeschooling parents, teaching our children the Three R’s is usually only part of the motivation for deciding to keep them home. For me personally that wasn’t even the main motivator. What tipped me over the edge when originally deciding to homeschool was because I wanted a better chance to mold my children into well-adjusted, spiritual adults. And I was afraid that many of my opportunities for that were being stolen from me with them being gone so much.
So when I occasionally worry that my 7 year old doesn’t know enough math or my 5 year needs to work more on reading, I remind myself where my priorities are. If flailing and fighting to stay on a schedule causes me to stress out and damage my relationships with my children, was it worth it? I would rather my children grow up happy, creative, inquisitive, and with a deep understanding of how to know God than have all of their times tables memorized perfectly. Remedial math classes can always be taken in college, but the damage that we parents can so easily inflict on our children is much harder to make up for.
Like Mark Twain famously said,
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
As parents we are “educating” our children in much more than classical school subjects. We are teaching them how to be a person. We are teaching them what is important in life and how to navigate the rough waters. We are teaching them how to be a wife and husband, a mom and dad, a friend and confidant.
So what will I be focusing on in homeschooling during this move?
Patience. Love. Grace.
We’ll worry about the less important things once we get “settled in”.
Jessica Bowman is the mother of four children. She has been married to her sweetheart since she was a junior in high school and they are soon to celebrate their 12 year anniversary. You can find her blogging at Bohemian Bowmans.