The past two weeks have been somewhat crazy. I could say that they are abnormal, and perhaps in substance they are, but in reality every year of homeschooling has been in the middle of some crazy life circumstance. When our oldest was in 1st grade we experienced all of the following in one school year: lost my grandmother, traveled all over the country multiple times, adopted our youngest, completed a job search, and decided we would move across the country. When I realized the other day that was in one school year, I could not believe it and wondered how we got through all of it. My husband pointed out that as with all times, we do what we have to do and take one day at a time. I know your life is not any different, and those moments that arise wherein we grieve or we cheer or we become numb might tempt us to think that homeschooling is not the way to educate our children.
I’m here to tell you that is not a reason to stop homeschooling. If anything, homeschooling works better than any other way to educate when in the middle of a stressful time. We could not have taken time off for my grandmother’s funeral AND traveled AND adopted our youngest in the same school year if our oldest had been in public school. I know how truancy works, and public schools do not get enough funds for kids who are not present for them to allow all of that.
I do not remember where I first heard it, but the words that echoed in my brain during that time with a baby and three older children, two of whom needed to be “doing school” that fall we were in the middle of preparing a home to sell and to move cross-country, were “the baby is the lesson.” That did not mean we neglected schooling, but much an be learned about biology, math, history, and literature through learning about infant development and care. We talked freely about this, and on the days when I felt we had not taught the kids anything, we had taught them more than we knew.
These days the issues we face, tough though not insurmountable, teach us new lessons — patience, compassion, and yes, more biology — and I know that in the long run it will have been good for the children to be part of our lives and for us to have been part of theirs in the midst of all of the stressors rather than separated and distanced. This week when we had our first day of school, I knowingly entered the year with knowledge only time can provide: we will get through it, and we will look back and wonder how we homeschooled in the middle of all of this. But I know now, deep down, that we have no other option. We are in it for the long haul, and this is just another part of life’s craziness that has cropped up and that will not stamp down our goals for our children’s education. Of course, there are still cuts that need to be made in order for this mama to stay sane. On that note, I plan to continue the blog but will likely not keep up with the pace I had originally intended, and I hope you will continue to participate in this discussion of how we can best educate our children in the middle of whatever craziness life sends our way.
Have a great school year!