Sunday, April 29, 2012
Owning Up - Homeschooling After the Storm
I knew exactly how I was going to homeschool. I knew how I was going to do it. It would involve a structured day and textbooks. It would involve pencils and grade books. I eagerly shopped for little desks and pint sized chairs. It would involve a *blackboard* and real chalk. I was going to love it.
Then I actually got kids. And, they got big enough to homeschool. So, we started in 2010, the children sitting around the kitchen table, and I, standing at a white board. I lesson planned and followed through. We did projects and read books and completed objectives. The kids and I were having a grand time.
Then, a couple months into it, life happened. My son got sick, and he stayed sick. School stopped. Suddenly, teaching him to read was not near as important as finding out whether or not he was going to live. Teaching him how to quantify was not nearly as pressing as teaching how to cope with pain. I no longer used the whiteboard for spelling lessons, but for my son's medication schedule. It seemed like it was never going to end, that he would always be sick and life would never, ever be the same.
He is much better. He did not die. He did not have anything that was going to take his life, just make him miserable. We have his medication all sorted out and he is only on a single medication that I struggle to remember to give. So, a year and a half later, I no longer want to homeschool. I don't even want to send the kids to public school. Really, I just don't want to do anything that is going to take a lot of effort. I just want to breathe.
So, we are breathing. We are doing the bare minimum. We do reading and math for the little ones, on Time 4 Learning. My oldest is doing a workbook curriculum and Math U See. I don't have to plan. I don't have to do anything except turn on the computer and listen to an occasional read aloud. I don't even read books to them, not even the encyclopedia!
Our day consists of us getting up, getting dressed, and doing chores. Then I turn on the laptops and get my little one's started. My oldest gets going on her workbooks. I try to not feel guilty. This is nothing like I imagined.
But somehow, it is all still valid. My kids are somehow learning. My son is learning to deal with is ongoing issues and still have a wonderful life. I am learning how to breathe again, and how to not be worried over every little ache or pain my kid has. I am relearning how to not be so overwhelmed that I feel like I am drowning. I am learning how to live outside of "crisis".
It is slower. It is calmer. It is hard for whatever reason. My shot of adrenaline has left me with a tiredness that I can not explain.
I keep telling myself that it is going to get better, and I know it will. God gave us time and time is a blessing. It fades pain and heartache and eases the intensity of loss. I realize that when time has done its job, I will be able to see clearly again.
Are you or have you been here? Lots of us have. Maybe it is not a sick child, maybe it is the death of a loved one or close friend. Maybe it was marriage trouble or maybe you lost a home. How do you homeschool through it? Do you keep a schedule? Do you find comfort in the order of it? Or, do you just let things go? Do you feel okay about it if you do?