Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

When Life Gets in the Way of Homeschooling

One of the biggest benefits to homeschooling is that you can take breaks when you need them. One of the biggest drawbacks to homeschooling is that it is, at times, very easy to let life interfere with your good intentions.

This week, our normal school schedule has naturally been derailed by the death of my father-in-law. I am grateful that we’re able to adapt our schedule to what our family’s needs are without sacrificing our academic schedule. Because we can just pause, and then pick up where we left off, there won’t be a gap like there would be if we’d pulled the kids out of school for the remainder of this past week to deal with family issues. Another bonus: No ‘make-up’ work.

It’s been an odd situation as a parent/teacher. My FIL and I didn’t have the closest relationship and though there is no love lost between he and I,  my children, and certainly my husband, feel the loss keenly. I am sad for them and sympathetic, but I am not as emotionally affected – at least not in the same ways, and so as a teacher and mother I am not sure how long to leave for the grieving process.  I don’t want to rush the boys and I want to be respectful of their feelings and am feeling at a bit of a loss to know the ‘correct’ action here. This isn’t exactly a situation that Hallmark of Emily Post  have addressed, “How to be appropriately sympathetic towards family members who are deeply affected by the loss of someone with whom your own relationship was strained”.

Both of my grandfathers died last year – within days of each other. Those deaths were expected, but still painful. We took time off from school, but not much. It felt better to me to get back into a normal routine after a few days. The boys are taking things really well; it’s hard to know with kids sometimes. They were close to their PawPaw, but kids are so resilient that it’s hard to gauge how much to address directly. We’ve so far explained to them what happened, explained to them what would happen at the service and offered them the option of seeing or not seeing his body at the service and just kinda opened the door to questions without being pushy. I feel like that’s all that needs to be done right now.

Loverly Husband went to work today, and I’d planned on working on school today – at least getting the kids’ work from earlier this week finished and graded, but we haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m feeling quite lazy, which is the con to the ‘flexibility’ point mentioned above – it would be completely easy to put school on the back burner for a while. We still have the ‘scattering of the ashes’ to be done; maybe this weekend, maybe next. That seems like the final ‘goodbye’, and it feels odd to get back to ‘normal’ until that is done, but realistically, I don’t think we can or need to take the next 2 weeks off (I guess we could… there’s just no need to).

We’ve taken this week off and I guess we’ll start back next week. Our homeschool co-op canceled for this month, so we actually aren’t missing anything school-wise. Next week, the boys have a class and I have one on Saturday, so it really will be back to normal. For today though, I think we’re about to get dressed and head to the library – in the rush of the weekend, I forgot about books that were due. Have a great weekend!




3 responses

  1. So sorry for your family’s loss. Hoping for peace and healing for your husband and boys.

    January 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm

  2. I’m so sorry for the losses in your family. I agree that one of the beautiful things about homeschooling is having a balanced life. When something major happens, we have the full ability to re-group and show our kids how real life is actually done. Keep your chin up, I’m sure you’re doing a fabulous job.

    January 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm

  3. I know what you mean – sometimes you take a break for the right reasons, and that’s good; but then when you come back it’s hard to get back into things. I’m sorry for your family’s loss, and I hope next week is smooth one for you all.

    January 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

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