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

Unscheduled Interruptions

We’ve been pretty fortunate… though we’ve taken some unscheduled breaks in the past, we haven’t been forced to break for something that you could consider an ’emergency’… until the last couple of weeks.

My mom had minor surgery a little over a month ago, then about a week afterwards, had a pretty severe complication and spent a week in the hospital. Then, when she was getting ready to go home, had a stroke, and spent another week in the hospital. Due to some issues that we’ve had with family members in the hospital in the past, our family policy is that when someone is in the hospital, someone stays with them 24/7 just to make sure that everything is good. So my dad (who is disabled), my sister, brother and sister-in-law, and I traded off shifts with each other for a little over 2 weeks, and then spent the last couple of weeks with mom at home making sure she had someone with her 24/7.

Talk about your unexpected interruptions! It’s times like this that I deeply appreciate the flexibility that homeschooling allows us. Though we’ve taken off most of the past couple of weeks; we’re not really ‘behind’ because we don’t have a set schedule in the same way that traditional school does. By that, I don’t mean that we have no schedule – of course we have a plan for what needs to be accomplished this year; I mean that our plan is flexible. We can have school on the weekend, or in the evening, or just move everything down a week on the calendar… there are many ways that we can flex our plan to accommodate real life.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible to do that with other schooling methods; my niece is in traditional brick-and-mortar school, and my sister also works full-time, and still manages to stay on-track… believe me, I can see how much time and effort she puts into maintaining, and imagine that similar effort is put forth by moms who do the same – it’s just that I appreciate the flexibility even more when faced with a situation like this.

Even with the upset, we have managed to squeeze some school time in. The kids brought their work up to the hospital and read to my mom, impressed the nurses with their vocabulary and Latin, and took many walks (with the combined intent of mapping the hospital and getting them out of the tiny little hospital room for a bit to stretch their legs).

We also we able to go with our homeschool group to see a play; The Tortoise and the Hare/The Ugly Duckling, by  Lightwire Theater and Corbian Visual Arts and Dance.  I wasn’t sure what to expect; I’m sometimes hesitant to go to performances that offer a new take on an old story. Some have gotten it right, with a fresh perspective and an interesting gimick. Others… not so much. But this one did not disappoint! If you get a chance to see them, do – highlights include ‘I’m Too Sexy’ (music not lyrics) as performed by the Hare, and ‘Can’t Touch This’ by the inchworm. I was literally laughing out loud at the Hare.

Last week, we carved pumpkins and got into the holiday spirit with a trip to Shangri-La Botanical Gardens in Orange, TX for their Scarecrow Festival, then went costume-shopping. The scarecrows were fun! Our homeschool group originally planned on entering, but with some illnesses in the group and the situation with my mom in the hospital, we opted out of participating this year with an entry, but still planned on going to view and vote on our favorites.

I chose the Nightmare Before Christmas display. The kids both chose their favorites as well – an owl for PeaGreen made of bottle caps and solo cups; and a hippie sitting on top of a giant globe, titled ‘Peace of Earth’.

LBB was a ninja and PeaGreen was the Slender Man – and we had some friends over to go Trick-or-Treating with us. They made out like bandits!

This week, we’re un-decorating from Halloween and getting the house back in order. It’s amazing how dirty and disorganized things can get when you;re barely home. I guess it’s all the ‘fall in the door, drop everything, wake up the next day, tear through the stuff you dropped to find what you need for today, and out the door again’-ness of it.

Looking forward to getting back on-track this week – wrapping up lapbooks, getting our manatees adopted, seeing the symphony and hitting the Ren Faire – busy week ahead!

Warmly,

~h

(P.S. My mom is home and doing much better! She is still having some motor difficulties, but we’re expecting a nearly full/full recovery; it will just take some time. Luckily, she has two homeschooling teachers at her disposal to facilitate her recovery!)

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