During times of crisis, it’s okay to take a break from homeschooling. In fact, when situations become stressful or time consuming, a break from core curriculum is best, especially if you know you won’t be able to teach adequately.
School just started, but I’ve already talked to moms in crisis mode. Right now, many families in Houston are displaced after Hurricane Harvey. Due to this area-wide crisis, a homeschooling crisis conversation today started with these questions: “How can I homeschool my daughter when I’m trying to find us a place to live and clothes and food? What can I do this week while I work on the details? We are in crisis mode!”
5 Things Kids Always Need
Whether your crisis involves your children, is short-term, or long-term, due to sickness, death or catastrophe, some things don’t change. Therefore, before you take a break, here are some key tips to keep in mind.
Kids need structure. The sooner you can get back to a routine, the better. It creates normalcy and a sense of well being. On hard days, as an overwhelmed parent, the last thing on our minds is keeping a routine. But for our kids, adding structure can make the difference between an upset or calm household.
Kids can regress in skills. This happens in the summer. It is called “Summer Learning Loss”. But, with some creative use of apps, regression can easily be curved. Here are several apps to keep minds focused on learning while giving mom a break.
Kids benefit from partial breaks. A partial break can be more effective than a full break. During a full break, there is too much down time or unstructured, worrisome thinking time. Kids do need time to process stress, but too much time can lead to misbehavior, worries, or even depression. A partial break can be homeschooling half days, a day on followed by a day off, or only doing some subjects. The beauty of homeschooling, is it is flexible. Lessons don’t need to look like textbooks. Additionally, serving during times of crisis teaches more than any book can.
Kids bounce back or shrink back. In times of stress, kids either bounce back and shine or shrink back and struggle. If your child is struggling, a partial break or full break (recovery time) is necessary. But, if your child shows no sign of struggle, an unnecessary break could set them back.
Kids need you. Take care of yourself mom! In times of crisis, moms are the ones taking care of details. We hold things together while often not taking care of ourselves. Don’t forget to make sure your basic needs are met and you get a bit of downtime. Your kids need you at your best! The best way to take care of yourself is through your relationship with Christ. In the middle of our crisis, He can be your stability. In your storm, He can be your peace.
Ultimately, we don’t want tough situations to arise, but life is hard. Death happens, hurricanes flood our land, and sickness sneaks up on us. I know this from experience. Last year my family took a homeschool break at my father-in-law’s home going. What I learned through that experience was, opening room in your plans for breaks, helps with the stress of homeschooling during life’s unexpected crises.