During days like these in homeschooling, you may feel as though homeschooling difficulties have you swamped. Anytime there is a major change in your household, you may wonder if your children are learning what they need to know. However, homeschooling difficulties can sometimes turn into blessings in disguise.
Death or Illness
Although I haven’t experienced this myself since beginning homeschooling, many of my friends have had to care for an ailing family member or deal with death while trying to maintain a regular homeschool schedule. One friend of mine told me that when she cared for her mother for a year that she didn’t feel her kids were learning anything at all. There just wasn’t time or leftover energy to do the school work that needed to be done and she felt as though she was completely failing her kids. When her mother passed away, she pulled the pieces together and tested her children to see where they were academically. She was pleasantly surprised to find that her daughters were not nearly as far behind as she thought they were. They self-taught, read to one another and learned somehow through that year. More importantly, she feels that they learned the importance of caring for family and being kind to those who are ill.
Moving can put a real damper on homeschooling. We started homeschooling in the summer time, because we were “testing it out” as I attempted to convince my husband it was the right choice for our girls. Ultimately, he agreed with me when he saw how well they were both doing. However, this was a huge challenge. We were finishing a new house, living in a tiny apartment and trying to homeschool. In the middle of all that, it was time to move into the new house, so we were packing, unpacking and living out of boxes. The best advice I can offer with this homeschooling difficulty is to do a little each day but don’t overwhelm yourself or your children. We decided to focus on math, since it was summer, but during the regular school year, I would probably scale down to the three “R’s” and stick with reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic. Once the move was completed, I would then add in other topics one at a time, starting with science, history and then electives.
New Family Member
We recently had a 16-year-old niece move in with us. We’re thrilled to have her here, but it has been an adjustment to everyone. She misses her old school, old friends and home and we have had to rearrange things and make adjustments. The first week she was here, I scaled the girls down to math only for the week. They are nearly finished with their other subjects for the year, anyway and math is always our weak area, so I never want to let that lapse. I quickly decided that spring break wasn’t happening for us this year, unless we wanted to work most of the summer and marked that off our schedule, so we can play catch-up. My niece has now been here about a week and a half and we are settling into a routine, as I knew we would. I have started to slowly add back in other topics, starting with reading. I will then add writing, science, history and then art.
The main thing to do when you are having any type of homeschooling difficulties is to figure out what your key areas are that your children should focus upon. I would start with the weakest area first, because that is where your child is most likely to potentially fall behind. Then add the other areas back in from weakest to strongest in skills. Here are some subjects you will probably want to cover:
- Physical Education