The point of this post is to share what has helped us homeschool through a crisis. I hope our experience will help others.
- Audio Books ~ Audio books help our family so much. They allow me to be on the phone or driving while the kids are still getting wonderful literature, history, and an increased vocabulary.
- Workbooks ~ I am not a big fan of workbooks. However, they are a wonderful resource for a busy mom to fall back on when life is in the way of more exciting schooling. Workbooks can reinforce language arts, math, logic and reading comprehension. There are some great workbooks out there. We love workbooks from Mindware, Flash Kids and Evan Moor.
- Educational DVDs ~ There are so many wonderful movies and documentaries. We have enjoyed IMAX films, numerous literature-based movies, and PBS specials.
- Board and Travel Games ~ I love games. They are fun, educational and help us connect with each other. When the outside world is caving in on us, a game can bring us together for a temporary distraction and a few giggles.
- A Skeleton Plan ~ When I see that we are going to have a rough time for a while, I fall back on my skeleton plan. I throw out my plans and curriculum for the time being and return to the basics, using the above resources. For example, I don't worry that we are watching documentaries about topics such as the 1800s or biology when we are supposed to be studying World War II and Einstein. Those subjects will still be there when life calms down. But in the meantime, the kids are still learning.
Here are a few other things that I have found to help our family etch out time for "school" even when life is overwhelming.
- Routine ~ My morning routine helps us a great deal. I start all of the appliances first thing in the morning before too much craziness can happen (dishwasher, washing machine, dryer). This way, I know throughout the day that at least we have some clean dishes, a load of dry clothes and another load is in the washing machine. I also get dressed and the kids get dressed. We can react to the demands of the day faster if we are ready to leave the house or receive guests at a moment's notice.
- Break the Day Up ~ I prefer to do all of our core lessons first thing in the morning. I like to have at least three hours of uninterrupted time. However, this is not possible in the midst of a crisis. So I look at the skeleton plan, my resources, and the known demands of the day. I then decide how we can get some school in and discuss the plan with the children at breakfast.
- Ask for Help ~ Okay, I am not good at this one. But it does help. Accept the help that is offered you even if you are not sure it will make an impact. Often it will. If there is something that you know will help...ask.
Now, I better get my morning routine taken care of and get dressed or we will be off to a bad start. That demanding phone will be ringing with nurses, therapists and doctors in no time!