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Teaching While Handling a Crisis

When we start to homeschool, we picture that we will teach our kids during "the best of times." We picture our children reading around a cozy kitchen table, on a porch, or in comfy chairs. We expect to hear, "I get it!" happily bubble up from our children, morning after morning, as they learn in an atmosphere of tranquility. These pictures, in our minds' eye, also include ourselves in full health, and our homes secure and full of resources. But homeschooling does not always happen during "the best of times."
     Learning challenges, financial trauma, and the shadow of serious illness fall on homeschool families just as they fall on other families. Crises can include moving, illness, natural disaster, losing our home, living in temporary shelter, and a child or a parent's learning challenge. If we wait until we can homeschool-because-now-things-are-perfect, none of us will get there. And just as there are different ways to homeschool, there are different ways to homeschool during a crisis.
     For some, this means accepting meals from homeschool friends and others. For some, it means accepting that picture-perfect is not going to happen for us. Though the word "home" is embedded in "homeschooling," teaching our children isn't dependent on the look or the quality of the building we live in, or on a certain level of health. It may surprise us but children learn even when the learning takes place in a car, in a natural-disaster assistance line, or when mom or dad is talking to them from a hospital bed.
     Look around the emergency room waiting room (next time you're there) and you'll probably see a mom or a dad reading to a child, or helping them do their numbers or long division. You may even hear a child say, "I get it!" Sometimes a crisis does require that children return to an institutional school, and sometimes not. It's always an individual family decision. Just know that we don't need the "best of times" to homeschool. Homeschooling happens when parents and children are together in life, during life, and not outside of life.




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