Homeschooling When Your Life Is Falling Apart

Is it possible to homeschool when your life is falling apart?

Homeschooling when your life is falling apart

I began homeschooling when my youngest child was in preschool. 13 years later, he is graduating in just a few weeks.

Homeschooling Through Divorce

His senior year has been one of the hardest, if not the hardest, for both of us. Transitioning to being a single homeschooling mom has been traumatic, for both of us. Trying to grieve, find a new place to live, take on more work, and be responsible for every single thing that breaks or needs attention has been exhausting and demoralizing, for both of us.

For instance, the other day, the brakes on my car started grinding – like in a not good, uh oh, somebody better figure this out quick kind of way. I am ashamed to say that in my adult life, I have always had a husband, boyfriend, or brother nearby to help out with this type of thing. Not fixing it necessarily, but telling me what to do to get it fixed, where to go, what to expect the guy at the place to charge me, and even to volunteer taking it in for me.

The grinding started and I seriously considered giving up. It was a small thing, but it was one more thing. I thought, “We just won’t drive anywhere for a while. I can’t handle one more thing!” – except the doctor’s appointment on Friday was an hour away. Ignoring it was not an option.

Like a good homeschooling mom, I asked my son to help me read google reviews and figure out the best repair place to try (He might have to do this at some point in the future and I don’t want him to feel as clueless as I do sometimes). We chose a place, I dropped it off and used an Uber back and forth. $499.00 and one afternoon was all it took.

It was easier than I expected. It was harder than I expected.

Easy because the breaks were fixed in a timely manner. Harder because I felt so alone.

It’s exactly how homeschooling has felt too this year.

Homeschooling In A Medical Crisis

This is not our first tough year. We had another in which my son was hospitalized 3 times, almost died of pancreatitis, started taking round the clock medications, had biweekly blood tests and about a zillion other things that made homeschooling feel impossible.

Except it wasn’t.

It looked totally different than I imagined. It was audiobooks in the car on the way to doctor’s appointments. It was board games in the hospital and documentaries on the iPad in waiting rooms.

It was all of those things and it was scary.

If you’d asked me at the time, I would’ve explained all the ways I was failing him. However, looking back now, I can see it was a much more individualized education than he would have been able to access in a classroom or hospital/home study program. I can see that it was exactly what he needed and that in the end, he learned so much, about academics and about life.

Related: My friend Amy, from Humility and Doxology is currently facing an overwhelming medical crisis with her son. She shares glimpses into how they are homeschooling through heartbreaking circumstances on Instagram. It’s been a source of grace and inspiration for me.

Homeschooling When Your Life Is Falling Apart

I find myself thinking about that year of medical trauma all the time lately. It’s become a kind of touchstone for me. It all worked out then, it will work out now. Right?

Here is what I know is true about homeschooling when your life is falling apart:

There are very real disadvantages.

  • You still have to have some sort of plan to educate your child, even when all you want to do is crawl under the covers.
  • You don’t have the advantage of sending siblings or all of your children to school so that you can crumble and/or manage life’s pressing circumstances during school hours.
  • You will continue to have the pressure of educating your child, on top of everything else that you are navigating.

There are very real advantages.

  • Your time is your own. No early morning drop-offs required!
  • You can accommodate your child’s needs and flex education requirements as needed to help them cope and heal.
  • Homeschooling can be something familiar and comforting when everything else feels difficult.

The last point is perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned and continue learning. Homeschooling is one thing that actually feels good while the rest of my life doesn’t. It allows me to connect with my child. It allows him to connect with me, We’ve been doing it for so long, homeschooling is something we can both count on right now.

My life feels like it’s falling apart. Thank goodness we are homeschooling.

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  1. Proud to know you and call you friend. You are a rockstar, even when you don’t feel like one.

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