Wouldn’t you know it – 10 days, yes 10 days into our new school year we were smacked with a hurricane. Not just any hurricane that usually inconveniences us for a couple of days, where we clean up yard debris, pretend like we’re camping, cook-out, and have fun with flashlights. Florence came in the night with fury, pushing water to places it has never been, and left a path of destruction covering two states. Our beloved town was devastated, although it didn’t take long for our community to come together and start putting things back together unlike I have ever witnessed. The President of the United States even came to New Bern, NC to offer words of encouragement, and hand out meals at a local church.
There are so many without, volunteers are still working to clean out homes and provide meals and other necessities in our community. There is still much to be done, but we are beginning to feel back to normal. There will always be things beyond our control that just happens. Last year, my dad had to have heart surgery during our first two weeks of school. I’ve heard that some have started the year off with a stomach bug or other sickness in their family. Maybe an opportunity arose that required moving at the start of your school year. Perhaps you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one, or a new addition to your family. Sometimes even that new curriculum that was going to be great, turned out not so great. Whatever it is, homeschooling mama, we’ve all needed a reset button to push when the unexpected happens.
The good news is that we can reset and move forward. Every day is always new! As we approach a new month, I am eager to reset our school year. Before Florence came for an unwelcome visit, things were very new here. New curriculum, a new co-op, and like most, the newness of adjusting to doing school everyday as the summer seemed to end abruptly. Don’t let things derail your homeschooling efforts! We have spent a couple of days not doing our typical school work. We have cleaned up, sorted, donated, and delivered – as many others have as well. It’s real life, and cannot be found in a textbook. In the midst of lesson planning by candlelight, I have also had a chance to try all of our subjects a couple of times each this year. I have a better estimate as to how long they will take, and I’m still working on what is required of me as well as the kids. I can see early on, that I need to plan to spend the last few days of the month better scheduling our time.
As much as schedules and I are at odds most of the time, I am finding it very necessary as the kids are older to keep the flexibility that I love, but also set some better ground rules. Running here and there, having neighborhood kids stopping by to play (our local public school have been closed for over two weeks), and feeling like I should be doing more in our community, has left our schooling in somewhat of a tizzy.
I’ve been homeschooling long enough to know the days rarely go perfect as planned. I also know we must honor our school time. The really awesome thing about homeschooling is that we can do the things we feel we need to do as well as give our kids the best education possible. During times when hurricanes, sickness, moving, and so on make you think you’ve been defeated before you even got a good start – don’t be afraid to push that reset button! Shift your focus from what’s going on around you and feeling discouraged, and figure out a way to stay the course. Whether it’s doing the minimums for a few weeks, splitting your time between teaching and helping others in need, setting up “school hours”, or simply taking a break and starting over – your kids will be fine, and so will you! You are enough. You’ve got this.