homeschooling through tough times (part 2)

[Part One]

Homeschooling while your family suffers hardship creates challenges for everyone involved. Last week I shared thoughts on how this schooling choice eased a really tough time for our family.

That said,  our journey was far from easy.

Some days felt super scattered and completely non-productive. I often wondered if we made ANY movement forward!  We had of course; it was simply difficult to recognize.

While my first post offered inspiration and encouragement…

…today’s post focuses on practical matters.

In no particular order, ideas for homeschooling during tough times:


If you face serious financial need, contact the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

The charitable arm of the organization — formally known as Home School Foundation, now called HSLDA Compassion, offers grants to purchase curriculum and other needed schooling supplies (or even pay for co-op classes).

By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post. I’ve written plenty and always disclose to readers. But no one paid me to offer my opinion, and HSLDA has no idea I’m sharing today.

See those numbers centered above?

I write because our family is one of the 1038 receiving funds in that time frame.

I went from managing a six-figure household income to hovering around federal poverty levels within a relatively short time. Until I could better sort out our situation, I applied for any aid available and temporarily received multiple.

HSLDA Compassion provided financial coverage for homeschooling when I wasn’t quite sure how to make ends meet in this area.  A top priority for the future me is to give back as a thank you.

I share this without shame or any other negative feeling, but instead with deep gratitude.

If your family is in need…consider applying.

circa 2011

Practical Homeschooling

Focus on core subjects. Paying attention to homeschool lawsdecide what is necessary. Trim, trim, trim the rest! You WILL do those cool projects and field trips at some point. Bare-bones homeschooling is completely okay right now.

Make a simple schooling outline. For each child I decided how many lessons to tackle per week around core subjects. Example: 4 math, 3 vocab/spelling, 2 grammar, etc. I didn’t worry about finishing every page of our books or curriculum.

Do subjects in unit study style. Certain topics should be covered regularly such as math and language. Others our family covered over several weeks, then stopped and maybe did again later.  Do some subjects in spurts to accommodate your needs.

Harness the availability of audio books, educational games or videos. These provide support on topics you don’t need to focus in-depth.

Be flexible with your daily rhythm. Where are my Type A gotta-have-some-level-of-control Moms? I hear you sisters. But you’re going to have to let some things go.

  • schedule time off during the week – pajama days, movie mornings, indoor picnics, doing school in a different location, etc.
  • regularly do things which feed your children’s spirits and your own. Remember — you are in crisis or significantly struggling. Breathe.

Remember you can slow down, then pick up pace again. It’s the beauty of making your own schedule, right? I often decreased schooling for tending to my children’s needs outside of their education (and to my own).

Join homeschool cooperative classes if it will help your family. Drop them for the same reason!  Remember co-ops are a tool, not a necessity.

circa 2012

Everyday Life

Simplify expectations for housekeeping.  When stressed I sometimes tear the house apart decluttering every corner (my external way of processing internal stuff). But it’s not another cleaning session my soul needs. ? I’ve learned to pay attention to what was really going on and keep the house ‘clean enough’.

Honor your physical limitations. We are human beings, not human doings. Okay?  Set realistic expectations or allow someone else to do it for you.

Connect with community. I shared in my first post, but it bears saying again. Don’t do this season alone friend. I completely relate to a strong desire to run and hide, even if simply not to have to answer everyone’s questions.

But we’re made for more than isolated living, right?  Connect with who you can.

Graciously and firmly say NOI’m not suggesting immediately releasing everything you’re responsible for (maybe you cannot or should not)…but take time to weigh commitments and your availability.

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Much more could be written I imagine — thank you for reading this far.  Hopefully you’ve found something helpful in these words.

Peace to you.


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