Thursday 14 March 2013

Home schooling around many appointments

We have been home educating for almost four years and during this time have also been caring for an older relative. This has involved multiple doctor and hospital visits. Thankfully, most of these visits have been planned but there have been a fair number when we have just had to go that day or a series of visits has been sprung on us at the start of the school year. 

These are a few thoughts on how we manage to home educate around appointments.

  • We try to keep education going as much as possible. This type of pattern is "normal" for us and we can't afford to take a day off every time we have to visit the doctor or hospital.

  • Appointments do go in phases; there will be several in a week or month and then none for two or three months. The seasons with many appointments can feel overwhelming especially if this goes on for several months.

  • During times when we are dealing with illness and spending much time going to and from the hospital, it isn't possible to do all the lovely extras and trips that we might otherwise wish to do. So far, things have always settled down and we have been able to do more again.

  • We have to plan in advance. Of course, this is subject to God overruling our plans. We have a weekly home education plan. Like any plan, this will involve easier and harder components. If we have to go for an appointment, it is easy to swap in an easier task. 

  • It is often possible to have routine appointments either late afternoon or during breaks from formal education. This can mean that "holiday" time is full of appointments but seems preferable to continually interrupting education.

  • As my husband works from home, I try to only take Youngest Son. This means leaving work that Middle Son can do independently and more challenging, something suitable for Younger Daughter. Reading Eggs is helpful in this scenario especially as Middle Son is quite able to help, if necessary. In fact, the last time I was out doing a hospital run, he spontaneously decided to hear his sister read.

  • Youngest Son usually comes with me accompanied by a bag of books. It is important to take sufficient books for long waits! Many adult waiting rooms do not have anything to amuse little people. We recently ran out of books and had to spend time looking at a convenient crane out of the window.

  • Ultimately, the children are learning about life. Sometimes plans alter and they need to be flexible. Whilst their education is important, they can't always come first. We can catch up the work.

  • The Bible verse that sustains me at such times is 
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12 v9

Do visit the Homeschool Crew blog for more thoughts about home educating through crises.

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