Have you ever had to continue homeschooling through stressful times? Sometimes life can throw some pretty crazy curve balls your way. I never expected that I’d need to pack our belongings and say goodbye to my house and my belongings, but that’s just what happened to our family this past week. Even during this mess, life needed to continue.
Preparing for disaster
This past week, we were under a mandatory evacuation in our town when Hurricane Florence was on her way towards our coast. All we could do was keep watching the news coverage and start preparing for the worst. I took pictures off of our walls, packed family heirlooms we couldn’t replace, and get a weeks worth of belongings for each person in our family stashed away in our camper.
As we pulled away from home, I tried my hardest to take a mental picture of what we were leaving behind. I knew it was all just stuff. None of it was something that we couldn’t replace. We pulled away and headed towards safety.
Leaving our home for long periods of time is something we typically enjoy. Since we camp as often as we can, part of our packing was the same as any other camping trip. This all gave our evacuation a bit of normalcy to it. We were just heading to another campground, just like any other trip. We were excited to visit an area we hadn’t before.
Homeschooling while on the road
Before we left, I made sure to pack all of our school books. We didn’t know how long we’d need to be gone, so the books needed to join us.
Homeschooling through stressful times can look different for everyone, but for us this added another level of normalcy to our days. Normally when we homeschool away from home, we take a break from the books and just explore the world around us. This time, we decided to do a bit of both. We hit the books in the morning, and explored a bit in the afternoons.
Watching from afar
Probably the hardest part about leaving was trying to find updates both online and on the news. The pictures and news clips of what the hurricane was doing were devastating. Our friends were losing their houses. Roads were flooding. Streets were collapsing. We literally didn’t know if we’d have a home to go back to.
This all brought up a lot of lessons for our kids, though. How did hurricanes work? What do the different categories mean? Why do they cause so much destruction? Lot’s of discussions, YouTube videos, and reading happened over the past week. And lots of reassuring that, no matter what, everything was going to be okay because we were safe and we were together.
Homeschooling during stressful times
For us, homeschooling through stressful times meant trying to make life as normal as possible. To carry on where we left off and to have as much fun as we could. I know for our friends who stayed, this wasn’t necessarily possible. They didn’t have power or water. Some had to evacuate during the storm due to floods. Sometimes, homeschooling through stressful times means putting a hold on structured schoolwork to deal with what life throws at you.
Whether you’re dealing with a natural disaster, a family illness, or another form of tragedy, homeschooling is still a part of your life and will work it’s way in some how. A lot of times, your family will learn life lessons that they never would have without the chaos. Kids can learn resiliency, strength, and that sometimes it’s okay to just be sad during the hard times.
After the storm
We still haven’t returned home, but we have been told our house was unaffected, minus a few small repairs that will need done. Some of our friends literally lost everything. How and why some are spared while others lose everything is something I will never understand.
I prayed time and time again that if someone had to lose their things, please let it be us. We have our home away from home in our camper. We had everything that meant the most to us. But, we were spared. It’s times like this that all we can do is trust that the Lord is in control.
It’s no question that our town and our region will take a lot of time to heal. The flood waters are still raging and many people are still displaced. But, I hope that, more than anything, my kids will see everyone stepping out to help. The restaurants giving their food away for free. People collecting items for those in need. Friends housing others who have lost everything. Because the biggest lesson they can learn from all of this is that there is so much good left in the world, even during the hard, stressful times.