Every family experiences a busy season. It could only happen once every couple of years, or it could hit as regularly as clockwork.
Whatever the reason for your busyness, it can make homeschooling a lot more complicated. There are several steps that you can take to calm the crazy and keep your kids learning during a busy season.
Clear the clutter
What’s the reason for your busyness? Is it unavoidable, like a new baby, selling a house, a serious illness, etc.? Or could you take a step back from activities that are making life more stressful?
This is an important point to consider when you are feeling overwhelmed. It is entirely possible to have too much of a good thing.
If extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or co-ops are taking over your schedule and leaving you unable to actually get any school done, it might be time to reconsider whether those things are actually worth it in this season of life. Even taking a break for a month or so can give you some breathing room!
Evaluate your priorities
It may not be possible to cover every single subject that you hope to during a busy season. So, how do you decide which ones to focus on?
There is usually at least one subject that each child struggles with. It’s probably best not to completely drop that subject, or it will be even harder to come back to it later. However, you don’t want to only focus on problem areas.
It would be wise to balance an area of struggle with an area of strength. If your child excels in math, don’t drop it because he doesn’t seem to need work there. Help him to advance further in that area, encourage him in his progress, and appreciate the motivation he has in that subject that may not be present in others.
Include your kids (when possible)
When your kids are younger, it’s not always reasonable to ask for their input on schedules, which subjects to focus on, etc.
As they get older, though, you can potentially avoid a lot of complaints and grumbling by including your kids in the discussion. What are their priorities? You might be surprised. What are they willing to do to make certain important activities work for the whole family?
Rather than straight out canceling an activity, they might be able to help come up with a plan that clears room in your life without having to sacrifice a cherished pastime.
Establish a new temporary schedule
Until you embrace the fact that you are in the middle of a busy season, it can be difficult to settle into a new rhythm. A big part of the stress can come from not having a plan to get the important things done.
Establishing a new, temporary schedule for this period can be extremely helpful. As you do this, remember to be realistic. Leave margin for rest. Don’t punish yourself when you still can’t cross everything off the list.
Keep re-evaluating your priorities and responsibilities to ensure that your schedule is working for you, not driving you crazy.
Remember that you don’t have to do it all! Have grace for yourself, but also for your family. A busy season can cause a lot of extra strain on relationships.
Remember to extend grace when assignments don’t get done or chores are incomplete. Pray together and focus on working as a team to encourage unity in your home. Have open discussions about the stress of this busy season, how it will change things at home, and what everyone can do to pitch in!
A busy season can seem like it will train wreck your homeschooling, but it doesn’t have to! We hope these tips will encourage you as you navigate these waters, whether temporary or long term.
What are your tips for homeschooling through a busy season?