Life happens. One day everything is warm, happy autumn memories, the next you’re wearing a wrist brace and wondering what’s next. For me, next was finding out that my “hand sprain” was actually a fracture. Let me tell you, a cast is much worse than a brace.
The next month is a looming challenge. I can’t write, type, use a mouse, or cut anything: in terms of school, I’m out. Done. Finis, caput, disabled. But learning doesn’t stop just because I did, so I’m strategizing. Here are a few things I’m doing to help the Engineer not feel abandoned.
Seriously – give up on the idea that learning has to be done the way you always have in the past. Change things up. If the kiddo watches YouTube videos for an hour and comes back spouting off about how dragonfish use lures to catch shrimp, then learning is happening. That’s all that really matters, right?
We’re homeschoolers. We’re the epitome of flexible. Be more! For us, that means doing a few more field trips, or spending more time at discovery museums. It means focusing on the social aspect of homeschooling and spending more time at playgrounds around other kids. Do whatever places less demands on you.
Give yourself a break
You’re hurting. It’s difficult just being here. Give yourself a break and let the kids play, watch a movie, or chill with Minecraft while you get some rest. Don’t push yourself too hard trying to be “normal” when you’re not able to.
Go back and reinforce some of the things you’ve already done. Review, revisit, and go a little deeper on subjects the kids loved. Chances are you have things left over or extra workbook pages that you can utilize to make things easier. Our kids could use some time to go over their finished projects and remember what they loved about it, or they can do some practicing on things they had a tentative grasp on.
Do as little as you can for things that won’t matter in a few months. Take a break from spelling, cut back on the math, or ease up on the extracurricular stuff. The kids can always catch up later. Encourage independent learning and pile on the reading. Give them a break too, let them think of it as a vacation from math. You can always do fractions next quarter or focus on grammar down the road. Take the easy route and don’t feel guilty for it – it’s temporary, after all.
Today we spent a lot of time in pretend play (and misbehaving. Turns out the crash added to the Engineer’s anxieties and he’s acting out accordingly.) Interspersed in that play were pockets of child-initiated interests: a video of an artist replicating Starry Night in water, building Stonehenge from Jenga blocks, and discussing astronomy. It’s all good. Except for the part involving broken bones.
Learning happens. Even when recovering.