One of the beauties of homeschooling is the flexibility that it offers. Another benefit is the many life lessons that we can teach our children through day-to-day happenings as well as life events that don’t happen on a regular basis, such as childbirth, moving, and sicknesses.
Our family is currently planning for a big move from New York to Texas, so I’m going to offer some tips on how to homeschool during a move. However, many of these ideas can be used during any situation that may throw your regular homeschool routine off track.
First and foremost, pray! Pray that the Lord will give you guidance as to what to do regarding school during this time. Pray that he gives you peace if you can’t get everything done that you desire, and that He gives you a strong faith in knowing that He is in control and that He will provide for you and your child’s every need, even when it comes to schooling and education.
2. Don’t school
I know this isn’t an option for everyone (as it’s not for us right now), but if you school year-round, this would be a great time to take a little break from homeschooling and focus on packing and getting organized for your move. Even if you don’t school year-round, you still might be able to squeeze in some ‘vacation’ days so you can get some packing done.
3. Stick to the basics
Now is not the time to be worrying about all of the extra electives that you might normally do like music, art, or foreign language. Clear those off your plate and just stick to the basics like math, reading, and Bible.
4. Plan ahead
Once you decide on the must-do courses during your move, plan ahead and just keep out what you absolutely need. What I’ve done is gotten each of my school-aged kids their own tote bag (I got them from Thirty-One) that has all of their books and supplies in it like pencils, crayons, glue, scissors, etc. That way everything they need is all in one place, and it’s portable. I also placed an open file box (from Target) in each one so that their books would stand up well and it would be easier to get things in and out of it.
I made each child a little check list of what they need to do each day, laminated it, and attached it to the bag with a binder ring. This is especially helpful if you have kids that can work independently. Right now my two oldest kids are able to do most of their work on their own and I just check in with them and go over their assignments once or twice a week. The younger ones also have their own check list (because they wanted to be like their big siblings) which is actually just as helpful for me to see what I need to do with them each day.
Then I have a tote for my 3 little boys, who are all 3 and under, that has preschool activities and books in it to keep them busy if needed, as well as our preschool curriculum which is pretty much open and go. Unfortunately we don’t get a whole lot of preschool done, but it’s okay; they are young and this is only temporary.
And of course I have a tote for myself. This is where I keep my
brain lesson plans, answer keys, and any textbooks we use together like history and science.
5. Just read
Simplify even more by just reading. Have your independent readers just read, read, read. Mix it up and have them read both fiction and non-fiction books. If you have non-readers or early readers, have their big siblings read to them or invest in some audio books.
6. Use the electronics
I know that a lot of families like to limit their kids’ screen-time (my family included), but sometimes it’s okay to stretch that time a little and use it to our advantage. This is only a short season; go ahead and use the ipad for educational games, the Kindle for reading, the television to watch educational DVDs, or get computer-based curriculum or sign up for some online learning programs (many of them are even FREE).
7. Life lessons
Use this time to focus on teaching life lessons. Your kids can learn a lot through this time such as organizational skills, time management, dealing with life changes, patience, cooperation, planning, and so much more. Include them in as much of the moving and packing process as possible.
8. Field trips
If your move requires any bit of traveling, schedule in some fun and educational stops along the way. Roadtrippers is a great site for finding out what points of interest are along your route. Look for unique museums, historical landmarks, national parks, or even an amusement park to visit. I bet they will learn more from and remember these experiences than they would learn from reading a textbook.
9. Ask for help
Ask for help or accept help when offered. Don’t feel you have to do this alone. Maybe you have a friend, relative, or church member that would be willing to help you pack or to entertain your kids so you can get some packing done.
10. Don’t stress
I know, that’s easier said then done. But at least when it comes to the schooling, try not to stress. If your kids miss anything, they will catch up. Children are learning all the time. During this time they will be learning life skills that are just as important as their school lessons. Every situation provides a learning opportunity, and moving is no exception. This will only be for a short time and you will be back into your homeschool routine before you know. Enjoy and embrace this journey.
Have you ever moved while homeschooling?
What tips would you add to this list?