The following two interviews are with moms who homeschool their children through a death in the family. These mothers have asked to remain anonymous. I hope that my readers appreciate the honesty of their stories.

I have experienced many losses in my life in the past several years. Receiving the news that a loved one is no longer with us is heart-wrenching. Homeschooling through the death of a family member is hard enough.

Homeschooling and grieving the loss of your own mother or father while trying to homeschool your children is even more difficult. Two homeschool moms wanted to share their stories of how they homeschooled their children while grieving the loss of their parent.

May their stories encourage you that even through the saddest times in our lives we can still homeschool our children, it’s just going to look a bit different for a while.

We interviewed two homeschool moms that wanted to share their stories on how they homeschooled their children through the death of a family member.


First Interview

Homeschool Mom Homeschooling Through the Death of a Family Member 

(Loss of Her Mother)


What were some of the struggles of learning to homeschool while coping with the death of a family member?

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Our biggest struggle last school year was its unpredictability. We had to adjust week-by-week and sometimes day-by-day. I was the primary teacher part of the year;  my husband was the primary teacher while he was between jobs. My mom was sick and we were in the middle of a move.

How has coping with the death of your mother prohibited you from homeschooling and how were you able to be accommodating?

We did a LOT of school work in the car that fall. On the plus side, all that travel gave us plenty of field trips! If we hadn’t been able to do school on the road, the girls would have missed a lot of Fridays and Mondays. Instead, they were able to count them, and some Saturdays, too. Even though it was sometimes hard to work in the school time, I was VERY thankful that we had the flexibility home school allows. 🙂We took a week off when Mom passed.

What has been the hardest thing to overcome?

Focusing was a challenge when so much was going on. We discussed that, too, with the girls. Sometimes we just have to buckle down and do work because it needs to be done, even when it’s hard. That’s an important life skill. It was hard for me to find the emotional energy to even get out of bed some days by April.

I admitted my depression to myself, my family (as if they hadn’t noticed), and my doctor, and got a prescription for an anti-depressant, which helped a lot. I also used it an opportunity to have a lesson on mental health and how it’s okay to get help if you need it.


What would you like other homeschoolers who are dealing with the same struggles to know that might encourage them?

I would encourage other homeschoolers to be honest about their challenges and get help if they need it, too. Remember that struggles may last for a while, but most get resolved eventually (or sooner). Even for situations that won’t change, like my mother’s passing, you learn to live with it, and it gets easier with time. Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”


Second Interview

Homeschool Mom Homeschooling Through Death of a Family Member 

(Loss of Her Father)


What are some of the struggles you had to deal with while homeschooling through the death of a family member?

My hard time homeschooling started last March when my dad passed away kind of unexpectedly. At the time I was homeschooling my son who was 4 and the little girl I was babysitting did some Pre-K stuff with us too. I had just had my second son who was 2 months at the time.

What has been the hardest thing to overcome?

The hardest thing if I had to pick one was losing my dad. Some days I don’t want to do anything. I have to just make myself go through the motions and the kids can tell when my heart isn’t in it. Gabriel sometimes asks me what is wrong. It is hard to be happy and excited and make learning fun when I’m not happy or excited.

How has coping with the death of a family member prohibited you from homeschooling and how were you able to be accommodating?

I was a complete wreck. I don’t even remember the week it happened very well. So, of course, we didn’t do school that week. The next week we were supposed to start school back and we did. But it wasn’t the same. I was short with the kids at times for no reason. Or I would randomly start crying when a song came on that made me think of my dad. And then I’m trying to explain to two four-year-olds why I’m randomly crying and how it was okay I just needed a min.

The hardest part was planning at this point. I became very laid back we didn’t really have a schedule for a while. It was kind of we would learn whatever popped in my head that day or something the kids would ask about. I relied a lot on other homeschooling mom’s. We would still go to activities and that really helped. Getting out of the house and talking to other moms. Plus it gave me new ideas and gave me some joy in planning what we’re going to do again.

More challenges

The next hard thing was when my youngest learned to crawl and get into everything. How am I supposed to sit down and do an activity when the baby is running away, pulling all the art supplies out of the box, tearing up papers, writing on Gabriel’s work.  Ahhh. This is a daily struggle. This prohibits me from focusing, which is a challenge all on its own.

We might start a story and stop 10 times just to get Eli out of some disaster he has gotten into. What should take 10 mins takes an hour. I tried getting Gabriel up early so we could do school before he woke up. That didn’t work because usually, Eli is up before all of us.

Then I tried waiting until nap time, which did work for a while but now he isn’t napping as long so that only gives us like an hour. Most days I get out the baby bath and let him play in the water while we do school. Then I just clean up the mess. At least the floor is getting mopped daily. 😂😂😂

Helping Mom After Her Surgery

Now my mom is currently in a rehab facility become she had knee surgery. We are keeping her dog and I am responsible for taking care of her when I can by doing her laundry and getting all the things she needs while she is there.

Which don’t get me wrong she has been waiting to have this surgery for years so I am thrilled she finally did it. I will do anything she needs me to do while she is in there but it definitely makes schooling hard. We are at the beginning of the semester and there are only so many hours in the day.

Some days I feel like school is the one thing we can’t fit in our schedule, especially the week when she was in the hospital. But that was okay.

We interviewed two homeschool moms that wanted to share their stories on how they homeschooled their children through the death of a family member.

Adjustments That Needed to Be Made

But now I have to get back to school or we will be doing school all summer. We like a little break during the summer so some things I have to cut out and that stinks. Usually, it is the fun stuff that has to go so we can keep on track with our reading lesson.

We had to cut out going to the discovery center for a while and I know Gabriel misses that and all his friends there. We also had to cut out some of our other lessons and are doing them every other day now or once a week.

Like our science experiments, we only get to do them once a week now. This is the hardest part because usually, Gabriel knows when he gets reading done we get to do a science experiment. And now it just reading and off to help grandma. So there isn’t a reward for doing good and stickers just don’t seem to make up for it. 😞

Did you ever consider giving up homeschooling for a time?

I did consider giving up homeschool several times. Thought about seeing if Gabriel could test into kindergarten early. His birthday is in September so by public school standards he could start kindergarten this year. Honestly, I still wonder if I am doing the right thing homeschooling him.

What would you like other homeschoolers who are dealing with the same struggles to know that might encourage them?

I would tell other moms to hang in there and don’t be afraid to reach out to other homeschooling moms or family. Also, everyone needs a break at some point make sure to take some time to do something for yourself.


How to Homeschool in the Midst of the Hard Things Giveaway

This is day 29 of the Homeschooling in the Midst of Hard Things Blog Series. We are so glad you are here! Come back each day to see what practical tips you can learn from veteran homeschool moms who have been in the trenches with you. If you missed day 28 of our series click here —> How to Homeschool in the Midst of a Miscarriage. Oh and don’t forget to join the exclusive Facebook group to chat it up with our members, ask questions and just be a part of our amazing and growing community!

READ ALSO  A Wonderful Resource For Teaching Creation Science in Your Homeschool

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