The reality of death is something that we can’t avoid. Eventually, it will touch our lives in some way. We will all experience the death of a loved one many times over in our lifetime. It is part of life and something that we need to learn to live with.
Dealing with a loss and homeschooling is not always easy but it is possible. You will learn quickly that homeschooling through any crisis will turn into life schooling more than textbook schooling. It is at those hard times that you will grow as a family. The family bond you create will forever be treasured.
The Death of a Loved One
Last year, we got news that my mother-in-law was found unresponsive and was taken to the hospital where she ended up in the intensive care unit. The news we received was not good but we were hopeful that she would fully recover.
So we prayed for her healing, for peace in our hearts and for the Lord to give us the opportunity to see her one last time before He would call her home. We prayed without ceasing from the time we heard the news.
Our Story of Loss
We had to make a quick decision – were we going to wait another day in order to get our things in order or just get ourselves ready to go as soon as possible? My husband felt an urgency that we didn’t have much time so we just picked up and drove the 10+ hours to our destination. We drove late into the night and into the early morning and got to our destination at 6:00 a.m.
It was not easy traveling at that time, particularly with little ones in tow. When we arrived there, we did not sleep. We urgently went directly to the hospital to see her and later that evening she passed away. A flood of emotions washed over us when it happened. It was a surreal moment for us, we couldn’t believe she was gone.
It was hard to accept the news but in the midst of our pain, we thanked the Lord for giving us the opportunity to see her before He called her home.
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Hope in the Midst of Such Sadness
Even though we were heartbroken, at the same time we were thankful that she was at peace and wasn’t suffering anymore. When we shared the news with our boys, our oldest son had the hardest time because he had built a close relationship with his grandmother.
We both cried together as I held him in my arms. I told him, “This is a ‘see you later’ and not a ‘good-bye’’. I had expressed this to him because of our faith in Christ. In our hearts, we will always hold that hope that we will one day see her again.
It broke my heart that our sons would have to experience such a loss at such a young age. Nevertheless, this experience is a part of life. It’s not something that we can avoid but definitely something that we can overcome and grow from together as a family.
3 Things You Can Do to Help Your Family with the Grieving Process
Homeschooling through the loss of a loved one is going to look different for every family. What worked for my family might not work for yours and that’s okay. Before I share how we homeschooled through our loss I wanted to first share with you 3 things you can do to help your family with the grieving process.
Take a Break
Consider taking a break from doing any lessons with your children. Make sure that you and your family are grieving the loss you just experienced. Many times we think we are okay and we are not. So giving yourself and your family the time and space to grieve will benefit you all.
Spend Time as a Family
Spending time as a family is so beneficial. That’s when you are able to connect with your child and build a stronger relationship with them. It’s also the perfect time to answer any questions that your children may have about what happened. Providing them a safe place to grieve will help teach them not only how to cope with life stresses but it will help the healing process.
Get Back into Routine
Children thrive with having routines because they know what to expect and there aren’t any surprises. They are able to go back to what they are familiar with, which helps in the healing process.
During this time you can start to homeschool again by adding one subject at a time or you can jump right back in with your full school schedule. Depending on how far along everyone is in the healing process, will determine if more time is needed or if everyone is ready to move forward.
Homeschooling Through A Loss
No matter what crisis you are facing at the moment, I want you to know that you CAN continue to homeschool your children. It’s just going to look different than the way you were originally homeschooling before the crisis.
When a crisis came knocking at our door we decided to put away the curriculums and focus on the hearts of our children. We decided to do life schooling where we would focus on discipleship, character building, habit training, our relationship with each other, and even pursued some of their passions. It was the best decision we had ever made.
Many of the life skills we worked on we couldn’t just learn from a book but from life experiences. During those months that we took a break, our homeschooling journey was filled with rich, simple and fun hands-on learning.
It truly is a blessing to have the freedom and the flexibility that we have as homeschoolers to be able to customize our children’s education in a time we needed it the most.
You Can Do This
So be encouraged and know that you are able, you know what’s best for your family and you can do this!
I encourage you to seek out the Lord and ask Him to show you what you need to focus on during the difficult time you find yourself in at the moment. He will guide you in what you should do and you will find peace in the midst of the storm.
This is day 2 of the Homeschooling in the Midst of Hard Things Blog Series!. We are so glad you are here!
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Jessica is a follower of Christ, wife, and mother of three energetic boys. She writes about homeschooling, frugal living, motherhood, intentional living and everything in between. Her heart is to inspire and encourage others to live an intentional life.