Hiccups, interruptions, and disruptions to life are inevitable. We all face them weekly, if not daily. But there are times when the disruptions are so great that we struggle to keep any semblance of focus on our schedules and plans.
Whether it's a natural disaster like flooding or tornadoes, a major outbreak like the flu or COVID-19, or a local community crisis, the things that go on in the world around us can have a strong impact on our ability to focus and maintain a measure of normalcy in our homes. How do we handle it?
Navigating Homeschooling when Disruptions Hit
When a crisis hits that impacts traditional schools, homeschoolers are often quick to rejoice in the fact that our school year can continue uninterrupted! But, the truth is that we still struggle. We either get caught up in the chaos around us or we simply feel an unsettledness and restlessness that disrupts the flow of our lives. If co-op and extracurricular activities are interrupted in the process, that only adds to our struggles.
One of the best things we can do for ourselves and our children in times of disruption, however, is to keep life flowing as smoothly and as normally as possible. Here are my tips for navigating homeschooling when life around you is disrupted.
Keep to Your Schedule
Interruptions are a common factor of life. You’re going to experience them. As much as possible, treat the current disruption as you would normal interruptions by maintaining your schedule. Remember that your schedule is the big picture of what your life should look like. You might have to make some tweaks or adjustments to the schedule, especially related to outside commitments. But, ultimately, the goal is to maintain normalcy. So, keep getting up at the normal time, processing through routines like school and meals and chores at the normal time, and heading to bed at the normal time. Your schedule is your foundation, and even in times of disruption it can help you maintain steady footing.
Keep to Your Plan
Because your plan is the daily and weekly implementation of your schedule, it might not look the same as it did before the disruption hit. And that’s okay. If the foundation of your schedule is as close to “normal” as possible, the plan will hold to that foundation, even if the details change. The important thing is to have a plan and keep it! Lay out your week just as you always do. Revisit the plan each evening or morning to determine tweaks. Make whatever adjustments are necessary. But don’t give into the temptation to throw a daily or weekly plan out the window because circumstances are chaotic. Having and keeping a plan lends a framework of stability to the foundation laid by your schedule.
Let the World Spin
It’s always a struggle to strike a balance between keeping up with the events going on around us and being sucked into the bottomless pit that is news, social media, and endless discussion. Every year on September 11, there is still chatter about where we were and how we felt that day in 2001 and in the weeks and months that followed. It’s important that we understand these world events and that we walk our children through them well. But it’s also important that we model how to continue to live, to the greatest of our ability, in a healthy and functional manner. So sometimes we need to just let the chatter and debate go on around us while we focus on sticking with our routine even while meeting the immediate needs of our families and our communities.
How you keep your schedule and plan depends heavily on how your personality approaches scheduling and planner. Take our Planner Personality Quiz to discover your planner personality type and learn more about how to work within your personality strengths.