Help! My Homeschool Plans Have Been Hijacked

Help!! My Homeschool plans have been Hijacked

When your awesome homeschool plans DON’T go as planned...

Every year for the past 4 years Iʻve had a routine of sending my keiki to summer school at Kamehameha Schoolʻs Halau Kupukupu Academy, so that I can get some down time and re-group for the upcoming Homeschool year. Like most Homeschoolers, I make plans that would be feasible to execute in a perfect world. I love the planning and prep work that takes place before reality strikes. It all looks so perfect and organized in my Homeschool planner (I use Mardelʻs “A Simple Plan planner”)

Oh, if life would only get with the program and adhere to my wonderful plans, I would not be writing this post. But alas, that is not the case in my life and Iʻm okay with that. Well, I am now, but that wasnʻt always the case and there are still times where my frustration wins the day. However, I am thankful for the struggles as they help me to grow not just as a Homeschooling Mama, but also as a person. Whatʻs that saying about life, lemons, and tequila…just kidding.

A life hijacking = A Life-jacking...

Iʻm sure youʻve heard of a life-hack, well this my friends is a life-jack.

Okay, so the back story for this post pretty much started with the Kilauea lava eruptions (you can read about our experience here, if youʻre interested). That led to our family having to relocate. Couple that with some other family situations that popped up, and there you have it, the makings of an off beat homeschool rhythm and my perfect plans dancing right out the window.

If youʻve experienced any kind of life-hijacking in your homeschool routine you know where Iʻm coming from. If not, I may not be making any sense to you right about now. And I must say you are probably one of the fortunate few. However, for those of you who are reading this and nodding your head then, I get you.

Read on my fellow Homeschool warriors, here are a few HOMESCHOOL LIFE-JACKED HACKS or HLH for short that Iʻve come up with to help us persevere on our journey.

Should I just enroll my keiki into a traditional school?

That familiar crossroad comes into view once more for me as I ponder whether or not to send my keiki to school. Iʻll mull it over in my head for awhile; reason myself into and out of it. Then Iʻll ask Hubby what he thinks. But, ultimately the choice comes down to whether or not Iʻm still game, and whether or not Iʻm ready to throw in the towel. Thus far however, no matter how challenging life maybe, I have found the grit to continue on our homeschool journey by taking a step back.

Instead of throwing your hands up and enrolling your keiki into a traditional school because a of life-jack situation why not just take a break. Yup, just step back, take a breath, and reassess the situation. If sticking religiously to a routine is not working right now itʻs okay. These things happen and you have the freedom to break from whatever routine, schedule, rhythm (whatever you call it) you currently have to re-group and refresh.

However, it maybe the other way around. If you need that routine or any routine to keep some sense of normalcy in your life then by all means. Do what you gotta do. But, please donʻt throw in the towel just yet. I know youʻve got enough creative juices in that brain to come up with the solution that meets your ohanaʻs needs. All you need is to give yourself a bit of breathing room to formulate a plan. Itʻs  important to allow yourself and your ohana the time and flexibility you need to adapt during this life change.

Furthermore, please donʻt be too hard on yourself or your keiki. I know itʻs easy to look at all the lesson plans and workbooks and think that you are falling behind. Unfortunately, thatʻs what Iʻve been thinking lately. “I wonder if weʻll catch up?”, or “Am I doing right by my girls?”. The truth is we arenʻt falling behind, we are just shifting gears. And of course Iʻm doing right by them; thatʻs why we chose to homeschool them in the first place. Right?

"The nature of life is flux, not permanence."

What does shifting gears look like?

Well, it will most likely look and feel different for everyone, and it will fluctuate from day to day. However for us it means working in chunks of time at odd hours as opposed to our more structured schedule (I tend to like more planned out work).

Snap shot of our current routine…

We are currently operating with just one vehical so we head out the door in the morning to take beloved Hubby/Daddy to work instead of getting out our planners and preparing our work.

Since we are already out and near our public library we sometimes swing by to drop-off or pick-up books. I think majority of my daughtersʻ reading time is spent in the truck. Donʻt ask me how they can read in a moving vehical because itʻs not something Iʻm capable of doing. Being able to run by the library daily is somewhat nice since we tend to go through books pretty quickly.

Once our library visit is finished I then check the mail at the Post Office and run any other errands around town before heading back to the house. We normally pick-up breakfast while we are out and about since we donʻt currently have time to eat at home.

Thereʻs more to that saga, but I wonʻt go any further as I just wanted to give you a glimps at our gear shifting. So, you can see that homeschooling is not a box we have to put ourselves into and stay there. We are free to explore and wander, and learn where ever we are, even in a truck on the way to take Dad to work =)

HLH #1 ~ Change your homeschooling rhythm to suit your life; don’t change your life to suit your homeschool rhythm.

All about that base, baseline that is....

What is a baseline you might be wondering. I know that a baseline can mean many things, however in this case it is basically my bare minimum tasks that MUST get done. I implement this practice in various areas of my life, including homeschooling. The reason I use this is so that I always have a back-up plan in the event my original plan gets jacked-up (messed-up).

The way I use this concept is by setting up various tasks or marks that I want to consistantly accomplish in our homeschool on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. There are times when we are able to achieve well above those baseline tasks, however remember we are operating from a “life-jacked” homeschooling schedule, therefore my main focus is to relieve stress from an already stressful situation. Then there are also times where all I can seem to accomplish is the baseline or bare minimal tasks and that is perfectly fine as well. On those days I remind myself of a favorite saying my husbandʻs Grandpa Sam would tell us; “One day at a time.” Thanks Grampa Sam♥RIL

During times of turmoil I set-up my go to baseline for homeschooling. That helps me to keep a rhythm regardless of whatever else is going on. I find that by having this in place I am able to live a less stressful life while still being able to enjoy my ohana and homeschool my keiki.

HLH #2  ~ Set a baseline to help you continue moving forward. Doing something is better than not doing anything.

Perfect Example…

Right as I was in the middle of putting this post together I get blindsided by the FLU….OMG!! Typical Mother Nature or whatever you want to call it (e.g. Murphyʻs law). And just as I start to feel better, dear hubby gets sick with the same flu. He was doing so much to help me get better and that was the thanks he got….lol!! Well, now Iʻm back, so without further delay itʻs time to crank this puppy out!!

Calgone take me away....

Mental health days are a real thing and they are AMAZING! I feel mental health days are like a re-set button and everyone should have them. Yes! Everyone =)  It provides that much needed breathing room to allow our stress to melt away so that we can get back in the game with a clear more focused head-space.

During times like these I try to find more room for my ohana to get some down-time. This takes form in most cases as a day at the beach or a family excursion (sightseeing, eating at a restaurant, etc.). These times are well spent; where all we do is play, swim, lie in the sun, and or eat.

Like with most things involving a family or life for that matter it takes a bit of planning, so be sure to get those mental health days scheduled in so that it happens. Spending quality time as a family and doing fun activities is one of the best things about homeschooling. Besides, whoʻs to say you werenʻt learning while playing. That in my experience is one of the best ways to learn all while making lasting memories at the same time.

HLH #3   ~ Get out and play as a family and make those memories!

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”

S.O.S., Please! Someone help me, homeschool....

Donʻt be afraid or stubborn to ask for help when you need it. Itʻs one of the best things you can do for yourself and your keiki. Iʻm thankful that I have ohana (family) to help when things get a bit too overwhelming and I can feel the burn-out coming right around the corner. At this point even the girlsʻ hour and a half piano lessons feels like a mini-vacation every week. And you best believe I try to make the most of it.

Not everyone may be as fortunate to have a family support system, but hey thatʻs okay. Get out there and find your fellow homeschooling groups in your community and link-up. Even online support is awesome. I love visiting my Homeschool FB and Instagram groups that Iʻm apart of. However, donʻt just scroll through. Engage and reach-out. Believe it or not but alot of the times they are super helpful and responsive. Iʻd say that most everyone that Iʻve interacted with thus far online has been nothing but nice and respectful.

Then, last but not leastthere is self-help. My self-help comes in the form of mediation and yoga. I see it as self-help, but it’s also self-love. Do I aways get to do them? Nope! But, I do my best to get that time in for me and by extention for my ohana.I’ve even had my girls join me at a class, so I guess it also counts for family time…lol! Just kidding, they were driving each other and myself crazy so I made them do yoga with me.

Asking for help or allowing others to help is a strength, not a weakness. In Hawai’i the concept is called: LAULIMA – Many hands working together.

HLH #4  ~ Reach out to others for support and help. Even if it’s only online, moral support and advice can go a long way in your homeschool journey. And never under-estimate the importance of helping/loving yourself!

Don’t worry about what other homeschoolers are doing….

If you are like me, I’m sure you’ve come across amazing homeschooling content online. Whether it’s a social media post or a blog you follow for inspiration. But, instead of being inspired you feel the exact opposite. Maybe, even a little anxious about your abilities. You may even find yourself, dare I say it, comparing yourself to that online content.

Well, stop yourself right there my fellow Homeschool warrior. If you don’t know it by now let me share with you a little secret that continues to help me conquer that self-destructive thinking. Are you ready for it? Here it is, NO ONE and I mean no one can be YOU. And no one else has spent so many hours learning about and nurturing your Ohana than you have. You are the expert when it comes to what is right for you and your keiki.

Furthermore, there is no amount of pretty pictures or well written advice that can ever compare to all that you have given and continue to give every day, to make your homeschool and life a success. Yes, there is amazing content out there, but you are the one who is present in your Ohana. So, continue to be present because you are a gift to your Ohana just as they are a gift to you.

HLH #5  ~ Don’t allow yourself to compare what you do in your homeschool or life to what is portrayed online. You and your Ohana are one of a kind and that’s the best way to be.

Wrap it up…

Well Homeschool warriors, hopefully you found my advice helpful. I know that there will be many more challenges ahead for us in our homeschool journey and in life, but having a system to help us along will ensure we are making progress even when life hijacks our perfect homeschool plans.

Here’s a quick re-cap of the HLH (Homeschool Life-jacked Hacks) mentioned above:

HLH #1 ~ Change your homeschooling rhythm to suit your life, not your life to suit your homeschooling rhythm.

HLH #2 ~ Set a baseline to help you continue moving forward. Doing something is better than not doing anything.

HLH #3 ~ Get out and play as a family!

HLH #4 ~ Reach out to others for support and help. Even if it’s only online, moral support and advice can go a long way in your homeschool journey. And never under-estimate the importance of helping/loving yourself!

HLH #5 ~ Don’t allow yourself to compare what you do in your homeschool or life to what is portrayed online. You and your Ohana are one of a kind and that’s the best way to be.

Until next time, Aloha and Blessings on your homeschool journey!! 

Lava Mama Homeschooling