How to Homeschool Through Just About Anything Final Post

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 It may seem as though I have dragged this little series out and broken it down more than necessary.  I  have it all written out in one document, but I assure you it really was too long to put together in one place!  Today is the last post, though, I promise.  Today is about reflecting.

When you have been through life-altering crazy, it is terribly important that you take the time to reflect back on and process all of it.  You cannot go through a life changing event and then jump back into life where you left off.  

Go ahead- ask me how I know this!

When Kenna died, I wanted desperately to go back to work right away.  It felt like going back to work and doing something "normal" would almost be like nothing had ever happened.  We had just moved, however, so going back to work actually meant interviewing for new positions!  Sitting in rooms full of people asking me to tell them about my family meant I had to figure out what to say without panicking!  Not an easy feat.  Every time I thought that I had my stuff all together and was ready, I fell apart. 

Finally after the 3rd or 4th time this happened, Tim pointed out to me that maybe I shouldn’t be focusing so intensely on going back to work.  Maybe I would go back later, or maybe I wouldn’t go back at all.  He suggested a break to think about it a little longer.  (Note that I did not realize this myself- he stepped in to stop the crazy- that is the grace of marriage right there.)

Stepping back eventually led to this blog and the initial jump into homeschool not long after that.  From there I've built this place into a community where I genuinely love to spend time.  Without redirecting my focus to my own family and to this space, everything in my life today would be different.  Not necessarily better or worse, just different.  For me, Kenna’s death was an opportunity to reevaluate my own vocation as mother and also my career and personal path/goals.

For me, processing usually (eventually) involves a lot of prayer.  Sometimes I try to do the processing without the prayer, but that never seems to work out very well and I always end up back where I should have started - in prayer.


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Perhaps, because of the great amount of prayer that Siena's life was covered in, coming back to life after her death was much different than after Kenna's.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write about her as much as I could and I wanted to talk about infant loss with anyone who would listen.  I was ready to jump in with two feet and I was ready when opportunities presented themselves.  I owe that to the graces and blessings of that come from prayer.

We had to make a lot of changes to the way that we did school at home during the months of Siena's life and those following her death; those changes stuck around for quite some time.  I was surprised that while I was significantly calmer in the immediate aftermath of Siena’s death, it took me much longer to even begin to regain my confidence and composure.  Truth be told, I’ve really only started to feel remotely stable in the last couple of months.  I've spent those months reflecting on how to make the transition to our typical homeschool schedule (year round and with a Montessori flair), and just now we are finally doing it. 

As you return to your new normal, process your experience both individually, with your spouse and also with any children who are old enough to need some decompression. I won't suggest too specifically what is the best way to do this, but think about how your family generally communicates.  Regular family meetings, dinner time conversation, hiking together?  What ever way your family is used to connecting is probably the best place to start. 

Make an effort to create  safe space to talk about your experience.  This can be really hard with kids, who always seem to find the rawest ways to talk through their struggles.  Be patient and remember that they are not trying to upset you, they just need their thoughts heard.  Shortly after Tomas was born, I was opening a congratulatory card that had come in the mail.  Logan asked me what it was and I told him.  His response, "Is that because Tomas lived so long now?"

His question was like an arrow straight to my heart and my throat all at the same time.

Yet, at it's heart what Logan was really saying to me is that he remembers Siena too.  He might have been only five at the time he asked the question...only four when she died....but he remembers her and she is important to him.  He is looking to frame his life experiences around hers.

Just imagine that for a minute.  However difficult it is for me to process our experiences with 35 years of life experience, how can he do it alone at only 5?!?!

Children need the reassurances of their parents when it comes to integrating their experiences into their world view.  They also may need some guidance so you don't find out years down the road that they are upset about something you could have done something about, but now can't.

No two journeys are the same.  For each family, the crisis, or instigating moment, is different.  The battle varies and the clean up is unpredictable.  In order to effectively homeschool through just about anything, you have to emphasize the through.  No matter how long it takes- you have to live the experience, make memories while you can, change what you must, and finally you have to reflect on how things are going to be different now and boldly step out into the next chapter.

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This post is the final in a series on my experiences homeschooling during tough times.  Click on the image above to start at the first post.  My great hope is to take this series and turn it into an ebook for you, if you would like to be notified when that happens be sure to sign up for our email list in the right sidebar.

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