If you have been following my blog you will know that we just moved a 24 hour journey away from all of our family and friends. We packed up, sold our home and came to a small island underneath Alaska. We left behind my precious Starbucks coffee, Walmart shopping, Costco warehouse, Superstore PC points and more! I am still grieving the losses. The only store we have here is a Fields, where a pack of 5 pairs of children’s underwear is nearly $20. Where a barbie is $50. A jug of milk is $8. My life has drastically changed!
Moving is not new to me. We moved 22 times when I was growing up so I am well aware of what is involved. However, knowing from a child’s perspective and experiencing it as a parent are very very different. This time I was the one doing all the work! Driving in a car for 3 full days, trying to keep the kids happy on a 7 hour ferry ride, staying in two separate rooms in hotels, being displaced and not having my stuff. It was one of the most stressful experiences of my life thus far and one I am not eager to repeat anytime soon (have I mentioned mom and dad that we may stay on the island forever?????).
I have been asked what homeschooling during a move looked like for our family. I have been a little unsure how to answer this question as the reality is, homeschooling was FAR from my mind during this stage of total upheaval. But I will give you an idea of the timeline of our move and how that impacted our homeschool below. Take a minute and hit the “pin it” button below to share this post with your friends!
Homeschooling During a Move… Mission Impossible?
I homeschooled right up to the week before we were scheduled to leave for our move. At which point, I put away our school books and focused on all the last minute things that had to be done before we left. The movers came and started packing up our house on September 16th, from that day on we had no access to our possessions and were kicked out of our house. Keep that date in mind. We went and stayed with my parents while we finished packing/loading and then cleaning the house. We left on Sunday, Sept. 20th for our trip. We drove all that day and then spent two nights in a hotel visiting family along the way. We drove again on the 22nd all day and arrived at a hotel at 1am to crash (that was SUPER fun as you can imagine!). We drove again on the 23rd for a few hours and got to the coast where we checked into our hotel for one last night on the mainland. The next morning, we got up early and rushed to the ferry terminal on the 24th. The ferry took about 7 hours to cross and at this point, we all had colds (I imagine kids being up all hours of the night in hotels didn’t help).
Once we arrived on the island, we had about an hour and a half drive up to our home, however, there are only 2 ferry’s a week up here and the moving truck wasn’t scheduled to come until the Sunday night ferry. So we checked into a rental home and hunkered down to wait, without a house or possessions, until Monday. On Monday we were so done with staying in hotels that we came and stayed at the house that was only half unloaded. We slept on mattresses on the floor and ordered in food. Teusday, Sept. 29th at 5pm they finished unloading the truck and I finally had a washer/dryer/fridge/stove and hundreds of boxes of my own stuff.
Now, before the move, I had it all planned out. I was going to bring school books and we were going to do school on the road! We were going to do school in hotel rooms and keep the learning train going strong! Once we started this wild trip, there was NO way that was happening. By the time we got to the hotels we were so beat all we could do was crash. We were sick, we were grumpy, we were without all of our stuff. We had no clean clothes half way through, I forgot to pack enough underwear. It was just one thing after another. No, we did not homeschool during our move. We just tried to enjoy the journey.
Once we arrived in our home, I gave myself 6 days to unpack and was a flurry of madness. I started with the schoolroom, determined to get back on track. We started school again the Monday after we moved, on October 5th and have been going strong since. Do I think it is possible to homeschool during a move? Yes! Do I think my children suffered from taking that time off of school? Absolutely not! I think I would have gone absolutely crazy trying to fit school into that madness and to be honest, it would have been detrimental to my children in the process. They would have arrived in our home hating school instead of excited to start in their new home.
For us, it wasn’t practical and it wasn’t the top priority. We took three full weeks off school and I think it was the best decision I made with regards to the move. We are slowly settling back into routine. Our first week was quite literally the worst week I have ever had, read more HERE. But week two was a slight improvement. I am trying to take it one day at a time and we are going at a slower pace, even if that means doing school intermittently all day long, but having the freedom to be spontaneous when something comes up.
Homeschooling during a move: Settling in
So if homeschooling during a move didn’t happen, how are we settling in AFTER? Well, after our week of wanting to give up, I re-evaluated. I realized that a schoolroom is necessary because of the insane amount of stuff we have, and yet I really need to do school upstairs at the table where I can monitor everything at once. So instead of moving everything up, we kept our school room and brought up the workboxes. Now the kids are doing school at the table where I can stay on top of them. I can cook and read a spelling list, I can change a diaper and stop a giggle fest. I brought the crazy to me and it isn’t perfect, but it was a HUGE improvement.
The kids are making friends everywhere they go. I have an open-door policy. ANY child is welcome in our home, in our backyard. We live on a cul-de-sac so the kids are able to go in the cul-de-sac where I can see them and otherwise have kids over. We have gotten involved in every possible thing we hear of. The oldest two are in acrobatic dance, possibly pottery and sports. If I hear of an activity for them, I’m on it. It is completely backwards from my philosophy of not over-committing however I think in our situation it is really important. I want to get us out there in the community as much as possible and supercharge the friend situation for all of us. We are in a very small, isolated community and I am determined to prevent future problems by creating a strong network from the very beginning. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We go outside, we go exploring, we LIVE! I see so much potential and I know that with God’s help, we will grow closer and learn so many new things together.