After Tara’s Mom died I counted up the number of funerals I’ve been involved in over the past 13 years (I count from then because that’s when my Dad died), I stopped at 10. Last week another high school friend told me her Dad had died, and it just reinforced the need to write this post. It can be hard homeschooling through a death in the family.
I have homeschooled through the death of 2 grandparents, a step-father, a friend who was like a brother to me, death of friend’s parents, death of friend’s children, and they all have unique needs. As I type this up I just realized most of this comes in the last 5 years. That’s an even scarier thought.
Make a schedule
You will get nothing done if you don’t have a schedule. I do not mean from 8:00-8:30 I will do this. What I’m thinking of is probably more of a to-do list.
I could not have gotten anything done this past month without my Illuminations schedule (affiliate link). I printed out what needed to be done and worked my way down the checklist.
Because of Illuminations I did not have to think in the midst of grief. I just went down the page and completed the next box, and then the next box. That’s all I did.
Know when to throw the schedule out
You will not get everything done on your schedule. Planning funerals take a lot of meetings. There’s the meeting with the funeral home, the meeting with the church or the pastor, there’s picking up out of town family from the airport. It takes a lot of driving around.
Get books on tape, or watch Magic School Bus videos, you will need something to keep your kids busy as you drive from place to place and as they wait for meetings to be done.
The schedule you made earlier will help you know where to pick up and what you need to finish.
Know when to stop school all together
Back when Sam was dying of cancer there were a few times I got phone calls from Tara along the lines of “I need help now.” School was done for the day, I didn’t worry about it, and that was okay. It all worked out.
Know when to ask for help and when to accept it
There are a lot of details to plan for a funeral. It’s like planning a wedding but you have less than a week to do it. People are upset and emotional and they will say things they don’t mean. Remember that. A few quick words of advice:
- Accept all offers of help, people want to show they’re love for you, and they want to do something. Let them. When I traveled to Colorado for my Grandma’s funeral the kids stayed with 4 different people because that many people wanted to help, and that’s how the schedule worked out.
- Write down what needs to be done, and when. When someone calls and asks what they can do look at your list and name some of the tasks there, other homeschooling Moms often want to help but can’t do the task, but they can watch your kids while you do it. That is a HUGE help.
- Accept offers of meals.
- Remember everyone grieves differently, and processes grief differently. Some people won’t cry for weeks because it hasn’t hit them. Others will fall apart at random things. There are some movies I still can’t watch almost 13 years after my Dad died.
- Assume the best of those you love. They probably did not mean what they said to be hurtful.
- Remember the Ring Theory, you cannot complain to someone closer in to the circle than you. Find another person to vent your frustration and hurt to, don’t heap more pain on that person.
- It will get better. It takes time, but it gets better.
On to more cheerful things, so I don’t end this post on a total downer.
We had a unique week this week. It all started on Monday when Batman decided to help by making hot cider for us, then forgot about it and it all boiled away and our house was full of smoke. So we set up a tent outside and completed the rest of school outside that day.
Most of Tuesday morning was spent with me laying on the couch blinking at the world as the pressure front had me so dizzy I couldn’t move. Thankfully the kids are old enough to complete good portions of their schoolwork without my active participation, they just don’t like to. So they completed a history, math, and science while I blinked at the world. That afternoon the boys had Chess club where they happily played strategy games with other kids.
We did something on Wednesday…. Oh yeah, we had successful science experiments finally! Thursday is Bible study for me in the morning followed by more science experiments, and cleaning, so much cleaning from the science experiments. And I spent Thursday night working on some fun projects I’ve got planned.
As I might have mentioned once or twice in the earlier paragraphs we finally had success with science this week. After weeks of projects not going quite right we finally had success. I’ve been doing a lot of rereading my post on what to do when science doesn’t go right to encourage myself. It also helped us catch up on our CKE Earth and Space (affiliate link) activities.
In general bits of fun news. I took Superman out for lunch and we had a fun time, he played with photo editting on my phone with silly captions. We had new friends join us for gaming, who also happen to be a homeschooling family that we saw at the boys’ chess club, that was fun. Princess is having lots of fun in her dance class, and being silly there. The kids have rediscovered the fun of playing in the wagon. Mac had decided to take up chess (though how he thinks he’ll move the pieces with his paws, I don’t know), and I saw a possum in our backyard eating Mac’s food.
I’m gonna link up over at Homegrown Learners