Flexibility has always been in my 'Top Ten Benefits of Homeschooling' list. This week it became abundantly clear why that is.
Friday my father was taken to the emergency room with what turned out to be multiple strokes. I spent most of the next week going to the hospital, updating family and friends via phone and Facebook and trying to keep things relatively normal at home. The freak October snowstorm that brought us nine inches of wet, heavy snow did little to make that an easy task.
On Saturday, while I was trapped at home watching the snow come down, I put together a plan for the next week. I knew I would probably need to be leaving the boys at home from time to time with my husband as an indirect supervisor of their work. They are old enough to be able to do a great deal of their work on their own, as long as an adult is in the house. My husband's working from home allows him to physically be in the house, but not necessarily able to fully supervise everything they are doing. With that in mind, I tried to work out a plan that was mostly independent work this week.
One of the educational tools I have come to rely on in times like these is our home and public library documentary supply. This week we borrowed the first DVD of the History Channel's 2005 series, The Presidents. We counted that time towards our American history studies. This week was also the kick-off for our marine biology unit in science. I pulled our Planet Earth DVDs from the shelf and the boys watched the portion called Shallow Seas. The backbone of our unit is based on the book Marine Science, Book 2, put out by Dandy Lion Publications. It focuses on the kelp forest ecosystem which is nicely covered in that Planet Earth DVD. We will also watch another episode of The States series for geography tomorrow.
In a good week, when life cooperates, we rarely use the television as instructor. But having this back-up material ready to go made a bad week much more manageable. I know I could have just scrapped the whole week of schooling and had the time I needed to take care of family matters. However, I think keeping the boys busy gave me one less thing to add to my worries.
For now, my dad is stable and in an excellent rehabilitation facility. Knowing I have flexibility to make our schedule work when I need to help, makes dealing with the future much less daunting.