Kids, do you know what “triage” means?

It’s never a good sign when you realize that you’re more than halfway through the school year, but you’ve somehow gone off the rails. And you did so awhile back without noticing. Today is February 10, we only have about four months of school left, and I’m finally accepting that we are very behind. As in, “we may be doing school over the summer” behind.

There’s a lot of things to like about homeschooling: making your own hours, curriculum, lesson plans, assignments, projects, areas of study, etc. But there’s also a lot that I wasn’t prepared for when I dove in three years ago: being responsible for putting in the hours, making your own curriculum, lesson plans, assignments, projects and areas of study.

Or the occasions you’re sick and realize there’s no sub coming in to teach.

Or the heat breaks and you need a plumber for several hours, banging away in the basement beneath the kitchen table where you work, the dog barking incessentaly.

Or you have appointments you can only make during school hours.

Or your spouse decides to work from home. And you live in about 1,500 square feet.

Worse yet, is being tired with tired kids in a cozy house on a gray and cold winter day with a comfortable space heater facing couch covered with blankets and a tiny dog. And then you have a series of these days, which are so good and full of time spent together snuggling, laughing, and loving instead of algebra-induced screams or tears.

It’s been a rough winter. We’re facing the fact that our tiny house needs significant repairs that we’re not quite financially prepared to deal with. Our 9 year old Golden died a little over a month ago and we’re still seeing her everywhere in the house like a spirit. And I’m facing some unexpected health problems that some days leave me feeling pretty down.

So I guess I didn’t appreciate that the school-life balance is very hard to keep balanced when school and life happen in the same four walls. Because when things are good, things are very very good. But when things aren’t good? The walls start to close in.

Tomorrow’s another day though. There is that.

Published by Karina Coombs

Freelance writer

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