Homeschooling in the midst of chaos

It’s been chaotic around here the last couple of months (see prior post).  But to be honest, it seems chaotic around here fairly often.

With the flood and the ongoing clean-up and repairs, it was an easy decision to cancel school for the first week.  It’s not like we could hear each other over the fans that were drying out all the water. Or move around with all the furniture pushed into the corners away from the wet spots.

It was a more difficult decision to get back to our work the following week.  The fans were gone, but so was the floor.  Obviously, the flooring does not play a pivotal role in our school work, but we did need make some adjustments.  I do quite a bit of hands-on learning with my younger two.  And the concrete is not a good place to sit and work on puzzles or play with math manipulatives.  Sending two little boys who are finished for the day to their room to play while their older siblings finish up is not a good idea when only half of the room has carpet.  But sending them outside to play when they are going to be tracking all sorts of stuff in isn’t much better.  We thrive on routine around here. (Okay, mostly we I just don’t handle it well when something messes with our my routine.)

While there were things to work around in order to accomplish school work, I realized that there also wasn’t much else for them to do besides school work.  I had confiscated the Legos after the flood, because they were just too much to handle.  (Have you ever stepped on a Lego on concrete?)  Most of their other toys are things they play with on the floor, too.  And I certainly wasn’t going to let them watch videos or play on the computer all day.  So we got back to school work.  They spread their puzzles and math blocks and other things out all over the table.  They are learning to keep them contained to one area so that everyone has room to work at the table.  Matthew and Maggie are learning to deal with the distractions.  They are finding a new routine.

The hardest thing for me has been trying to keep from being distracted by all the chaos.  It’s really hard when it is visibly in front of me at all times.  I can focus on a lesson, but when it’s over, I start thinking about the floor.  Initially I would look online to see how much vinyl flooring and carpet cost, what’s available, do they install?  Lately it’s been more along the lines of thinking if we did this instead of that, or if we installed this ourselves then maybe we could make do with what the insurance paid without; but then if we do this, then there is this problem and if we do that, we can’t do this, etc.  And before I know it, I’ve wasted half the morning trying to figure out the same problem that I wasted yesterday morning on.  It’s become a part of our everyday chaos.

The everyday chaos in some ways is harder to deal with because it is so EVERY day.  You can’t cancel school because the toilet overflowed (again).  But you still have to clean up the mess.  And I have to find the balance between dealing with the interruptions that are part of life and trying not to let them consume my life.

How do you deal with the daily chaos in your life?

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