Thursday, April 12, 2012

Secular Thursday: Homeschooling and Homelessness

First off, I have to say we're lucky. While technically, we are homeless, we have always had a roof over our heads and a place to sleep at night, clothes on our backs, and food in our bellies. We could have ended up a lot worse, but family has been helping us out a lot. Regardless, it has been a very challenging experience.

Homeschooling in itself isn't an easy task, but when all of your things are gone, you have to get creative. When your initial classroom no longer exists and you were a Montessori and Classical homeschooler, it's very much overwhelming. You suddenly realize your life has become a bubble. A very large balloon, stretched so far out and so thin you are afraid you're going to pop.

Now, again I say, my family has been lucky. We've had a place to sit and do our studies when we can. We haven't had to get rid of our laptops, and all of the people we have stayed with have had internet. I have grade-level specific educational programs that I downloaded onto my laptop for the kids to use. On top of that we have our "mobile" resources.

One thing we learned while being homeless and hopping from place to place was to always have everything you need at hand. EVERYTHING. Our schooling currently revolves around things shoved in canvas shopping bags and large diaper boxes.

Workbooks and supplies are carried around and easily found in a green shopping bag that I bought at Walmart for about $3. Along with the books, it has pens, pencils, rulers, crayons, markers, erasers...etc. I also bought, for $.50, a little handled box to carry the tiny supplies when in use.
Our reference books are currently stored in two large diaper boxes. Having two kids in diapers has had the benefit of us being able to reuse the large boxes for storage. It's a plus that those boxes have little hand holes for you to stick your fingers through. It makes transporting them around easier.

For books we don't have, we have used three addresses we have stayed at to get three different library memberships in three different towns. I keep a note in my planner on when they are due and to what library so that we don't acquire any late fees, and we carry those library books in a canvas shopping bag that was given to us for that purpose.

It has been a blessing to be able to have all of the tools necessary to continue our schooling. Even if we didn't have our laptops, we have made due with the books we do have. Sure, we don't get to do elaborate projects like we used to, but we also use the great outdoors as our classroom. Due to the ridiculous climate changes, we've had an unseasonable warm winter and hot spring. We've been able to go outside and due nature studies and even other lessons where we can utilize what's outside.

It doesn't matter whether one has an actual building as a home or not. Homeschooling starts at home; home is definitely where your heart is. My heart lies within my kids.


  1. Thanks for this post! I am very much committed to the idea of homeschooling my son, he will be kindergarten age this fall. Our housing situation is very unstable too. I have no idea where we will be living come September. Thanks for your candor and I commend you on your commitment to your kids' education. This time you spend together with them is so valuable and I think it will actually make them feel much more secure and happy during this uncertain time in their lives.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment. Having my kids at home for their learnings has truly been a positive thing for them. If they had been placed into the public school system, they would have already had to switch schools at least three times within the past eight months. Their education has been very little effected by the multiple moves.

    I wish you luck on your homeschooling endeavors. It's a challenge, and I know sometimes I just wanted to pull my hair out, but it's totally worht it. :)