Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thank god we homeschool.

Reason #387 homeschooling rocks: When life happens, your family can stay together. A week ago, my husband went to the hospital in the tiny northern town he was working near. He felt flu-ish & wasn't recovering from it. Test results looked odd so he was flown home, into a major hospital in the nearby city. All of a sudden our lives were flipped upside down: my young, healthy, tough, hardworking husband had a condition that he would die from, soon, if he did not have a life saving & life changing surgery. It was instantly clear how serious it was; over the past week, he repeatedly lost his heart beat & required resuscitation.

I kept thinking: thank god we homeschool. The kids were at home with me, instead of getting ready to start the school year with the rest of the province. They could visit their dad in the hospital as much as we needed them to. They had the space to act out on their confusion & their worry. We could stay up late talking about what was going on, reading online to start the steep trek up the learning curve of what was happening to my husband. There were no activities that couldn't be abandoned & no worry about meeting any external expectations of where they should be.

Today, the surgery has happened & we're all home together again, looking at a month of recovery time. The boys will be able to spend all that time with their dad, who they came so close to losing. This is a life change that is shocking and I am so grateful that our kids can be with us while we all process what's happened, figuring out how we are going to live with the change.

A friend of ours told us about SARA, the process of emotion people experience during a serious illness. It stands for Sadness, Anger, Resentment & Acceptance. I'm already seeing signs of these stages in each of our kids. I wonder how they'd fare if we couldn't help them as we noticed these emotions in them. How would someone who doesn't know & love my 4 year old respond to his raging?

Homeschooling works so, so well for our family- for our wonky schedules that are everything but 9-5, for days off work that we can enjoy together as a family, for late nights stargazing thanks to the fact that we have no need to be up early the next day. And now, more than anything else, for the chance to be together as a family of 5 when we came so very close to never being that again.


  1. I had no idea this was going on, Arie. I'm so glad the surgery went well. I agree with you completely about homeschooling. I don't know how we could have coped last year with Steve in hospital and/or extremely ill for all of April, June & July last year if the kids had been in school. Just the thought of my extremely sensitive eldest trying to cope with tests while his dad was so sick is horrible.

  2. This is just one of the reasons we homeschool too.
    time & space to just be is a sacred space :)