Today’s guest contributor, Tyler from Kids Love Board Games, shares tips on how his family was able to continue to homeschool during a relocation.
About a year ago, due to some family turmoil, we embarked on a cross country relocation. During the move, our housing was in flux for around 4 months. First in an extended stay motel, then with relatives for a month, followed by the family cramming into a short term rental.
Throughout this process, homeschooling was a real challenge. So many of the educational tools we used to homeschool were packed away in a pod. We re-evaluated how to homeschool successfully while the rest of our lives were completely unsettled.
Though we had plenty of challenges, we also learned a ton, and we are more effective homeschoolers because we homeschooled while moving. These are the tips that helped us.
Tips for How to Homeschool During a Relocation
The first thing we realized is there was no way homeschool could look like it had when we were settled in our house. The nice routine we had established that everyone was comfortable with just wouldn’t work with limited space, limited resources, and the added stress of moving.
One of the greatest things about homeschooling is how flexible it is. You can take a day, or a week, or even a month off and know that your kids aren’t ‘falling behind’.
Give yourself a pass if homeschooling doesn’t look as ‘shiny’ during the move, I can guarantee your kids are still learning new things from the moving process.
Focus on Attainable Goals
After we accepted realistic expectations for the duration of the move, the next thing that helped us (immensely!) was setting some attainable goals for our homeschooling during the relocation.
This helped us in two ways:
- It gave us something to strive for, and
- It allowed us to have some ‘wins’ during the moving process we felt good about.
When you’re setting these goals, do what works for you. Maybe you’re the type who loves to write out detailed S.M.A.R.T goals, great! We did this less formally. My wife and I just sat down and discussed what we should focus on during the move. For us the goals were:
- Make sure to keep learning fun
- Be conscious and understanding of the extra stress my wife and I, as well as the kids were experiencing
- Look for, and accept, learning opportunities that arose from the moving process
Let Your Kids Pick a Topic to Study
Something that is easy to overlook with kids is how stressful new situations/changes are to them.
Our kids have an amazing ability to take changes in stride, but it weighs heavily on their ability to focus and communicate. This was very apparent in our early homeschool endeavors while moving. They just didn’t have any ability to focus on things that weren’t super engaging to them.
To counter this, we put them more in the driver seat of their studies. Medieval times was an obsession of theirs during this time. So we supported their learning by focusing their studies on Medieval times. This allowed them to learn about something very engaging!
Try Out Gameschooling
To level-set, gameschooling is homeschooling with games. For us, this typically means board and card games. We love gameschooling and it is usually part of our homeschool day. We really amped up the gameschooling while in our various stages of moving.
Using board games as a teaching tool is great because in the kids’ eyes they are just having fun when really they are learning a multitude of things. One challenge of traveling with board games is finding the right size and style of board games that can be played anywhere.
If you’re facing a relocation or just looking for some entertainment for future travels, travel board games are great choices.
There has been a proliferation of new kids board games developed in the last 10 years. The combination of tabletop gaming seeing renewed popularity combined with Kickstarter has allowed for tons of great games to be published. What this means for you is that there is definitely a board game out there will help with your homeschooling (particularly in difficult times!).
Use Your Surroundings as Teaching Tools
Another way to help kids stay engaged and learning during a relocation is to stop and explore during your travels. Historical sites, zoos, museums, and anything else you see while driving make awesome learning opportunities for your kids. These places are perfect when you’re in the process of moving and aren’t able to stick to your usual schooling routine.
We allocated a little extra time each day during our move to stop and explore something new. The amount kids can learn from hands-on experiences like these is amazing!
You CAN Homeschool in the Midst of a Relocation!
I hope these tips help you successfully homeschool through your next relocation! I’d love to hear from you in the comments! What are your go-to tips when you face homeschool challenges like a big move?
How to Homeschool in the Midst of the Hard Things Series
This is day 11 of the Homeschooling in the Midst of Hard Things Blog Series. We are so glad you are here! Check out the rest of the series by clicking the banner below.
Tyler blogs at Kids Love Board Games, a blog focused on the benefits of playing family board games, gameschooling, as well as board game recommendations and reviews. Sign up for Kids Love Board Games weekly newsletter and follow Kids Love Board Games on social media.