Handling Your Homeschool During a Natural Disaster

Wildfires burning across the West Coast, the derecho tearing up the Midwest, and the one-two punch of Hurricanes Marco and Laura in the Gulf of Mexico bring the question to mind, how do you homeschool in the middle of a natural disaster?

Give Yourself Grace

First of all, don’t expect more from yourself than from the traditional schools. For instance, it’s a running joke that homeschoolers don’t get snow days, but don’t feel like you have to keep up with homeschooling in the aftermath of a natural disaster. 

However, if you CAN homeschool and you feel like it would bring you a sense of peace, then go ahead. My family has homeschooled in the aftermath of ice storms and hurricanes. We’ve even homeschooled through major family illnesses simply because the sense of routine kept us grounded. 

Do what’s best for your family.  If you’re unsure about what to do, the CDC has guidelines for helping your child cope with disaster.

Preparing Your Homeschool for a Natural Disaster

You can use disaster preparation as a part of your homeschool. Involve your children in creating a plan, preparing emergency kits, and learning about natural disasters that may strike your area. For example, involving your children in preparation may lessen their anxiety when faced with the real thing. Remind them of the plan you created and reassure them as you follow the steps of your family’s plan.

What if the Disaster Strikes during a Natural Disaster?

If you need to evacuate and you live in a state, like North Carolina, that requires you to keep records for your homeschool, take your records with you. If you have hard copies, put them with your important paperwork. Some experts recommend keeping your records in a safe deposit box. Scan the documents or at least take pictures so you have a record of those documents if you have time.  Back up files, if you store your information digitally,

Pack up your curriculum and take it with you if you have the space. If it can’t go with you, try to put it in a safe place. Also, if you are the lead teacher or homeschool administrator, make sure another adult in your family, is aware of where to find the curriculum, back up files, transcripts, or any other information relevant to your homeschool.

How do you recover if the worst happens to your home and you weren’t able to keep your curriculum safe? Curriculum can be expensive to replace and starting over is daunting.  HSLDA has a Compassion Disaster Relief Grant. Grants are for families whose homes have been physically damaged in a natural disaster. Funds are limited to $500.

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