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Advice for Keeping Up with School During a Move

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We have grown out of our house and will be putting our house on the market and moving in the next 2-3 months.


Do you have any advice for keeping up with school during a move?  I need some very practical help and suggestions.


I don't feel like we can take a tremendous amount of time off, although I know that some time off will be necessary for packing, actually moving our things, etc.  My 5th and 3rd graders are not where I want them to be academically for the year based on my own goals for them, and I want to keep plugging along.


Also, reading hasn't totally clicked with my 1st grader, so I don't want to just call off school for her, even though she's still little.  (I am a big fan of play based learning, for what it's worth...)


I considered doing just the basics: grammar, math, Latin, writing.  But we're already behind where I projected us to be in history and science is practically non-existent right now as it is.


There's part of me that thinks it's absolutely okay to put school work aside for a month or so and just school through the summer.  Yet, there's another part of me that doesn't want us to get any further behind.


Any thoughts or suggestions or wisdom?  Any experience with moving a whole pile of kids will still schooling them? 



[My 12 yo is in a private school this year, so I'm only teaching my 10yo, 8yo, and 7yo. There's also the 11-month-old tornado along for the ride.]


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Why are you "behind already? What will happen to your kids and their learning if you remain "behind" this whole school year? Unless you accounting to an outside umbrella school and actually HAVE to complete curricula or "get caught up" I would drop everything but skills (math, reading, and only the basics of writing). Get the kids involved in the packing and the moving if it helps you, and maybe listen to some Great music or audiobooks while doing the moving.


We are former military, and even after we got out we had three moves in the last 18 months :-( It is OK to drop stuff. Even to drop everything if you need. And it's ok to NOT make it up through the summer. Life happens, and what your kids will see is that you prioritized and rolled with the circumstances without drowning in a pool of stress and worry, or misery trying to get "caught up." Today you are where you are, make a new plan and end destination, factoring in your current circumstances and time, and proceed. With joy and excitement over new prospects as a family. Best wishes to you!

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We've done 3 big moves while homeschooling, two international moves and one halfway across the country move. my best advice, try not to worry about school any more than you have to. Don't set any big learning goals or projects during the move, just keep chugging away on basics like you said.


Make life easy for yourself and use "just do the next thing" type curriculum for this year. That way you aren't trying to plan lessons and move house. I found that even though I usually despise following someone else's lesson plan, it's a life saver when you are too exhausted from moving or other life circumstances to plan lessons.


Get some workbooks or make some with free worksheets online. When the move throws you a curve ball and nothing is going to plan, you can have them pull out their work book and at least keep practicing skills so they don't lose them. Again, in general I don't like worksheets, I prefer hands on lessons, but during a move a stack of worksheets ready to go can be a lifesaver and helped me feel like we were getting some school done during hectic days.


Audiobooks, educational videos and educational video games are all great to have handy as well.

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1.  Agreeing with the others, unless you are having to report in some officially capacity to some organization that requires completion of certain things by a certain time, all you need to do is focus only on the basics during times you are busy.  Seriously, nothing bad will happen.  I promise.

2.  There is honestly no such thing as being behind in science and history in any grade but High School.  Those subjects are fractal and never ending and will always have more you can learn.  Keep it light, do what you can when you can, dump it when there isn't time, and resume when you do have time.  No one can ever learn all of history or all of science.  

3.  Agree with the others, get some worksheets, books, maybe some educational videos that you can pull out for emergencies and only use them during crunch times so they are "special".


Now for more specific practical advice.  You will probably do better if you write up a plan for preparation and stick to it as much as possible.  Also, starting now with decluttering will help.  Possible plan:

  1. Call around to find places you can donate unwanted/unneeded items.  Find out their hours/limitations on what can be donated and when.  Also start gathering boxes.
  2. Pick one room to start decluttering this week.  You are going to focus on just that room.
  3. Commit 30 minutes to decluttering that one room daily.  Set a timer.  Have the kids help if they can or at least watch the youngers.  If at the end of that :30 you can keep going and want to, great.  If not, if life is getting messy and you can't, no worries.  You did your 30 minutes.  Now go do all the other things you need to do.  Pat yourself on the back for getting something done.
  4. For decluttering set up 3 boxes.  Box 1: Keep.  Box 2: Give away/Sell.  Box 3:  Not sure yet.   Keep items that are still needed leave where they are.  Keep items not needed immediately put in the Keep box.  Once the Give away/Sell box is full, take care of those items as soon as possible.  Donate or sell on Craig's List or whatever your plan (have that plan in place by the end of this week).  Unless you are planning on having a garage sale...  If so that will change the plan.  Do not let the Not Sure Yet box get bigger than the other two boxes.  Also have a trash can right next to you for tossing items quickly.  Move quickly.  Don't overthink it.  The Not Sure Yet box can be reviewed again when it is closer to moving.  
  5. Ask your kids to come up with their own plans for decluttering.  Help them work :15 - :30 minutes each day on their own stuff.  Give them agency in this so they feel more in control.  It can sometimes be less stressful for them that way and they may be a big help.
  6. Just focus on basic decluttering for now.  A bit each day.  Once you are closer to putting the house on the market, THEN work more on the packing side of things.
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I know it feels to you like you are behind where your kids are this year based on your goals, but in the scope of their entire education it's not super important.  We have moved in late October and started school Nov 1 but still ended in late May.  (great year by the way)  We have moved mid March with only a month warning.  Not ideal situation ever!  We have moved September and started school in October.  Life happens.  My advice:  soon as you start packing, pack up school.  Kids deal with change differently.  Kids handle stress differently.  I tried doing school.  I tried doing just the major stuff.  I tried just packing it all up and finishing later.  Packing it all up and finishing later was the most successful decision.  Which means you could pack up a little later than just you packing.  Put away school and put the kids to packing with you !!  Time it so you aren't sitting around with nothing to do for a week b/c everything is packed lol.    I've been there and wanted to have grander plans than life was ever going to allow.  Your kids aren't behind at their ages.  Don't worry about the bar.  Stop trying to jump for it.  Kids will get there eventually at their own pace.  You seriously need to focus on the crazy life you are about to go through.  Remember divorce/death/moving are the top stresses in life.  Your kids haven't experienced this before correct?  You need the downtime to get through it without everyone melting down.  hope your move goes well

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We've schooled through three moves now and have two more coming up this year. I pare things down to the bare minimum--math and reading (magazines, fiction and non-fiction). That's it. Everything else can wait until we get to our destination. Between packing everyone's bags, coordinating the movers, shipping cars, making reservations, staying in temp quarters, unpacking, restocking the fridge/pantry etc. etc. I need my peeps to be mostly independent. Sending them off to read quietly is just perfect.

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We are moving in the next couple months too. It's our first move since having kids so I don't have any advice but plenty of sympathy.


Our realtor (also a homeschooler) advised getting a storage unit and moving all non-necessities early. Stuff like holiday decorations, seasonal toys like the trampoline, extra furniture, ect. Not only is it helping the actual move day but its a huge part of staging as well.


Other than that I'm just trying to plug away faithfully NOW while I can. And hoping it sells fast so we dont have to live weeks "show ready".


I'm guessing I'll have to take at least 2 weeks off, one to pack and one to unpack. It's my kids first move so I dont want to overwhelm them with trying to adjust and do school on top of it all.

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There's part of me that thinks it's absolutely okay to put school work aside for a month or so and just school through the summer



This is the part of you that you should be listening to.


There are 365 days in a year. There's nothing magical or special about September through June. Children learn just as well in July and August. Nothing will change on September 1, either. Just do the move. Enjoy learning about your new home with field trips and whatnot.


Your children are still so young that there's no possible way you can ruin their education by logically being relaxed over the next few months.

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We have been transferred multiple times since we started homeschooling. We moved again this summer and moved into a rental that we had planned on living in for at least a yr while we figured out where we wanted to buy. Unfortunately, the house had so many problems that we went ahead and bought and just moved into our new house in Dec (so 2 moves within 5 months). For our recent move, we just extended our Christmas vacation for the entire month of Dec and that way we only got behind 2 weeks in our school schedule.


My advice is different from the other posters. Putting your house on the market in March or April and planning on moving after your house sells can translate to a quick sell/purchase or months of your house sitting on the market. I would work on the weekends and evening on staging the house for the market. Then, I would work gradually on packing/storage for items that you don't need access to, but I wouldn't totally change my daily life unless you live in a housing market where listing means going under contract in days.


With a late spring listing, you can try to work closings and moving around school. If you get a contract quickly, you could try to push closing to late May/June and try to finish the school yr prior to closing. If you don't go to contract quickly, I would take the opposite approach and just keep schooling through the summer so that if you go to closing in the fall you can take your break then and focus on moving.


For showings, I buy several laundry baskets for throwing toys and other things in that are lying around for quick tidy up. I use one for throwing our school books in and then we go to the library, park.....depends on the day and the weather.


If possible, I would also try to control showing times. I would try to stipulate no morning showings (no showings before 12) so that you can tell the kids that between 8-11 every day that school is your top priority. Then create a routine for lunch, quick cleaning, etc. Make sure the older kids are getting up, making beds, tidying their rooms as soon as they get up. Train the older 2 to do simply showing tricks like grabbing a towel and wiping down bathroom counters/sinks, neatening towels, etc that make the house look clean without requiring the time for deep cleaning, etc. Fwiw, I find it less stressful staying on top of school and keeping our routine as normal as possible. For me personally, dropping school and living in limbo is more stressful.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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