Fifteen years in the making, it is finally time for a few home improvements. As with most things in life, these home improvements didn’t ask if it was a convenient time to rip apart half of our house or rearrange rooms. The improvements came in God’s timing. What’s a homeschooling family to do when learning needs to take a necessary backseat to household maintenance and repair?
After many years of praying, waiting, saving, and planning, we are finally able to start making some improvements to our home. Amidst all the craziness, this mama has learned a few valuable lessons.
This might not be the most convenient time to get things done, but they are getting done!! I am completely humbled, thankful, and excited the Lord is opening doors and allowing us to improve our home. It is definitely needed.
My first reaction to home improvements is always excitement. Then, doubt. (Should we be doing this right now? Is this the best way to spend our money?) Finally, resignation and determination. Through all the chaos, I need to be in constant prayer, allowing the Lord to lead our home in all areas. It might seem silly to ask God about paint colors, but why not? God knows what’s best.
I also want to be praying about homeschooling amidst the mess. I ask for patience, time management, wisdom, and even more patience.
In preparation, there are a few things to consider. Will we need to leave the house during construction? Will we be confined to certain rooms of the house? Will there be access to a restroom from the hallway? (An odd consideration, but true!) Where will the furniture be moved during the remodel?
Part of our upcoming project will entail re-flooring of our kitchen. This means I will not be able to cook using my ovens or stove for two days. How is my family going to eat? Where will we have our meals? What about snacks?
Finally, where are we going to homeschool? Will we homeschool? Will the noise bother the kids? How will I access our supplies, materials and books?
Know Your Limits
It never hurts to be prepared, but we also need to be realistic. I cannot possibly do everything, nor be in all places at once. It helps to recognize my limits and act accordingly. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s also okay to admit you can’t do something.
Be Open to Change
My first instinct is to always ‘stick with the plan’. I want to keep things in motion, no matter the obstacles standing in the way. In reality that isn’t always possible. I need to be open and willing to change our routine.
This project is only supposed to take a little over one week and will require little of our help. (Thank you, Lord!) But, I need to be open to the fact it might not happen that way. I have a general plan of where we can do our schooling, but this too might need to change. Of course, the Lord might tell me to put a hold on everything and just enjoy the process.
For projects which take longer, weeks or months even, putting a hold on learning is not always possible. Therefore, we also need to be willing to change our day-to-day routines; sometimes often, in order to accommodate projects.
Let the Kids Help
Home improvements are great learning opportunities. Give the kids an opportunity to feel as much a part of the project as possible. When they are invested, not only will they help (instead of grumble), they might also take better care of the newly finished rooms knowing how much work was put into the project.
The Greater Good
Again, I understand the desire to keep to a routine. We want to finish our year in the time planned and not miss any material. Try to think of the greater good. Is getting a week of schoolwork done more important than removing that moldy linoleum? Won’t putting in that new insolation help your family save on bills, thus giving you more money for field trips and school supplies?
Focus on the greater good and move in that direction. The children will learn the importance of prioritizing life, and that is a great life lesson.
Keep the Goal in Mind
Construction alone can be chaotic. Homeschooling through construction borders on madness. In order to remain sane, keep the goal in mind. Sure you’re crafting supplies might be spread all over the bedroom floor and the kids haven’t done an arithmetic worksheet in over four days. But, once the room is done, it will be better than ever. Life will be more organized, cleaner, nicer to look at, and more efficient. A little madness is worth the coming joy.
Homeschooling is always an adventure. Home improvement is always exciting. But, what’s a parent to do when you have both going at the same time? Take a deep breath, pray, plan, and roll with the punches. Then, share your pictures with us so we can ogle over them!
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1
🔔Time to Chime In: Have you ever homeschooled through construction? Share your tips for living through the madness.