We officially started school on September 8th with Ambleside Online Year 1 Curriculum. For most of August, however, we did a bit of school with their incredible Crisis help page. I can’t say enough good things about this free resource. The Crisis help page is designed for people who have been either displaced from their home and don’t have many materials for school or who lost their belongings somehow.
I don’t think this resource is limited to people in a crisis. It would also be incredible for missionaries, use while moving, or those with limited income to still be able to implement homeschooling.
Like all of the Ambleside resources, it is completely free on their website and follows the Charlotte Mason philosophy. An Internet connection would be necessary to fully use this resource. However, we downloaded a lot of things as PDFs so we wouldn’t have to be online to use them. We find we really enjoy having school outside as much as we can so we make things mobile whenever possible.
This was also a good way for us to ease into homeschooling a bit. We found it also helped to bring our family closer to each other. My husband and I also enjoyed that it gave us something else to think and talk about than our struggles. When in crisis, it can feel like it consumes all your time, energy and thoughts. Taking the time to do school and having discussions over what we studied was an incredible escape from our struggles.
This crisis page has links to free online books, suggestions for math, copywork, writing & spelling games, and all the other “basic” school subjects. Art and composure studies are included, as well as free resources and ideas for handicrafts. The hymn, folksong and Bible memorization & readings selected are comforting, encouraging and uplifting to families in times of struggle. I plan to encourage other homeschooling Mama friends to check out this page during times of medical scares, death of a loved one, or any other time a family is struggling. The Ambleside Advisory Committee included comforting and familiar stories & poems as well.
Also included in this resource is a guide for how to actually “get school done” when in crisis with a sample schedule. I think it’s easy to think school has to look a certain way when we are struggling, stressed and busy. When our brains are stuck in fight or flight mode, making decisions and scheduling can be extremely difficult.
Something that’s been important for me to remember is that it’s ok if school doesn’t look the way I pictured it would when we first decided to homeschool. We have been in crisis, major transition and overly stressed. It is totally acceptable for us to have shorter school days, take a few days off and not have the picture- perfect schedule. It was important for us to provide some consistency and learning and this resource was incredible for all of us.
Even though we’re moved in, we’re still grieving the loss of our home and belongings, still trying to process the experience and very much in transition with attempting to relocate, find a long-term place to live and dealing with my ongoing health issues. It’s going to be quite sometime before school looks the way we want it to.
Our plan is to follow the Ambleside Year 1 curriculum as much as possible using ShillerMath for our Math curriculum, The Good and the Beautiful for spelling & language arts, Handwriting Without Tears for writing, and The Thinking Tree workbooks for some supplemental work. However, when (if) we move, we’ll probably come back to this page and use more of these resources. We will take our memory verses from here to help ourselves grow and be encouraged in the Lord as we rebuild. I will also come back to this page for many years to come for the handicrafts, free books and stories, and activities that would be easy to do in the car if we ever get to go mobile.
I am unbelievably grateful for this resource. During the hurricanes, I kept wishing I could reach out to every homeschool Mama and give her the website. Schooling during a crisis, limited income or transition is possible with the right support and resources, the Ambleside Online Crisis Help page is a resource I think every homeschooling family should keep in the back of their mind.
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