As if homeschooling doesn’t come with enough challenges of its own, let’s add a cross-country move to the mix! Our family has done it once, and we are about to do it again. We plan to put our house on the market this winter as we gear up for a move from TX to OH/KY (we’ll be on the border so the final destination is still TBD).
As I prepare for the listing, I have to consider how I can continue to teach Emma and still be ready to leave the house at a moment’s notice if the realtor calls during the school day. How can I make our school stuff portable? How can I not ‘lose’ valuable learning time since I can’t school in the evenings because of dance? Where can we go if the library is not open at the time we need to leave?
Bare bones homeschooling…
First things first… I will pack up everything we aren’t currently using. I will take all the books Emma has outgrown or refuses to read (story books not texts) to a used bookstore. Whatever they don’t purchase, I will pass on to a teacher-friend of mine to add to her classroom library. Finally, I will take anything left over to the Goodwill.
After purging our reading shelves, I will focus on our curriculum shelves. Because I have homeschooled through graduation (with my oldest), I have LOTS of curriculum that I’m storing for ‘some day’. But, I don’t need those books any time soon. I will pack these items in multiple tote boxes and move them to the garage.
Finally, I will create a space on our bookshelf for our current curriculum and units. I need to designate one shelf on this bookcase for future 4th grade units of study. I don’t want to pack up anything I plan to use in this current homeschooling year.
At this point, we will be down to the bare essentials for our homeschool needs.
Scheduling around the realtors…
First off, let me say that I have a fantastic realtor who is willing to work with the fact that I homeschool. Therefore, I intend to request no showings before 10AM. This will allow me to get Isaac out the door to school before doing a quick-tidy in the morning. It will also allow me to do morning work and math with Emma before we have to pack up and head out.
For portability, I will purchase a rolling crate. I’ve used one in the past for library books when I homeschooled multiples, but it got worn out and banged up. I am planning purchase a new one so that when I get a call from the realtor that she is on her way with a potential buyer, I can load up what Emma will need for the remainder of the school day. I can toss this in the car, and we can head out. The crate is convenient for carrying texts, binders, library books, and a school box with pencils, glue sticks, etc.
Which leads to the next question… Where will we go?
Most of the time, we will head to the library where we can continue with our lessons. If the library isn’t open, or if it’s lunch time, we’ll head to Starbucks or Panera or Chick-Fil-A where we can grab a bite to eat and enjoy free wi-fi. Emma can watch a video or read a book on her Kindle. Or, we may just choose to take some impromptu field trips. Maybe we’ll head to the science museum for a day. Maybe we’ll visit the art museum. Read a book under a tree at the park with a picnic? Sounds perfect!
My plan is to get through most of our bookwork first thing in the morning so that if the house shows in the afternoon, we don’t have to lug as much around town. But, what if we are working on a project when we get the call? Or, what if I’ve scheduled a project on a day that we have to be gone for an extended time? Well, we’ll have to just work around it. The reality is that we do homeschool so I will plan projects. The other reality is that we homeschool so we can do projects on another day or on the weekend. Or, if it isn’t ‘important’ (because some things are just for fun), we’ll skip them and move on.
The key to successful homeschooling with the house on the market is flexibility and preparation. I try hard to have all lessons planned and printed at least a week in advance. I try hard to have her weekly binder filled on Sunday before I go to bed. If I’m diligent about this, it will be easier to homeschool on the fly. Last time we listed our house during the school year (preparing to move from KY to TX five years ago), I was homeschooling three kiddos. That was a whole lot of juggling, but we did it. This time around, it’s just Emma and me. A much lighter load, for sure, but it still requires planning and preparation.
Tara is currently homeschooling her daughter – 4th grade. She has two older boys whom she homeschooled in previous years. She and her family are currently gearing up for a cross-country move back to the Cincinnati area they left five years ago. She loves reading, crocheting, sewing, and watching movies with her crew. Be sure to visit her blog at This Sweet Life.