Our family has a really big life change coming in the next month or so. A big move. We have sold the home we have lived in since my daughter was one (she turns 10 soon), and are relocating to the complete other side of town. We are leaving the familiar and entering an exciting new adventure.
We are grateful to have this opportunity, and that it is still within driving distance of friends (not a long distance trip kind of driving distance, but “Let’s meet our friends in town for lunch and a museum visit!” kind of driving distance…or “I’ll meet you halfway so that Suzy can come spend the night!” kind of driving distance), yet provides an amazing opportunity for our family business and for us to have space for Grandma to live on the property with us.
Needless to say, we are very excited about all of the new opportunities that await us.
With the exception of the packing.
Yep, there’s that. And as hard as I try to wish it away, it’s not going to happen.
So I must plan…and pack…smart, not hard. Homeschool moms have a unique challenge when it comes to planning for a move, especially when the family will be living in temporary housing while in route to their permanent location. Which is the case for us. We will be renting a house for the next nine months or so while my husband builds ours, which means I am potentially finishing our school year in boxes (depending on our actual move date) and beginning it while still not permanently settled.
So…for all you moms out there that are dealing with this exact “opportunity” (doesn’t that sound better than “problem” or “issue”?), I’m going to let you in on my plan of attack.
1. Map it all out.
Here’s an example….once we have a concrete move date, I will know how many weeks of school we have left. Those items need to be where I can get my hands on them easily. Then…how long will it take you to unpack? This answer is different for every family.
During this process, is there any school that has to occur to keep you on schedule with your state’s accountability system? I am blessed to be in Texas, for many reasons, but especially for the fact that Texas does not require any reporting to the state. So for my move, it’s all up to what I’m willing to let go and what is non-negotiable.
And then finally, if you are in temporary housing…will you be schooling through your entire time there? If not, will you still be there when school starts back up for your kids? The answers to these questions will tell you how much you need to have in boxes that will NOT go to storage..or in the very back of a garage…or deep in the attic. The type of planning that you do for your school year will also help answer these questions. Is your curriculum already laid out week by week for you, or do you need your materials in order to plan while you are there?
2. Your Sharpie and labels are your friends.
Continuing in the vein of having things accessible…you need to be label crazy for this move! I plan on having an inventory of all of the homeschooling items I have in each box that correlates with that box number. As I will also be in temporary housing during the time in which I plan for next school year, I will also need to make sure that the things I need to do my planning are easy to get to…my highlighters, notebooks, planning binders, Pro-Click, sheet protectors…all of these are vital to the way I plan our school year. Having any of that packed up and inaccessible would cause this homeschool mom to get a little crazy!
3. Be willing to compromise.
I am fairly certain that when our actual move occurs, we will have finished our last week of school. But for argument’s sake…let’s just say that we have one or two left….for the sake of sanity, would I be willing to either a) fit the necessities into the last couple of weeks before we move? b) put them off until we were completely unpacked? or c) Skip them altogether?
You betcha I would. I would most likely choose a). But any of the above would be worth reducing the stress for just a couple of weeks of school. A few months left? That’s a different story. But a week or two is worth working it all out.
4. Communication is key.
Making sure that everyone around you involved in the move is clear on your wishes, and making sure that these wishes are in harmony with everyone else’s vision of what is going to happen is key. You need to know that your hubby and the movers are very clear on where you need your homeschooling boxes to go. Talk to your kids about what your expectations of their schooling are during this move. Discuss with your spouse the weeks surrounding the move, both leading up to and after….does he have different expectations of what you will spend your time doing than you do? Everyone needs to be on the same page for this to be a smooth transition.
5. Relax and enjoy the ride!
A family move, no matter how close or how far, can be an exciting time! Of course there is stress involved….but an adventure nonetheless. Your situation is what you make of it..we all know that. God has directed you to this place and point in your life…it is up to you to decide how you will roll through it..with a song in your heart and a smile on your face, or with a sour attitude. I, for one, will always choose the former. I plan on enjoying every moment of this move, even those involving box packing and too much to do during crunch time.
Do you have any hints to throw my way on making this move a success? I welcome all advice!