How do you homeschool when your heart is breaking?

How do you homeschool when your heart is breaking?

homeschool through heartbreak
homeschool through heartbreak

Heartache intrudes upon our lives, uninvited. It wears many faces … takes many forms.

It might arrive as:

  • a call from the doctor
  • a pink slip from work
  • a broken vow
  • a runaway child.

Unexpected, it shatters and destroys.

How do we homeschool through heartache?

grief comes in many forms

When Grief Strikes

Homeschooling can be challenging in the best of times. When heartbreak hits, how in the world are we supposed to teach our kids?

Because grief is so personal, the way we manage life in the midst of it will look different for different families.

That said, for those who are suffering, there are a handful of practices that may provide comfort and guidance.

practical tips on how to homeschool through grief

Get Out

Depression can creep in and suffocate. Learn to recognize it.

Be sensitive to your needs and the needs of your children. Be watchful.

When you're feeling heavy, it may be time to get out of the house for the day.

Spend time with people who love you—who are not carrying the weight of your loss.

Reach Out

You are not alone. The challenges you face are not unique to homeschooling.

Grief touches all lives: public school, private school, and homeschool.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, members of your church or small group. If you need help, please tell them.

The people who love you want to help—but may feel awkward because they're not sure what to do.

Time Out

Dial back your schedule. Build margin into your days. Rest.

Give yourself permission to slow down. Learn to say: "No."

If saying "no" is hard for you, begin by responding to requests with: "Can I get back to you on that?"

(That gives you time to assess your existing commitments, energy, and resources.)


On those days when you feel drained and struggle to concentrate, here are a few suggestions:

  • Listen to an audiobook together. (You can nap while it's on if you need to.)
  • Curl up on the couch and watch an educational video together. (Another good time to rest.)
  • Get outside and take a nature walk. (Fresh air and exercise works wonders.)
  • Journal together — don’t worry about grammar or spelling, just record your thoughts and feelings.
  • Get out the sketch pads or crayons. (Younger children sometimes process grief through art.)

Be gentle with yourself and your family. Take the time that you need to heal.

take time to heal

Grief is hard to define.

Much has been written about the five stages of grief defined by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:

  1. Denial - “This can’t be happening!”
  2. Anger - I feel outraged.
  3. Bargaining - “If only I …”
  4. Depression - The fog of sadness rolls in...
  5. Acceptance - Surrender and, finally, quiet peace.

Although the five stages Kübler-Ross describes can teach us much about how some people process loss, not everyone experiences grief in that sequence.

Some people skip stages, some repeat stages, and some experience an entirely different process.

All that to say ... grief is personal.

Grief is personal

Grief can break your heart, literally.

However it arrives, whatever form it takes, one thing is consistent: grief hurts.

Emotional heartaches can literally make our physical heart ache.

As Harvard Health describes, grieving unleashes a flood of stress hormones that can lead to short-term heart failure—a condition known as broken-heart syndrome.

Rarely is it fatal (though it can be). Most people recover from it within weeks.

But the fact that such a condition exists underscores the powerful impact of grief.

Grief can literally break your heart.

Healing will come

Although life will be different—and we are different after enduring loss—life continues and so must we.

Something will always be missing ... but we can move back into life and appreciate the blessings that remain.

One day, the sun will shine again. We will not forget, but healing will come.

Healing will come.
Scroll to Top