Fires and Homeschool

This has been an insane week. I had planned to start the new school year on the 8th, and technically we did manage this. We did a few lessons and took some First Day of School pictures. Shortly after this though life got crazy. My childhood home is in a community that was threatened by a giant wildfire. As the day progressed the skies became more filled with smoke, and we could tell the situation was worsening. That same night my parents and little sister ended up having to evacuate to my house which is farther away from that particular fire. Two days later we all had to evacuate from my house. We split up, with my parents going to the coast, and my little family went North to Vancouver to stay with some friends who’d graciously opened up their home for us.

Those days were so emotional. Honestly the days are still very emotional. I never feared very much for my own home, but the fire came within a half mile of my childhood home. If the weather and not shifted when it did, it is likely we would have lost it. I feel so grateful that both our homes are safe. Many others do not have that same comfort. I cannot wait to go for a walk in my old neighborhood again, and bask in the thankfulness that fills my heart when I think of how close we came to losing it.

Now we are back home, but living in a horrid cloud of smoke. We supposedly have the worse air in the world. I have lung issues and cannot step outside for even a moment, and even indoors I am struggling. It looks like we’re living in very thick fog that just never clears up. My husband and I play a game of “how well can I see that tree in the distance.” It’s kind of a depressing game. Trying to keep our indoor air clean enough has been a challenge. I’ve never been so aware of the need for fresh air. I think I will probably cry when I step outside again and smell the lovely fresh smell of rain. My kids seem fine thankfully, but putting this concern of air quality on the end of a very rough week, I have become truly overwhelmed. Needless to say, after that first day of school, homeschooling had gone out the window. It’s not at all how I’d pictured the beginning of a new school year. Being greeted by a wild fire is no way to start anything. I don’t recommend it.

One of the beautiful things about homeschooling the way that I do though is that it actually doesn’t matter when or how we start. I don’t have a schedule we have to keep to. There is no way for us to be “behind.” I am able to put school on the shelf until life calms down and I am in a better head space to handle it. I cannot imagine pressuring myself to get schoolwork done while I was in the midst of fearing for my home, and way of life. Thankfully I didn’t have to. I get to pick and choose how and when we school. I was bummed about school because I’d had some fun plans, but those plans will keep. We did some math on Monday this week. We did some math and reading yesterday, and today I hope to add another thing or two. Nathan has already done some reading to me, and he wrote his friend in California a letter. We’ll probably get to some math, but even if we don’t, we’ve done some schooling, and I can count that as enough. Right now it’s definitely enough.