Death. It's inevitable. However, it also something that we don't like to talk about. Many of us have wills in place. Many have life insurance plans. Many know who will become guardians of our kids should something happen to both parents. But what about homeschooling? What would happen to your kid's education if something were to happen to the primary homeschooling parent? What would happen if something were to happen to both parents?
This is a topic my husband and I have been recently talking about, and is also a topic that came up today on a homeschooling forum I frequent. I used to not worry about things like this, I used to think bad things couldn't happen to me. Then my husband had his car wreck. The car wreck that left him disabled and unable to work. It hit home that bad things can happen to me. So as much as I don't want to think about what would happen if something were to happen to me or my husband it is something that I definitely need to think about.
Sorry, hoping for Mary Poppins to show up in a pinch is not going to work.
What if something happens only to the primary homeschooling parent?
This is something that I have given a lot of thought to. If something were to happen to me there is enough life insurance to cover tuition to an online homeschooling program, or tuition to a private school. The online homeschooling program is my first choice, but a private school would be an acceptable alternative.
What if something happens to both homeschooling parents?
For us the same plan is in place for our children's education. The kids will go to live with their selected guardian, and the life insurance will cover tuition to a private school or online homeschooling program.
For other families this plan may be different.
Many of my homeschooling friends were homeschooled themselves so the grandparents would take on the responsibility of continuing to homeschool, as they have already done this. Other homeschooling parents have siblings who are homeschooling their own children. So the kids in those families would go to live with the aunt or uncle who homeschools and would continue homeschooling with their children.
Other families are extremely close to their homeschooling friends. In fact many families have selected another homeschooling family to become guardian of their children if something were to happen. In this case the students would be able to continue homeschooling with their friends.
Then there are families with no options but to send their kids to public school.
Make a Detailed Plan and Make it Known
Not only is important to discuss your plans with your spouse but it is important to let those who are selected to care for your children after you are gone know of your plan. After all, they are the ones who will be implementing the plan you create. And discuss your plans with your kids, this can be done in age appropriate conversations.
Instead of having generalized plans, like private school or online homeschool programs have detailed ones. If something were to happen to you there will be a lot for the new guardian and your kids to deal with. Having detailed plans to implement will make the transition much smoother. Do your research and update it annually. Research online homeschool programs, the costs, the enrollment steps, and everything that will be needed. Then research the private schools in the area that the children will be living in. Find out what the costs are, what the enrollment guidelines are, and find out what they will need to accept a homeschool student. Write down this information and place it in a file for the future guardians.
What if the guardian works?
If you do have a family member who is willing to continue homeschooling your kids in the fashion that you have been homeschooling there are still things to consider. If the guardian works and will need to quit their job, can they afford it? Whether they can afford it or not, it is a good idea to build a salary for the future guardian into your life insurance. This will allow them to quit their job to educate their kids without having to suffer financially.
Keep Records and Have Them Accessible
One thing we as homeschoolers don't often do is share pertinent information with our spouses, let alone the future guardian. If you have a special needs plan in place for your child, it is important that this information be shared with the person who will be homeschooling your child. They will also need access to school transcripts, grades, etc. It is important that you keep detailed records and keep them in a file that is accessible to the future guardian. This will make the transition much smoother, and will be even more important if they have to enroll your student in a public or private school.
Trust Your Guardian
Even with great plans in place it is important that you trust the future guardian to make the best decisions for your student. While it is important that they understand how important the plans you have made for your child is, it is important that you also know you can't plan for everything that may come up. You must be able to trust that they will make the best decisions for your child if they can not stick to the plans that you have set or if something unexpected were to occur.