When Renee and Bryan applied for a curriculum grant for two of their children, Renee was pregnant with their fifth little girl, Kit. Kit had been diagnosed in utero with a severe, life-threatening heart defect, and the family knew that many difficult days lay ahead of them. Anticipating doctor appointments and hospital stays, friends strongly discouraged them from homeschooling that year.

However, Renee and Bryan were not swayed in their decision to educate their two oldest children at home, and they reached out to HSLDA for help. They applied for and received an HSLDA Compassion Curriculum Grant.

In a letter that brought tears to our eyes, Renee told us, “Thank you for the grant—it encouraged us to keep homeschooling, which was the exact right fit for our family. Because we homeschooled, I was able to bring my four other daughters to see Kit just about every day.”

Renee described how being able to do schoolwork in the ICU room, listen to audiobooks in the car, and use the weekend for science experiments helped the girls stay focused on their studies. It also gave them and their baby sister sweet time together, precious moments they would have lost had they gone to public school that year.

“I wouldn’t say we made the most homeschool progress I’ve ever seen, but we kept learning—so much more than what was in the books, but also about love, compassion, and countless aspects of hospital life,” Renee wrote.

“After our daughter Kit was born,” the letter continued, “she spent 17 days in the NICU, 6 weeks at home, then 3 months in the CICU before passing away after her open-heart surgery. Homeschooling has been a balm to us as we’ve been grieving—we can take our days slow, take a break when we need to, and visit Kit’s grave whenever we choose.”

2,225 children continued homeschooling and had access to better materials through grants you funded in fiscal year 2019.

Reflecting on the last several months, Renee and Brian realized that their conviction to continue homeschooling through hardship has helped bring a little more peace to their home. Without the added pressure of shuffling the girls back and forth to school, the time pressure to complete assignments and projects, and the expectation of an inflexible traditional school schedule, the family has been able to grieve and heal in their own time and in their own way.

Because of the generosity of donors and vendors who partner with us to offer discounts to our hurting homeschoolers, we were able to come alongside this family with an HSLDA Compassion Grant at a crucial time, when they needed it most.

2,225 children continued homeschooling and had access to better materials through grants you funded in fiscal year 2019. If you would like to help make homeschooling affordable for those in need, please contact our dedicated team at CompassionGrants@hslda.org and find out how you can make a difference!