I imagine if you have school-aged kids, you are now homeschooling in some capacity or another. I have heard many of the concerns and even complaints from across the country about this. In an effort to be completely honest, at first, I was like so??? As a former homeschool mom, the sympathy was just not there. Then I remembered my advice years ago when asked about homeschooling. “Don’t even consider it, if it has not been laid upon your heart.” Wow! Talk about instant conviction and repentance!
My heart turned right then and there for all the parents who find themselves in this situation. This was not your choice but thrust upon you due to the current conditions in our world. You didn’t have time to prepare. All in one fell swoop, many of you are now trying to balance working from home, juggling your now decreased budget, homeschooling your child/children, keeping the house straight, entertaining the family and keeping them safe.
I would like to offer you a little advice on how to survive the coming days. And I apologize I have not put this out here sooner.
- For your sake and your children’s sake, set up some type of structure. This is essential to make it through right now. Don’t worry about how someone else is doing it. Work out a schedule that works for your unique situation. But, be prepared to be flexible at times. Things will come up that need your attention or that your kids need to take care of.
- Find ways to make learning fun.
- Need to brush up on math? Cooking with your kids is a great way to practice math skills. If you have change around the house, set up a little “market” where they can buy and/or sell. Look online for math games. There are plenty out there.
- How about science? If it is where you can, take them for a walk. Pick flowers, take pictures and when you get home, look up what you found. Take the flowers and dissect them to learn the different parts.
- For art, you can have them draw the things you found while on your walk. Listen to classical music while working on this. It has been proven classical music helps in learning.
- History can be fun by having your kids reenact important historical milestones. This can be so much fun for most of them.
- Read together. Find a great book and read it to your kids. Let them take turns reading a portion of the text. I did this while homeschooling my daughter. Each day as I read our scripture for the day, I would give her a verse or 2 to read. We started this when she was 5. Now when we look back we fondly remember our favorite books we read together. This also became a family activity, with my husband participating.
- Play games together. Dust off the board games and help them learn. Some games like Hi-Ho Cherry-O teach them to count, Scrabble teaches vocabulary and spelling. Playing games, in general, teaches good sportsmanship.
- Remember most of all, this is not school as usual. Nothing is, as usual, these days.
- Have your kids help you around the house. No matter how small, they can learn to do simple tasks. Walk them through them the first few times, and then let them handle it. Do not go behind them and “fix” or redo what they have done unless it is a sanitary issue. Praise them when they complete the task and let them know how much it helps you out.
- Spend time with your kids right now. It is so easy to just have them do their school work, or let them sit in front of the TV, but that is not what they need. They need you, which leads me to my last point.
- Give them and yourself grace. They may not talk about their fears and concerns, but they have them. You may see them or yourself “act out”. When this happens, first breathe. Take a moment and get a clear perspective on what is going on. Then respond to them appropriately. Never react in these times, no matter who is having the meltdown. If it is you, ask your kids to excuse you for a moment, but when you come back, talk to them.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. But hopefully, it will help you and your kids make the most of this time and build memories together.