We are on our 3rd year of homeschooling and years ago I also taught in the public school system. I love seeing the pictures posted of the many new homeschoolers online. It seems like people are embracing their new role as primary educator of their children (which as a former teacher is great news! parents need to be involved as possible in their children’s education)
Here are some things I’ve learned and continue to learn daily as the primary educator of my children.
- It’s going to take time to discover your teaching style, students learning style, and a routine that works for you! You may do best with a rigid schedule or maybe just staying in PJ’s, playing games together, and slowly working through the work teachers sent home works best for you. Thankfully, we now have all the time in the world to be together so there is no rush to wake up and get everything done.
- Homeschool is NOT the same as PUBLIC school. Just let your expectations go! At home it takes less time, you use different tools, and well you are jumping in mid-year– your not going to know what exactly your kiddo needs to know. Just do your best and focus on basics. Read daily, practice writing/grammar, and drill/review math skills. Anything else is bonus and fun! Read about Science/History, explore topics your kids find interesting, or just skip it altogether and just do the basics.
- Your kids are going to drive you nuts. Homeschoolers don’t even normally live in a world of quarantine. We rely on parks, libraries, co-ops, sports, meetups, classes, museums, etc. to keep us all sane and engaged. We are all entering uncharted waters. They are going to fight, bother you, and no one is perfect at this. BUT, try to focus on fun, memories, and family bonding. That is so much more valuable than keeping up with tons of school work. THESE ARE EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES for us ALL!
- Thank God for SUNNY DAYS and send those people OUTSIDE! Thankfully, spring is coming so let nature help ease the tension in your home. Send them outside! Let them be bored! And make that a good excuse to give yourself a break (that does not include screens).
- Get their energy out. Kids need to move their bodies– they are naturally loud, hyper, and just a lot. Make them run, take walks with them, watch YouTube Yoga videos, etc. Tire them out.. maybe even before attempting school work.
- Focus on the good. I’m preaching to myself here because I have a long list going in my mind as to why this all stinks… and I worry for those in our community that are truly suffering due to this insane turn of events. All of it is so out of my control, so what can I practically do get through the days? Focus on the good gifts still available to me in my life. I am thankful we have the ability to be home, that my kids are happy and healthy, that we still have an income… and so on.. Maybe set the tone of your new normal with a thankfulness list? Could help.
- Pray. One thing this whole ordeal shows us is how little control we have over our futures. Suddenly our health, education of our kids, future economic prospects, and so on are all up in the air. Bring these new concerns to Jesus and ask forgiveness for not relying on Him more fully before the world came to a screeching halt. Pray he will help you get through the days with your kids and spouse at home. He is your sustainer and the only hope we really have.
- Don’t neglect time for you. Setting up boundaries, even at home is helpful. If you aren’t used to being in the same space and rely on getting out of the house for your “me time” don’t neglect making time for yourself even at home. It’s easy for togetherness to wear down your patience. Self-care is essential to the sanity and well-being of all! Take a walk, do something creative, read a book… whatever you have available at home to help you recharge, do that!
Sending all the love. Start small… don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to be perfect in this new role. (I have to remind myself of this truth daily)… And let’s all pray the world can get back to normal with a new awareness of our need for Jesus sooner than later!