We’re all being affected by the Coronavirus in one way or another. So first off take a deep breath and know that God is in control. He’s got ya and I’m here to help too! I’ve had a few friends of mine suggest that since there are so many kids at home with all of the school closures, that I post some homeschooling tips and suggestions for things to do with your kids. Today’s post is going to be really simple and practical and it’s really geared for those of you that are now suddenly at home teaching your children for the first time.
For those of you that have suddenly been thrust into the world of having to teach your children at home for the first time, I’m here to help you as much as I can. So the next few weeks or more are going to be a little different for everyone. I’m sure some of you may be freaking out a little bit about how you’re going to deal with this. Your children who were in school all day are suddenly home with you all day, every day and you may find yourself as their teacher. Here where I live, they have only closed the schools for two weeks at the moment and will be doing eLearning, but that could change. This is a fluid situation, but you can do this.
So here you are, you may be working from home, having to go into work, or a stay at home mom, either way, you are now home with your child and you’re trying to figure out what in the world to do. I’ve got a few suggestions and I really hope they help. Please let me know if you want specific suggestions. Contact me on my Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and of course here and I will do my best to help you.
First, off be kind to yourself and remember to cut yourself some slack. This is all new to you and to your kids. Yes, they are your kids, but being with them 24/7 can be a challenge, even for us veteran homeschool moms. It’s going to be an adjustment. It may only be a couple of weeks, but it could be more. But to be suddenly with your kids all day, every day without being able to go to lots of places may drive you a little batty. So be kind to yourself and to your kids.
When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a deep breath. Try to take a break. Give each other a little breathing room, especially if you have older children. My youngest is great at telling me when she just needs a break from everyone. You may not get the mommy break the way you did before. You may have to wait until they are in bed at night or before they wake up. When you do get that break, breathe. Maybe practice some meditation, read your Bible, pray, watch your favorite show, put on a face mask, or just sit and relax.
Try to remember this is an adjustment for your children, too. They are used to seeing their friends every day. Their routines have been disrupted, as have yours. Children are also like sponges and they will absorb ever ounce of stress going on around them and it comes out in different ways. Be aware of your stress level around your children. Routines can help, and you may want to consider staying as close to their familiar routine as you can.
One of the best pieces of advice that we used to give parents that were pulling their children out of school to homeschool was to work on your relationship first, then school. That didn’t mean that you didn’t do school. What that meant was that you need to know that whatever your relationship is with your child it could be amplified. So take this time to work on your relationship if needed. That doesn’t mean going into deep discussions. Just do things that may help you bond if you need to. Exercise patience and understanding for each other.
Remember you are not a public school so why try to be one? There is so much freedom in that. Relax and try to enjoy this time together. Set up some type of schedule that will work for your family. Also, know that it takes less time to get school done than it would for a classroom full of kids. That may not be the case while you finding your way. It may be a struggle, especially if you have a really stubborn kid. Take the day in small chunks. Get one subject done and take a break if you need to.
Use a reward system to help get schoolwork done. Do group school over Skype or FaceTimewith friends. Not good at math or science? What about a grandparent that could help over FaceTime or Skype. Make use of YouTube (prescreen if necessary) and the tons of resources on the internet. Use this time to learn life skills. Let them really dig into their interests or discover new ones. Read and read some more and read out loud, even with your teens.
There are so many things you can do during this time. Just do the best you can and take care of each other. What is more important during this time, is that you are a family and that you love each other. Schoolwork will get done eventually. Take it day by day and subject by subject. It’s ok if it doesn’t get all done today, tomorrow is another day and this too shall pass. Remember this is only temporary and one day, we’ll be telling our grandchildren and great-grandchildren about this history we are living right now. So make the best of it, make memories.
I’ll be posting each day about how you can adapt to homeschooling. If there is anything you have specific questions about don’t hesitate to ask. We are in this together. You can do this! You’ve got this! And more importantly, God’s got this!