Since the threat of the virus Covid-19 has hit the US, there has been a growing number of announcements stating events, churches, and schools will be temporarily closed. I believe this is a good thing, but this blog isn’t about my thoughts on the virus or protocols, I’ll leave that to the professionals.
What I do know about is home education. As a homeschool mom, my social accounts, groups, and pages have a lot to do with Homeschooling; it’s everyday life for us. However, the new thing I’ve noticed in the last week is my feeds have been bombarded with posts, lives streams, or blogs about all the things the sudden homeschooling parent “should” be doing.
It’s wonderful that my fellow homeschoolers have reached out to those who home education is not their life’s plan. We should support each other through everything, but especially in this difficult time. But, as well meaning as these posts are, I fear some of things I’ve read could make you feel quite overwhelmed. I know as a mom, who once found herself suddenly homeschooling her child, how you feel. I never intended to homeschool when we started out, it was out of necessity. I found out as time went on, it was what our family needed, and eight years later, I’m still plugging along.
I do not write this blog to brag or force my views and opinions of education onto anyone. What I do want to do is encourage you, the parent. This is a tough and scary time for all of us, any change in routine can be upsetting, maybe more so for children. I know it was to me when I realized we would be homeschooling, because it was so new. I didn’t know what I was doing or how to do it. Our whole world changed over night; I didn’t know if it would be for a week, month, a year or what our future held. But, I knew that I loved my child and wanted to to the best I could within the situation I found myself. No doubt you feel the same.
A lot of things I’ve seen and read have been about what type of schedule or recourses you “should” be using during this quarantine time, one of the most repeated ones I’ve seen is to keep them on a set schedule. Pst… I’ll let you in on a little secret; we do NOT follow a set schedule in our home. It doesn’t work for us, and that is okay. But, if you can keep to their school’s schedule, then great, by all means do that, but give yourself a bit of grace if you can’t. It will be okay.
If you are anything like me when something new comes along, then at first you may feel lost, scared, intimated, or overwhelmed.
Know that you are not alone! I have faith in you! You’ve got this!
You, like always, will do what is best for your family, and whatever that looks like will be enough.
I’m sure your school will find a way to provide you with tasks for your children to keep them on tract with their curricula. So, I’m not here to send you links or ideas on what you could purchase. There are a lot of companies out there, right now, offering free services, which is so awesome! I will definitely be checking those out myself. I’m sure you’ve all seen links on Facebook, if not with Google you can find every resource you can imagine to educate your child.
I’d like to encourage you to take some time and just breath. Assess your families needs. This is a golden opportunity for you to spend time with your child you wouldn’t normally have. Talk to them, ask them what they’d like to do, get to know who they are right now in life. Ask them a million questions, they do it to you. HA! Spend time as a family; renew and foster that relationship.
One of the things I love about homeschooling, that took me way too long to grasp is, learning can be done in everything you do. You don’t need books, movies, curricula, or the internet. Your kids will learn by being with you, helping you, and working along side of you. Some of the simplest things I do with my kids are the most impactful, fun, and well remembered.
Here are a few simple fun ideas: baking makes it easy to learn practical every day math skills. My younger kids love to cook with me, and the oldest cooks complete meals now on her own, but it’s always more fun when we do it together. Today my six year old drew a map of our house and created a treasure hunt for her brother. She had just learned last week about maps and wanted to put it to use. You know what? The lesson was literally five minutes of me explaining and showing her a picture of different types of maps. It doesn’t have to be hours, they will learn. Build a fort, we love to go outside and explore. Even if it’s just in your backyard, being in nature is like walking into a Science textbook. We like to nature journal our adventures. You don’t need anything special, just have them draw what they’ve seen and experienced, or if they are older, look up facts in books, or if you prefer the internet, to deepen their study. Talk, talk, talk! Create a story together, write a song or poem. The sillier the better. There is so much you can do with the supplies you already have in your home. There isn’t one particular thing you “should” have for them. (Though, you might wanna do what the school sends. LOL) Don’t overthink it, just let them lead. You’d be surprised how much a child will learn when it’s their idea.
Most important of all, create wonderful memories. Let them look back on this time with fondness. Chances are they won’t remember the fear, they’ll only remember the love and comfort you showed them.
Good luck! I’m here if you should need an ear to listen. May God richly bless you on your journey.