In a matter of weeks, our lives have shifted from car lines, book bags, and a rush to get out the door each morning, to pajama-ed bodies constantly underfoot, books covering the kitchen table, and these things called Zoom and Google Classroom.
It all happened so fast that we struggle to catch our breath. What alternate reality am I living in?
But there is good news! The world events that led to school closings and more time at home can be a season that God works in our families to grow and to refine us—as parents and as families.
Here are a few tips for the transition from traditional school to homeschool from veteran homeschool mom, Katherine Whiteman:
› Parents should do whatever they can to alleviate any anxiety or fears their children may be experiencing from unfamiliar work and school schedules.
Regarding the virus crisis, parents can pray with their children, read scripture with them, and explain the necessary details rather than list all the facts. During this time, pointing children to Jesus will be the most important thing parents can do.
› When doing schoolwork it’s best for the child to have a workspace that is conducive to learning—without distractions from cell phones or televisions.
School at home doesn’t have to look like traditional school, but with a little structured time, breaks throughout the day, and a comfortable place to work, children can get a lot of work done.
› Remember that most of a child’s learning about life will be done outside of the classroom anyway.
So now is a great time to learn real-life skills. For example, older children could be taught things like changing a tire, cooking a meal, balancing a budget, gardening, or building a fire on a campsite.
› Another helpful tip for schooling at home is to take advantage of this extra time to really enjoy each child.
- Many adventures can be shared in reading books aloud.
- Especially if a child is struggling with a subject, this may be a great opportunity to spend more one-on-one time working together.
- Go on nature walks to explore God’s creation.
- Start a journal together.
- Give children more freedom to explore subjects they are interested in.
- Find activities the whole family can participate in to make learning more fun, like virtual field trips available online, such as virtual farm tours and national park tours.
› Prayer points in this unusual season:
- Pray that we will minister to our children during a frightening time.
That we will have peace as we ask for the Lord’s will to be done during this crisis. That the Lord to give us wisdom as there may be career and/or schedule changes during this time as well that will affect the whole family.
- Pray that we will put on the armor of God by making it a priority to be in His Word. Reading the Bible reminds us to trust in the Lord, and trusting in the Lord will alleviate fear.
Since children are very perceptive and can sense fear in their loved ones, eliminating fear in the parents will help children to better handle any anxieties or discipline/behavior problems they may struggle with during this time.
- Pray for the salvation of our children now.
During a crisis may be the best time to show our children how to surrender to and trust the Lord with their whole life, not just during a scary time but for every day and always.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
· Philippians 4:6-7 ·
Katherine Whiteman is a wife and nurse-turned-veteran homeschool mom of a U.S. Coastguardsman and a 17 year-old ballerina. When she isn’t serving in her home or church, you can find her happily lost in her flower bed.