Suddenly Homeschoolers

Monday, March 16, 2020
Everyone and their sister is out there offering up their two cents on recent events and how you can deal if you are suddenly a homeschool family. This post will just be a drop in the bucket. I haven't read any of theirs and I'm sure they have a plethora of advice and resources that would far exceed my own so if it's that you're seeking then definitely go find those pages for help getting started. My two cents is offered up here only because I thought that I might be the only homeschooler you really know and it might be helpful if I shared how we operate. It's my intent that this post doesn't lack empathy but that I might instead give some of you a sense of peace about the coming days and your ability to handle them.

You can do this. If I can do it, you certainly can. Teaching your children at home looks a lot like mothering them. Because you care to develop them into the people God has created them to be, you attend to their needs on every level naturally. Don't you? You take them to church, to piano practice, to their sporting events- You care about their health physically, spiritually, and academically. If you can recognize that is true than you can absolutely know with your whole heart that you are capable of teaching them. It may not look like the way that you knew school to be. It's not all desks and workbooks and checklists. It isn't wasted time, though.

Utilize books, games, and conversation as your teaching tools. You certainly don't have to spend a ton of money to teach them. Take the high expectations you feel and throw them out the window. It's okay to spend time with your kids. They are little scientists already. They naturally are learning. Diving into worthy books can teach them a million lessons. Playing games together as a family is a teaching tool and a bonding tool. Mothers already are teachers. Read to them. Build lego cities. Play barbies. You've been gifted with time and while I know the days seem uncertain, you do get more time with your kids today, this week, this month. I like to look at it as a precious gift even on the hardest days.

Have you read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis? In it you'll find a warning that is applicable in this conversation. You must understand the way the book is written to appreciate the quote entirely so I won't leave it word for word here, but it discusses the use of fire extinguishers in a great flood. The lesson is this: Don't pile up all the heavy expectations of keeping up algebra, geography, or whatever you feel weighing on you. A fire extinguisher won't help in this flood so don't go doing more of what might be stressing you or your child out. Flooding them with math when they are struggling isn't the answer and the same is true for you. If all the changes that COVID-19 have brought about stress you out, please know that your children will be okay. They aren't going to forget all they've learned. It's not all on your shoulders. Breathe and know that being with them during this time is enough if that's all you have to offer up right now. It's enough.

Finally, my other piece of advice is to go outside. If you have the ability to follow the guidelines of social distancing, but can do it out in nature, please do so. You won't regret it.