For families transitioning to schooling at home…

(2020) From a mom who homeschooled four kids into productive adulthood

First, breathe. Remember: Be still and know that I am God.

Allow for some decompression time. This is a big adjustment for kids and parents. Have fun as a family first.

Be the parent. Let the school provide the curriculum and let the teachers provide the assessment of your child’s work. Prioritize your relationship as a family.

Find the structure and daily routines that work for your family, and implement them with grace. Most of us do better with routines in place, and kids feel secure when they know what to expect. Recognize that
your routine doesn’t have to look like the color-coded charts on Pinterest, or like the routine of the family next door.

Some days you’ll start with a plan, and it will all fall apart. Be prepared to step back, take a time out, declare a pajama day, or do whatever you need to bring peace back to your family. Tomorrow is another day of grace, and you can begin again.

Place matters. Each of us needs a place to call our own, to create our own nest for learning or working. At the same time, we’re all going to need a change of venue from time to time. Sometimes simply moving an activity to a different room in the house makes a big difference in the way we interact.

You may be surprised that the learning assigned to your child can be completed in less than a full school day. Learning one on one is pretty efficient. Learning at home won’t involve taking time to have 20+ students line up, wait, move together, take turns in the restrooms or at the drinking fountain.

Recognize the learning that happens outside the curriculum. Cooking, doing household tasks, delving into hobbies or crafts, researching your next family vacation – all these have great learning opportunities.

Find ways to stay active. Go for a daily walk, have a dance party, take a break for calisthenics.

Try something new. In the time that we’re not spending on teams, in dance classes, or traveling from one activity to the next, we can all learn something new. Google ’30 day challenges’ for some ideas.

Model the life-long learning that you want to see in your kids. Have your own regular reading hour, or try learning a new language on DuoLingo, or dust off your old band instrument or piano.

Keep a list of things you want to do when this is all over. Who will you celebrate with, where will you go?

Celebrate the small joys of each day. Take a photo to document the good stuff. Give thanks, because God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.