This school year we are faced with many decisions. Some of us want to homeschool our children, while others feel that they have no choice. This blog is about educating your child during a pandemic.
Psychologists suggest that to connect with a child on an intellectual level you must connect with them on an emotional level. You must have a relationship.
Many of you will be homeschooling for the first time, while others will continue to homeschool but very differently than in your past years. Frustration will build. This is normal. But you cannot scream an education into a child. (I know, I’ve tried). This year will hold many challenges for all of us. But you can do this! With lots of prayers and a big cup of coffee, anything is possible!
“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Luke 1:37
There will be days that you feel unqualified, unmotivated, and completely overwhelmed.
Even after my years of homeschooling our children, I still find it daunting at times. This is not an easy path to walk. I have a sign in my school room that reads:
“Do not go where that path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Many days you may feel that you are forging your own trail…cutting through attitudes, pulling out weeds of disobedience, and dodging the falling branches of the unknown-all while chasing a wandering toddler. But I’ve learned that there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. Eventually, you will reach the mountaintop…but don’t forget to enjoy all the happiness that occurs while you are climbing.
I know all of this because I am a homeschool mom. It’s a lot of work just to make sure my kids are fed, the house is organized, and I have anything left in me to be a wife. Now add on teaching a child to read, helping with algebra, and planning a science experiment that is engaging…and actually works. I won’t sugar coat this journey. It will be tough at times. But you can do this!
Now let’s add the fact that we will take on this responsibility and forging our homeschool path during a global pandemic. This is a time of change for most of us. Many families are struggling financially as one parent is now staying home with the children. People are lonely and mourning the loss of normality. But I want to assure you, that your children are resilient. Even though this school year may look very different, you can do this!
Research suggests that the way we feel as a homeschool parent will reflect on the way our children learn. It will be important to take care of yourself during this life altering year. Take time to pray, journal your thoughts, and take a daily walk. Connect with other homeschool moms for encouragement and go on field trips. Because if you don’t take care of yourself burn out will quickly occur. Remember, children need a warm and loving relationship with their educator to promote ultimate learning. This will be your biggest challenge this school year. It won’t be teaching little Johnny to read or memorizing those multiplication facts. No, your real struggle will be promoting a loving atmosphere. And this won’t be easy. But you can do it!
I realize that many of you have lofty goals for your children. But you may want to reevaluate your goals and expectations this school year. Remember, for some of you this will be the first time you have ever walked this path. And for others, it will not be your normal homeschool year. Give yourself and your children room to breath. Remember….
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler Yates
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Your instruction should not be about pouring tons of facts and knowledge into your child while jumping from subject to subject throughout your day while checking off all the boxes. But rather, it should be more like gathering kindling, letting them explore, and encouraging them to take the uncharted trail. You may find that they ignite with a passion for learning.
Victoria will study agriscience this year as she pursues her passion for farming and animals.
To foster a love for learning you will need to be in tune with your child’s needs. That means if little Johnny is bouncing off the walls instead of doing his math work, simply take a break. As a matter of fact, if you have little ones, you will need to take lots of short breaks. Little Suzy may start crying out of frustration with her new phonics sounds. You may have to close the book, bake some cookies together and try again later. But trust me, it will all work out. You can do this!
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Curiosity comes naturally to our children. Explore the unbeaten path and let them learn what interests them. Let them collect bugs and do a complete unit study on entomology. Plant a garden together and explore the science of botany. Traditional schooling doesn’t always lend itself to studying topics of interest. Embrace this homeschool season with your children and learn together. Allowing them to explore their interest will foster a love for learning. They will thrive!
Elizabeth studying hands-on government , during her senior year, as she worked alongside our State Delegate, Lauren Arikan. What a great learning opportunity!
You will not get everything right. You will have days filled with crying babies, fussy toddlers, and teens with attitudes. But, I assure you, there will also be days filled with bright-eyed little ones as they learn to read for the first time, teens who explore the world of their first job, and fun field trips. God gave you your children in full confidence that, with His help, you can do this!
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