Many of you were recently surprised with the reality that you are now “homeschooling” your kiddos. In 2016 our family was unexpectedly thrown into the world of online learning too when we still had a middle schooler and a high schooler. We are now 4 years in and have learned a couple things along the way. If you are normally used to your kids being in school all day and you are feeling overwhelmed by all the changes, I feel so much compassion for your learning curve. So here are a few points of encouragement and e-learning help this morning:

🔹 Find a dedicated space and have your child help set it up to feel like it’s theirs

🔹 Be flexible and allow for a change of scenery when needed.

🔹Don’t forget that kids need mental health breaks just like we do. Running laps around the outside perimeter of the house is perfect for this! So are chores. 😊

🔹You don’t need to be their teacher – they have one already if they are normally in public or private school. Here is a word of e-learning help: You are their learning coach. Your job right now is encouragement and structure, not academic expertise. 

🔹You’ll be tempted to correct their mistakes and make sure their work is perfect. Don’t. Part of their learning comes from making mistakes and learning how to recover.

🔹 Same routines are helpful. Even though we all may want to sleep in and lounge a lot, we’ll be more productive if we get up at our normal time, change clothes, and develop a routine.

🔹 Invest in the perfect animal onesie for Casual Fridays. 🐷 (Please post pics!)

🔹 A lot can be accomplished in pockets of time. Use yours well too.

🔹 Remind them that they can access their “school stomachs” and hold off on raiding the fridge every 10 minutes. 

🔹Sometimes it’s okay for kiddos to just listen to YOU read to them. Sneak in some comprehension questions along the way.

🔹Yes, you are being asked to accomplish a lot with your kids with minimal preparation for e-learning help. No, that doesn’t need to make you a slavedriver. You know your child best. What do they need in this moment in order to thrive? Do that. Sometimes school can just wait because the school of life is more important. Here’s a resource I made a few years ago for my own blog.

Teach life skills

🔹 This is a great time to bring math concepts into real life. Have the kids help create your Clicklist order using a given budget. Or have them measure out ingredients when you cook together.

🔹There is grace for that extra cup of coffee. ☕️

🔹Kids pick up on your overwhelm. Make space for yourself to rest, pray, and get fresh air so you can stay level headed with them.

🔹Look at this time as a time to get to know your children in a new way. Tell them about the awesome new things you are learning about them.

🔹One day you will miss this. Breathe prayers of thanksgiving for these moments you have to hold them close and help them learn. 💖

Parents, we are here to support you in this. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help and encouragement when you need it!

xo Pastor Elizabeth