The Corona Virus (COVID-19) has us all making BIG changes overnight. At the beginning of the week, you may have been planning Spring Break or ironing out the details for your daughter’s big dance recital. Now both have been postponed. And so has school!
Instead of spending their days at school, your kids are quarantined at home – for weeks or even months. It’s fun and exciting at first but when board games get boring and Netflix loses its appeal, you might need something else to keep them engaged and learning.
While I’m honestly excited that so many families will get to experience a taste of homeschooling, I also remember what it was like for us those first few months of trying it out. It was fun and beautiful but also overwhelming and HARD.
I’ve learned some things over the years that I want to share with you while you are in some version of temporarily homeschooling. But before I share, I want to emphasize the most important thing: Every family is different. We all have our own unique interests and strengths and that is beautifully A-okay. So while reading through my lists of resources and advice, please just use what you think will mesh with your family and leave the rest. No comparisons or guilt allowed, okay? Let’s get started, shall we?
First, Nurture Their Hearts – AND YOURS!
At this time of uncertainty and change, focusing on the heart is the first thing I’d suggest. When hearts are soft, bonds are made and real learning happens.
“It is the business of the heart for a long time before it is the business of the mind.” –Pestalozzi
Remember home education does not look like “school at home”. While it may be tempting, try not to replicate the school environment. You will burn your children out and yourself too pretty quickly (ask me how I know). Now is a great time to connect with your kids. Play games, read beautiful books, get out in nature, create art together. CAPTURE THEIR HEARTS and REMEMBER TO FEED YOURS.
”Feed your heart. I can’t emphasize this enough. . . If you want your children to sing while they work, you sing while you work…If you want them to love beautiful music, let them see you loving beautiful music. If you want them to love reading, let them see you reading. If you want them to keep a nature journal, let them see you keep a nature journal.
Show Them, Don’t Tell em! Their hearts don’t understand telling.” -Marlene Peterson – Well Educated Heart
I love the FREE introductory course by Marlene Peterson at The Well Educated Heart. It is a beautiful guide to nurturing your heart and the hearts of your children.
You might find these Lily and Thistle articles helpful:
Second, Spend as Much Time Outside as You Can
They say the sun is the best disinfectant and there are so many studies showing that time outside reduces anxiety, promotes feelings of wellness, creates connections, the list goes on. I’ve found that everything changes in a good way if we can just get outside! I’ve written a lot of articles and provide a lot of resources to help you do just that. Check them out below!
You might find these Lily and Thistle resources helpful:
Third, Get Lost in Creativity
The beautiful thing about this craziness of temporarily homeschooling is that all of a sudden we have so much TIME. Time to go down that rabbit hole, to ask questions and find answers, time to create for joy instead of for an assignment. Let yourself and your children just create…do it together and watch how new bonds happen. I firmly believe that creativity equals connection and true learning.
Lily and Thistle CREATIVE RESOURCES:
This is one subject I get pretty excited about. I have a whole website dedicated to it! First, I want to direct you to our FREE Resource Library. Here you will find free e-courses, e-books, watercolor patterns, nature journaling resources and so much more. Please enjoy!
And Last, Just Play!
Whether it’s inside or outside, remember that when children are small, their work is PLAY. Paper Dolls are still a favorite at our house. You can find a whole bunch of options for both girls and boys HERE. I always say (and it’s true!): Paper dolls will keep kids busy using their imagination for hours and YEARS!
Remember to Cherish This Time Together
All too soon, we will be back to our regularly scheduled life and running from one thing to the next. I hope that the articles and resources I’ve shared here will help you make some wonderful memories while temporarily homeschooling that you’ll both cherish. It’s easy to get overwhelmed but just remember you have time and to:
1. Focus on heart learning.
2. Get out in nature as much as possible.
3. Get creative and
4. Let them PLAY.
Your Life is Your Art,