The last thing you ever thought you’d do is teach your kids and suddenly you find yourself crisis homeschooling. You love your kids to pieces but you are totally overwhelmed, stressed, and haven’t a clue how to schedule your day.
I chose to home educate my kids and even though it was a choice, it wasn’t always perfect, and too often I wished for encouragement or some wisdom to get me through the day.
You might feel like you’re derailed on the wrong track. Everything is upsidedown as your whole family suddenly is scrambling for a new normal. If you are overwhelmed and stressed, I hope to give you some ideas and encouragement.
TIP 1: HOME WITH YOUR KIDS ALL DAY IS HARD!
Even though I chose to homeschool when our oldest son was going on five years old, I can’t lie, not every moment was made in heaven.
Not even close!
When you find yourself at home along with your kids, it sounds like a beautiful vacation.
After all, you’re all together and that has to be so special and perfect, right?
You have probably read as many captivating posts on Facebook and articles on the internet that paint a beautiful picture of family harmony.
I wish they would tell the truth!
I wish they would tell about how real the struggle is! We need solutions and encouragement for the inevitable issues that arise when kids are cooped up all day with cabin fever.
I won’t list off the examples of what you might be facing with your children. Each family and situation varies.
But what I will say is that too often as moms, we face our own issues and don’t always respond the way we should.
Put that together and we have a compounded problem as old as Eve herself!
Being home with your kids all day is really really hard whether you chose it or not. There are blessings in it too and sometimes we have to be reminded as moms to focus on the bright side (remember the book Polyanna the Glad Girl) and start sticking Bible verses all over our home!
Read or watch the movie about Polyanna with your kids!
I struggled with hormones that were totally out-of-whack back in the day when there wasn’t as much help for that as now. The biggest thing I wish is to go back and change a few (lots?) things. Mostly what I wish is that someone would have come alongside me and encouraged me.
That is what it talks about an older woman doing in Titus 2:5-7
I hope this leaves you encouraged with some ideas that will help you grow from this experience of crisis homeschooling.
TIP 2: SAFE AT HOME; NOT STUCK AT HOME
It’s all about how you look at your time with your kids.
How we look at these weeks or months (since I think kids are out of school until September) is what will change up this crisis homeschooling for the better or worse.
If you see the blessings of being home with your kids, crisis homeschooling will be a whole lot more fun.
If you are constantly wishing they were back IN school and you BACK to work (or whatever your situation), everything will look like a horrible mess.
Thing is that your perspective will greatly affect your outlook even if things are going well. You will see it as a disaster.
When you are looking for the good in this new lifestyle, even when the kids are whining (teens and moms can whine too) it will not seem so bad after all.
I had some extremely stressful years while homeschooling our kids but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was doing what God had called me to do, the best way I knew how.
That doesn’t mean that I carried it all out perfectly.
I am imperfect.
God is sovereign and for whatever reason, He allowed this worldwide event to happen. You are alive for such a time as this.
So since God is sovereign, it is His will that your kids are home from school.
You are safe at home from anything going on outside your circumference and it is His will for this part of your journey.
That being said, you are not stuck at home, you are safe at home!
You are only stuck at home if you are resisting what is happening in your life.
TIP 3: DO YOU HAVE A SCHEDULE FOR SCHOOL?
If your kids are home from school, they are likely doing internet school with their teacher online. Your kids are not used to it and even when kids are, they often disregard what the teacher is saying on the video.
I know you are a concerned mom even if sometimes the whole situation overwhelms or stresses you.
I could tell you stories about what kids (littles or big) do when they are supposed to be watching their school on video (online schooling, ZOOM classes or whatever!)
When my older children were watching their Spanish lesson, I was busy teaching my younger children in the next room. They would have all-out pillow fights until one day they were caught!
Another time, another child was supposed to be watching Algebra and got behind because he was checking the internet for soccer scores.
They are young and they have not figured out the consequences of what happens when they are not paying attention to school. That is why having a mom interacting with them goes a long way.
One thing that I found helpful is routine. It doesn’t help to have a ‘schedule’ when the whole family is learning at home. A schedule is something that goes exactly according to the clock.
A routine is what happens when one thing follows the next. A routine has a natural flow which makes a whole lot more sense at home.
TIP 4: INDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Depending on where you live will determine whether your kids can get outside or not. Some places are not conducive of people being outside as they live in an apartment or townhome in a city and public parks would be overcrowded.
For instance, I know someone who is living with her husband and two children in a hotel in Asia for over 100 days. They are waiting for all this to end so they can catch their flight to the country they are moving to. That has got to be the hardest situation to be in!
Whatever scenario you find yourself in, make the most of it and look to God for comfort and grace.
God gives us grace when we need it most!
Unless you don’t mind your kids playing endless video games and watching too much T.V., you might want to limit screentime and increase their creativity.
Here are some ways to do it:
Do you have games?
You might have Pictionary which is a lot of fun for the whole family.
How about Monopoly? Most kids love that game!
Scrabble is educational if your kids are old enough. If they are a little younger, Junior Scrabble might work.
If you are looking for ways to turn crisis homeschooling into an experience to remember, you might want to have them make notebooks for some of their subjects.
- Writing Notebook where they write their creative essays!
- Scripture Notebook where they copy 1 or 2 Bible verses each day!
- Nature Notebook where they document, draw or glue things or pictures from nature. If they can’t get outdoors, do it virtually and print pictures of animals or other things from science found on the internet!
- Do art projects with your kids!
You’re the best influencer for your kids!
Any subject of your child’s interest can be ‘binderized’ into a 3-ring binder, spiral notebook, or art notepad.
This is also a wonderful time for your kids to take online music lessons.
OR maybe you have cardboard boxes that they can create the most amazing things from. My kids made a huge boat out of a box and played with it all summer. OK so maybe I made most of it but they painted it!
TIP 5: GET UP BEFORE YOUR KIDS
Simply doing all the things mentioned in this article can cause a zillion issues with kids!
Think about all the issues in getting your kids out the door for a walk.
- One child doesn’t want to go and throws himself on the floor!
- Another child refuses to put his shoes on!
- Your daughter is whining because of an unknown reason!
- You are stressed!
These were all true scenarios in raising 7 kids! GASP!
BUT . . . I promised that I would encourage you as you crisis homeschool your kids.
The biggest thing that helped me tremendously when I was homeschooling our kids was to get up before they did!
That is easier said than done, I know.
You can do it though even though you might be dealing with some of the same issues I am facing.
I am finding this crisis depressing as I deal with my own issues. Deep down inside I know that there are others in the world who are facing greater hardships because of this time in world history.
I only know my issues first hand.
Even though I know you care for the person who died or the people in Zagreb, Croatia who lost their homes during the pandemic due to earthquakes, even though I know you care . . .
Even though you are struggling with depression, fatigue, or with marital or a family problem because this was suddenly thrown in your lap . . . You have to take care of YOU before your kids get up.
Be prepared to greet them each morning because you spent time with Jesus!
I would suggest these Scripture Memory Cards to prin and place in your Bible, fridge, or bathroom mirror! You need all the encouragement you can get!
I would also encourage you to spend time with Jesus doing this Prayerfulness Mini Journal each morning.
Spending time praying for YOU and also your husband and children will help you get off to a great start.
One thing that I have been struggling with is feeling encouraged these days. Turning on some beautiful Christian music on Pandora while I’m taking a shower really up-levels the start of my day.
TIP 6: SELF-CARE IS NOT WRONG
I am seeing ‘self-care’ everywhere on the internet and although it is true that sometimes it is overemphasized, it IS really important when kept in balance.
- It is not wrong to have a Quiet Time and spend time with Jesus!
- It is not wrong to workout several times a week!
- It is not wrong to make a cup of coffee or tea for YOU!
- It is not wrong to have some time off from your kids!
The biggest cause of stress in my life, while my kids were growing up, was my lack of self-care!
It is so important for emotional and spiritual balance.
You will love the Philippians Journaling Workbook (32 Pages) because it will inspire you to draw closer to Jesus with its beautiful worksheets. What better book to study in the New Testament to give you the spiritual self-care you need to relieve stress and overwhelm as you learn to walk with the Lord daily!
Taking supplements is also extremely important in keeping yourself balanced emotionally and hormonally.
Please take care of yourself while crisis homeschooling your kids!
What is your biggest challenge while crisis homeschooling your kids?
What a wonderful way to keep your baby content while you are homeschooling your older kids!