Find purpose in this season

Brittany Gilbert

These are not normal times. Public schools are scrambling to offer multiple avenues to meet the needs of their students. Many families have found themselves homeschooling as a last resort. How do you have education during a pandemic? 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you navigate preparing for this new school year. 

Give yourself grace

There’s no blueprint for life during a pandemic. You’re doing the best you can given the circumstances. A good friend told me, “God gives you enough grace for today. He doesn’t give you tomorrow’s grace today.” 

Sometimes you need to just take it a day at a time, and this season definitely fits the bill for living life a day at a time. Just as you give yourself grace, extend it to others — your children especially. 

They are looking to you for how to handle this season, too. A lot of times, stress looks very different for a child than it does an adult. They may be more tired, anxious, their stomach may hurt or they may act out. Practice meditating, exercising or being still together and keep an open line of communication. 

If you don’t like the way something is going, change it

One of my very favorite things about homeschooling is that I become a student of my kids. I have changed curricula in the middle of a school year because it wasn’t working well for one of my kids. It felt like we were starting over, but it ended up being really beneficial for him. The new curriculum taught him in a way that he really understood. 

Don’t be afraid to switch it up. You have the freedom to do what works best for your family and your children. 

Find purpose in this season 

You can’t re-create public school at home, so it’s OK if your school needs to look different right now. Maybe this season is about focusing on life skills instead of team sports or AP classes. Your child’s spouse will thank you one day if you spend this season teaching them how to manage a household. 

Maybe it’s the season that you make family dinners at the table a priority, or even family game night. 

For our family, we are finding what we need to say “no” to in the future. Our schedules were starting to pick up with activities or events every single night, and while we knew we didn’t love being busy, we weren’t sure how to change our schedule. Staying at home has allowed us the opportunity to figure out what will be worth our time and energy in the future. 

With so much uncertainty still present heading into this upcoming school year, you may find yourself doing more schooling at home whether you want to be a “homeschool parent” or not. While it may not be the path you or your child want to follow, make the best of it by remembering to give yourself grace, being open to changing things up when something’s not working like you planned and always looking for purpose during this season.