Thanks to this country-wide mandatory quarantine, schools have dismissed and parents are the ones now bearing the weight of teaching their children. The majority of us are going into week two with tear stained wide ruled paper and anxiety gnawed pencils. We hear rumors of school being closed until the Fall and wonder how on God’s green Earth are we EVER going to survive until May? Take heart friend, this is how; we’re going to rewire our way of thinking.
Little Susie cannot sit still for thirty minutes and review addition and subtraction flashcards? Don’t make her.
Susie likes to run and jump and dance? Do numbered hopscotch the sidewalk, time her as she runs around the yard three times and work together to figure out her average time, dance to a math song from YouTube.
Once she has gotten the majority of her wiggles out then sit down and knock out that required worksheet.
Act out a story from her reader with props and toys. She’s more likely to pass that comprehension questionnaire because she remembers the funny faces you made and the words that you said.
Rewrite the lyrics to a popular song as a coronavirus parody and video it, and if you’re feeling real froggy, post it to social media.
Speaking of frogs…
For science go out and catch tadpoles and discuss the life cycle of a frog. Explain why the sky is blue. Make S’mores just because it’s Tuesday and talk about the chemical change that happens when the marshmallow catches on fire.
Share the importance of fire safety after they freak out and sling a flaming ball of sugar behind them.
In all seriousness though, I’m not writing this to give you just educational ideas. I really wanted to share what’s been heavy on my heart.
Now’s our chance.
Our chance to play with our kids and to get to really know them. To see the way their eyebrows furl when their little gears are turning. We get to experience that joy with them and see their spirits soar whenever they finally get it. We get to be the best friend that they play with at recess. We get to be the one they sit by at lunch. Let’s not take it lightly.
While I hate it for my kids that they don’t get to see their friends or the teachers they love; I feel so blessed to be able to have my kids back home.
But I don’t want to waste it with nagging them about worksheets or have us all walking on eggshells because we’re all stressed out and longing for seperation.
Now’s our chance parents.
Our chance to build their character so when they do go back to school, they love and respect their classmates and teachers.
Our chance to instill a confidence in them that they are so. very. loved. that no amount of hate or hurt can bring down their sense of self-worth.
If the majority were to focus on loving their children well during this time, think of what the bullying and suicide rates among adolescents may be in the next school year.
How do we do that?
By being the example.
Explain that we are practicing social distancing, not only for ourselves, but for the safety of others. Fix lunches for truck drivers and sit (a safe distance away) at a popular truck stop and give them away. Maybe even help them write some thank-you cards to go in them. Sew masks for the needy hospitals. Take them to a nursing home to sing outside the elderlies windows. Hug your children. Tell them how much you love them. Let them hear you tell your spouse or friends over the phone how much you’ve enjoyed this time with them.
Now’s our chance.
We have the time for meaningful conversations in the mid morning hours.
We have time now to sit as a family around the dinner table.
We have the time to work through those hard questions.
We have the time to just slow down.
We have time to be still.
Oh, what wonders we can experience if we just be still.
And now’s our chance.