As someone on social media so eloquently stated, there are no good choices in all this mess. So I'm going to assume that there is something about your child's educational circumstances this fall that worries you. Some parents have to work and have no choice but to send their kids to school. Some have online options but feel like either way, they don't like it. Maybe some of you are choosing to homeschool for the first time ever and not really liking that option either. Parents like me who homeschool still aren't happy because our co-ops and extra-curricular activities are complicated at best too.
I don't have answers to all of the concerns for sure, but I do have some encouragement to share.
No matter what scenario you end up choosing or being stuck with this fall, I want to encourage you that it can be okay. Some are worried about health, some are worried about education and some are just plain worried! We've always tried to make intentional choices to bring about the kind of results we want. In all of these scenarios you might be faced with, I think there are a few things you can do to help things go smoother this fall.
Begin every day, every meal, every difficult conversation with a prayer.
Use this semester to encourage and teach your family to cover your life in prayer. Ultimately, we are not in control of so much, but as believers we have the ultimate arsenal in prayer and our relationship with Jesus. No matter the dangers, discomforts or disappointments, God wins and we will be blessed through Him.
Cultivate a desire to learn
It's common to find yourself trying to make your kids learn something instead of considering how to cultivate in them a desire or love of learning. An easy way to do this is reading together. Children learn and grow through reading and being read to. If you can spend time as a family reading, perhaps before bed, you will be stimulating their minds towards comprehension and curiosity of all kinds. The questions and conversations we have in the midst of reading together are so important and perhaps of the greatest value. My family is on the next to last book in the Chronicles of Narnia and we have an enormous collection of shared memories and experiences through reading together as a result.
Revisit what health and wellness looks like in your family.
Especially for those families who are genuinely worried about their health this fall, make sure you are teaching your family what healthy looks like. Of course, a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and clean meats is a great place to start, but don't forget how much water you drink, what kind of sleep habits everyone has, and how much time you spend outside (make it a LOT!). We are a big advocate of supplements and that has proven helpful in all of this mess. Shoot me a message if you need some ideas. Finally, ensure your family has space to talk about their feelings. All of these changes are driving me nuts and I need ample time to process it. Our kids need it too.
Focus on the good.
We haven't been told anything really, but Mr. Butler half expects to continue working from home for the rest of the year. It was a struggle at first, but we are LOVING him being home all the time. It is absolutely feeding our relationships with each other and I am so thankful. There is personal growth happening all over our house, something I have craved for a long time. I NEVER would have ordered 2020 in order to bring it about, but here we are. And it's important to be thankful. If your kids go back to school, help your family be thankful for some kind of normalcy and teachers eager to help your kids. If you decide on an online or homeschool set up, lean in to the family time and a new shared learning experience.
No matter what educational situation you have this fall, know that I am rooting for you! Taking good care of those kids is what it's all about. If you have any needs along the way, especially homeschooling or education related, don't hesitate to contact me.