Sherry, a long-time homeschooler, shares ways to create amazing memories and ways parents can even thrive with homeschooling.
With the Lord on your side, you got this!
No one likes to be forced to do something. If homeschooling has been forced upon you, I am so sorry, and I hope this helps. Heck, even if you are choosing to homeschool, during a pandemic its even more complicated. However, you can create some amazing memories and not only make it work but even thrive.
You do not have to recreate a classroom in your home. At home, you have freedom to personalize the learning space for your student. Let your child "own it." A cool lamp, a whiteboard with dry erase markers in fun colors, a cozy pillow for reading, or whatever else helps your child feel comfortable. This can be done by repurposing what you already have, or with very inexpensive purchases.
Teach them to do chores from an early age, to the best of their ability. Here chart gives a general idea of what kids can do during different ages and stages. Kudos to you if your kids already do chores. Maybe they need to do more. HAH!
Use the library. Even though services are more limited during the pandemic, libraries offer a huge range of free resources, supports and fun. Click around the entire site for yourself and your student.
Schedule fun and breaks Pre-pandemic there was an abundance of freedom and fun for live experiences during homeschooling. Some are still available, just take your masks. Columbus Metroparks are gorgeous and offer free fitness and educational opportunities.
COSI was still closed at the time this was written, but you could get your nerd on with their online science activities.
Be deliberate with socializing Technology is one way to make this happen. Consider tech-free ways to make this happen too, like a park hike, bike ride, or socially distant picnic where everyone brings their own food, snacks, and water bottles. Your child’s teacher may be able to help you connect your young child with classmates outside the online classroom if you ask. It can be as simple as asking the teacher to pass along your mobile number or email to the parent of another child.
Don’t go it alone. Join a small group if you're not already in one - or check out a Midpoint group! Beginning September 15 Pastors April Murphy and Ron Hitchcock will be leading a 10-week Midpoint titled "Figuring Out Family During COVID" We need all the prayer we can get for the school year!
God bless you and your family! You have full access to the Lord’s provision, wisdom, protection, and creativity through prayer.
Faith-Filled Family Time
If you’re a parent, caregiver or mentor, these resources are for you. If you have ideas to share, questions, or something you’d like us to cover, please reach out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Begin your child's spiritual journey through music. Babies love when you sing to them. Try this while diaper changing or bath time. It goes to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Insert your child’s name in place of "each little child."
Jesus loves each little child,
Little child, little child.
Jesus loves each little child,
He loves you, yes He does.
There is no other phase of life when your child will have the kind of amazement, delight, and wonder they possess as a toddler. This is your opportunity to tap into this time to incite wonder. A walk around your yard or a nearby park will allow you to share that each thing they see was created by God. Read the Creation Story from Genesis in a toddler Bible, or tell it in your own words. Tell your child Genesis 1:31 "God saw everything He had made. And it was very good." When you are outside, hold your hand up with fingers and say "Look around. Let’s thank God for five things He made." For example, "One: thank you God for the sky. Two: thank you God for the birds," etc. You don’t have to stop at five. You can also do this with colors, fruit, and whatever else you can imagine.
Here are a couple of activities which older siblings can do with toddlers:
- Toddlers enjoy the feeling of different textures. Take your child outside and invite him/her to feel the bark on a tree, the fur of a dog, that water from a hose, a feather, flower or rock. Let your child touch the back of your hand and the side of your face. Talk about what these things feel like. Say, “God made your hands so that you can feel (a rough rock, etc.)
- Hold a sturdy cardboard picture book and sit on the floor with your toddler. Show the first picture to the child. Point to something familiar in the picture and say its name. If your toddler is interested in looking at the book, he/she may want to turn the pages and point to things of interest. Little children like to look at the same book many times. Each time, they recognize more of the things in the book. This is a great way to build their vocabulary.
Go for a walk around your yard or nearby park. Take a bag for your child to collect leaves. As you walk by the trees, ask your child to find the biggest tree and the most beautiful tree. Take the leaves home and spread them out on your table. Show your child how to make leaf impression art by placing a piece of paper on top of the leaves, then gently coloring with crayons on top. As you do this, ask questions such as, "How are people like trees?" "Did you know the Bible compares people to trees?" You may refer to use Psalm 1:1-3, Proverbs 11:28 and Jeremiah 17:7-8. You can say, "When we trust in Jesus, our faith grows strong."
Read Psalm 148 together, then go to your yard or a nearby park. Give him or her the assignment of taking pictures of things in nature "praising God." Examples would be a cloud floating, a bird singing or a bug crawling. After reviewing the pictures, read the passage again. Connect the pictures to the passage. Pictures of clouds could reference verse 4 or 8. Pictures of living creatures could be verse 10. Ask questions such as, "Which photo of praise is your favorite, and why?" or "What are some ways our family can praise God together?"
Prayers for You and Your Child
September Prayer for Parents
Thank you, Father, for entrusting this child/these children to my care. What a gift, and an awesome responsibility! I thank you for loving my child/children even more than I do and that you are there for me as I approach this privilege of parenting. Please, Lord, guide me as I sow the seeds of a spiritual life that glorifies you. Please protect and grow these seeds in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Banana Split Prayer
Supplies: banana split ingredients for each family member. Let everyone know you will build your banana splits step-by-step together as you pray:
- Start with the banana, the "foundation" and pray "Dear Lord"
- Layer ice cream scoops and thank God for your blessings. Name them specifically.
- Add toppings and pray for what you need. (syrup, whip cream, sprinkles, etc.)
- The cherry on top is closing your prayer in Jesus' name.
- Enjoy your treats!
Breath Prayers for Parents
These simple prayers can be spoken in a single breath and can be repeated throughout your day. As Rick Warren described it in The Purpose Driven Life, "You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated in one breath. Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart." Developing this form of prayer will help you to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Here are a few examples to try:
- Inhale, "I can do all things," exhale, "through Christ who strengthens me."
- "My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."
- "Show your power."
- "Not my will, but yours." "Bring your kingdom."
- "Come, Lord Jesus." "Lord, have mercy."