About three weeks ago our lives changed completely, almost in an instant. For many, we went from having a steady day-to-day schedule to complete uncertainty. If you’re a parent like me, you likely went from getting the kids to school, going to work, getting the kids home, doing homework, getting dinner, going to sleep and repeating it again with an assured element of predictability, plus or minus a few deviations to the normal schedule. In an instant, it seems, that changed. For some of us we moved to work from home, homeschooling and parenting 100% of the time. It’s a complete deviation from what we were used and out of the norm for our kids.
With the uncertainties of what the next day would bring, we’ve had to quickly react to the new reality and provide some level of normalcy for the entire family. Some families are still searching to attain a new cadence and that is expected considering the conditions.
As a mom of three kids, it is common for me to get the question, “How is it going?” My husband and I are working with three little kids (ages 8, 6, and 3) at home. My usual answer is, “We are managing as best we can considering the circumstances.
Our first week of homeschool was the school’s scheduled spring break, the week we were supposed to go to Disney World, the week my oldest turned 8, and the week we were going to have a birthday party. Instead it was the week we were introduced to our new reality which included art, baking, a party at home with just the 5 of us and at home science projects. That week I experienced firsthand that a little glitter goes a long way, baking soda is truly multipurpose, and when you put children in a position of leadership as “classroom leaders”, things can really fall in line.
I’ve adopted the habit of assigning classroom leaders for breakfast, morning class time, lunch and afternoon class time. Each child is responsible for making sure that the others are quiet, getting their work done and cleaning up their area. When I do this, I’ve found that they each take pride in being a leader and want to do it well. This has been super helpful to my husband and me as it allows us to get our work done while they are working on activities or eating. If you are a parent working from home, I would recommend this approach which recognizes the child, gives them something to be accountable for and helps to keep them on task. Speaking of tasks, we have a schedule and we have breaks, otherwise known as recess time. If the weather is nice, we take a short walk or they play outside.
During this time of uncertainty, I appreciate the time with my family, our health, and our jobs. I also appreciate the opportunity to teach, allow our kids to lead while homeschooling, and working from home amid the current environment. While the past three weeks haven’t been the easiest, there have been small things like my “classroom leaders” that have helped to make it a little more manageable.
When I asked my oldest son if he enjoyed homeschooling, he said, “Yes!” I asked him what was the best part and he said, “Being with all of you guys.” It’s small things like this that makes it a little easier and removes a bit of the heaviness of reality, which can’t be ignored, each passing day as the world strives to obtain some level of safety and stability.