A pandemic brings unique challenges to each of our families.
We might all be paddling on the same rough waters, but we’re all having a very different experience in our boat on the waters.
If you’re reading this blog post, I’m going to remind you that this is the time you can reimagine your life and even your family life too.
- How do you want to experience life?
- What do you want for your family?
- What’s your goal in having a family?
We can reimagine our children’s education too.
We can observe our children, learn how they learn, ponder what an education is anyway.
We can reimagine our daily existence.
Instead of trying to fit everything into our world, like full time job at home with full time relationships at home and full time school at home (all the things we included in our world before the Great Paralysis): we can determine what we want to include in our days going forward.
What do we want to include in our day-to-day? Write it down.
Choose your morning routine intentionally. I start my day with quiet and alone time. I read my Homeschool Mama daily affirmations. These affirmations help me remember what I’m all about, why I chose to be a parent, and what my intentions are in homeschooling.
Begin my day alone.
I begin my day with the kids at 0830 (on a non-pandemic day, now I let them sleep in to whatever time they naturally wake). We keep the same activities in the day, but we don’t have a schedule that must be kept before we leave to town at 3.
A morning routine with the kids.
In the morning, we do a lovingkindness meditation and a little stretching or yoga moves, and read a chapter of Tom Sawyer. Then everyone grabs their studies, heads to a different part of the house, and hunkers down with their writing projects, math workbooks, ASL online class, or Latin study books, and we work until lunchtime.
Mandated outdoor time.
Everyone takes turns walking Violet throughout the day, brings the hens treats and water, and feeds the cats. This outdoor space we’ve created has never felt more valuable. It’s our outdoor home that keeps us sane.
Get outside: somehow, some way, get outdoors for a little fresh air. Learn backflips on the trampoline (ok, I have no idea who I’m writing that to, clearly not to you or me.) But get on that trampoline with your kids. Amazing exercise. Or turn on Spotify dance list and get your boogey on.
Create fun memories.
Create fun memories with them doing things you love or things you would like to dabble in: art projects, attacking any Pin you’ve pinned on Pinterest ever (with the kids), or search for snails to keep a snail terrarium (it’s a thing my eleven year old is doing).
Include household chores.
Just this little bit of unhappy time, even just twenty minutes a day, helps put the kids’ free time into perspective. (And Your Home gets tidied, cause you’ve probably noticed, a loved in Home is a lot less clean and tidy.)
Include study time.
But be flex. We are all learning online learning together. (The expectations of the school system to maintain online classes (and do that for a whole boatload of kids) is a LOT of expectation.)
If a child asks if she can take a break for a day after she’s spent eight hours working on a second draft of her college history essay, I’m gonna say yes. If a child tells me he’s bored spitless and asks if he could just watch backyard scientist videos all afternoon, I can be flex. If he heads toward the piano again to practice his first ever piece, the entertainer, I’m not going to tell him he has to get to his studies. He’s learning. (Learning to use left and right hands at the same time develops a whole lotta neural networks.)
Limit screen time.
Use screen time intentionally. (Don’t watch the news. This thing ain’t disappearing with your efforts, unless you’re an epidemiologist or you’re staying isolated.)
Get active exercise every day.
Just fifteen minutes. Sleep issues decrease, anxiety levels decrease, and tension is released: stuff we definitely need right now.
Listen to your kids.
Let your kids show you what they need. So that means you’re asking, you’re watching, and you’re listening.
Consider your teenagers.
What do you want in your relationship with your teenager?
- Give them a wide-berth.
- Enable them with as much independence as you can.
- Give grace. (It’s easier to give grace then get on every unkind, ill-placed comment that comes out of their mouths. And they definitely know how they should speak if they’ve ever been directed even once).
- Learn to observe their testy behaviour, not absorb their behaviours. (Advice lifted right out of my life playbook).
What do you want out of your relationships?