It’s in the whirlwind that word-weaving shines brightest.
It’s when I’m writhing that writing is a type of cure.
And it’s when things are harried that the hush of creating something brings about the most mirth and solace.
I used to feel guilty that turning to practices like writing when I’m in turmoil was what comforted and consoled me. I know now that God designed me this way, and meets me in these things, so guilt over that issue just goes right on by.
Today, I sit and type as my kids have found their corners of interest for a half-hour or so. I’m considering this a good, quick exhale of what needs to leave, and a nice, long inhale of the peace I need. I hope you find that same deep breath while visiting.
I’ve been most intrigued lately with the spectrums I’m seeing.
On one end of the line I see people who are questioning every decision leaders and superiors are making, and on the other end I see people who are respecting and obeying what governments and guides are advising.
Even in our own decision making we have had criticisms and approvals coming in right next to one another. It’s a bit confusing, but also a bit laughable, as it is impossible to please all the people at once, yes?
In a sense it makes me not like humans. In another, it just makes me know what humans I want to be like.
I want to be like the rational and tactful, the faith-filled and appropriately cautious, the couth and the understanding, the calm and the helpful.
Not the spouting and pouting.
Help us , Jesus – because spouting and pouting comes the easiest.
This is especially true as we find ourselves with quivers full this week. Children are filling our homes with noise and squabbles and questions, and we’re wanting to fill them with peace and knowledge and know-how, as their classrooms are closed.
And please note, that the classrooms are closed. They aren’t just moving to the confines of our homes. Do not expect to have a classroom type of learning experience in your house. It will only breed frustration. You aren’t putting down the Mom hat to pick up the teacher one. You’re their Mom, who just happens to be learning alongside them these next few weeks.
I homeschooled years back so that my kids could break free from the constraints of the typical classroom. Here in the home, there is freedom to learn and grow in the manner and time each kid best fits. What a lovely foray this can be! Do not try to reconstruct or mimic large classroom learning at home. You’ll be missing the sweetness of this short season if you do.
A few other things I’d like you to know on this?….
- Focus on relationship over reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Go after their hearts, not their brains. If you start with the former, the latter will come.
- Cut loose to create. Let their minds conjure up things. Let them leave it for a stint and come back to it, without cleaning up right away. Kids sometimes need to leave certain types of play and return back to it. Be okay with the mess. It means movement and growth and image-bearing.
- Expect push-back. They aren’t used to structured learning at home. It’s their haven and respite from the rigors of school and sport. They want it to remain those things. (As do you!) Tread lightly. Give them choices on when/how they want to hop into some focused learning. Keep it short and encouraging.
- Don’t get hyped. They’ll read words wrong. They’ll get their b’s and d’s mixed up. They’ll have to see you demonstrate that division problem a thousand times, even though the book says they should have it after only one example. Chill. Don’t allow your kids’ performance to rate your parenting. Meet them where they are, without spewing insecurity and shame.
- Go after delight. Enjoy nature. Pick wild flowers. Let them choose things they want to learn about and allow them to dive in! Cook and bake with them. (Your math and science lesson can be wrapped up in baking a batch of muffins together!) Play games. Research what they are actually interested in. Talk to your kids. Create a safe place for them to share. You get the idea.
- Expect imperfection. The excellent idea you had won’t be received well. The game will end in frustration. What you’re offering will be refused. It’s okay to have ideals, but be careful with the idealistic expectations you have about quaint at-home learning. It will get frenzied at times. Congrats! You’re “normal”.
Some may see this season as constraining, but I see it as freedom.
I’m also seeing that for some children, the lack of a classroom doesn’t mean cozy adventures at home. It means being alone and afraid. They’re in my heart too. Pray for these young ones and assist as opportunities arise.
As we have to disconnect from our social circles and norms, let’s reconnect with the ones we are with right now.
Here is a list of resources and encouragements that come to mind. Love and hugs and happy learning to each of you.