It’s been a bit of a wild month. Our little guy was over two weeks overdue. My parents came from America for two weeks, and now we’ve been on lockdown for over a week due to the spread of the coronavirus. Today, I wanted to share some photos from the last month to fight against fear with gratitude. We have found beauty and created beauty in so many places this month, but the most obvious was in the birth of our little boy.
We grieve with the world around us, as we see the effects of the Coronavirus. We also have hope with the world around us. I’ve found that as a homeschooling mom and a one-vehicle family, there really has been very little change to our daily life other than the ability to get groceries or go on extended walks, and Michael is home all the time now instead of his REALLY unpredictable ministry schedule.
I see many people who are frustrated that they are stuck at home. I greatly desire to help encourage parents who are unexpectedly at home with their kids, and I can sympathize. It is difficult when sinners all get cooped up in a house together, isn’t it?
I’d like to take a minute to acknowledge that unexpected “homeschoolers” have a hard job. Distance education/school at home isn’t necessarily “homeschool.” Homeschoolers have the ability to choose our curriculums, our days of education, what’s working and what’s not. We’ve intentionally made decisions, studied, and planned for this. I scrapped a grammar curriculum just last week because it wasn’t working for one of my kids, and right now I’m staying busy working on planning for the next school year. Many of you who are teaching your kids right now have no control over things like curriculum, and when your kids aren’t understanding, you feel powerless. Homeschooling isn’t like that.
So I wanted to acknowledge those who are working hard and adapting to things they never planned to do. It’s tough work, and you’re doing your best.
I also wanted to give a very light word of caution. Please express your feelings about staying home with your kids in a positive light. Kids hear. Everything. And remember…everything. If they happen to overhear you talking about being “stuck” with them, or how you’re wanting to drink because you’ve been in the same house with them for what seems like ages, they’ll remember it.
You feel powerless, and that’s where your feelings are coming from. But you are an adult with agency to make decisions (stay at home, or go out? make healthy food, or eat comforting less-healthy food? netflix every single season of that show or tear into a new project?) Your kiddos have very little agency. And if they’re hearing the news or reading over your shoulder while you’re scrolling on your phone (I’ve got some nosy parkers too…), they’ll realize that the world can be a scary place right now. Whom will they turn to for comfort if they’ve taken to heart the idea that you’re sick of them?
Off that soapbox for now. Here’s a bit of a list of some of the “extra” things aside from our usual homeschooling we’ve been doing to fill in the gaps of time that Michael would normally be working.
Additional audiobooks. (Audible has a bunch of books for free right now that you aren’t required to have a membership for.)
Art lessons, book readalouds, and concerts for free online. We try to only do one a day, because we still attempt to really limit the kids’ screen time.
That being said, between the kids being “off schedule” and a newborn, my yarn projects and sewing projects have taken a back seat. I had hoped to have child number 3’s Christmas sweater done four days from now. It’s not looking like that’s going to happen, as I’m only about 70% done. Sigh. It’s only March, right?
Unfortunately, the places I buy my yarn and fabric have closed down my ability to purchase from them right now. (Thank you, Wool Warehouse for taking the health of your employees into consideration!) So I guess I just have to finish the projects I’ve got.
I used to think I’d be a bandage wrapper, a makeshift nurse, or some sort of an active participant in saving the world, should I be needed. Turns out that the best thing that I can do to save the world is to stay at home and love my children.
And that’s what I intend to do.
God, help me to do my best and smooth over my failings with your grace. Amen.