2020 has been a whirlwind for the whole world. A year ago, none of us could have imagined how much our daily way of life would have changed. Now, it’s clear these changes are not going anywhere anytime soon. They affect most aspects of life, including our children’s education.
With many towns and communities choosing to offer remote or hybrid options parents have found themselves suddenly having to adjust to a life as a “homeschooling parent”. Now parents have to figure out how to juggle work, work from home (if possible), and fitting it all in as a homeschooling parent. I can’t imagine how that is possible, wait, yes I can, because I have done that with my sons.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that there is MAJOR difference between choosing to homeschool your children and creating a plan to balance work responsibilities versus having no choice in the matter or having a job that this new system does not work with.
I decided to homeschool my sons when they were entering 2nd and 6th grade. Having been homeschooled myself it was a decision I was comfortable with. During this time as a homeschooling mom I also built multiple 6 figure businesses with both remote and physical locations.
I share this to let you know, while this may have not been your plan, it is possible. It is possible to create a plan that will work best for your family. Let me share some lessons I learned along my journey.
- Breathe. Relax. Let Go. So schooling & work look nothing like you pictured they would. That is ok. In order to not have every moment of this process stress you out, you need to let go of the image you thought it should be. Your child is not attending school in the traditional format you envisioned. They will still get an amazing education. They may learn things they would not have learned in a classroom and there may be things they would have learned in a classroom they will be weak in. That is ok. People can learn in all sorts of different settings. A child does not need to be in a classroom from 9am – 3pm in order to get a good education.
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Moms/Dads I am seeing a lot of cool Pinterest worthy posts of neat home set ups some families have made. Maybe you have done something like this, maybe you have not. Either option is ok. You are not failing if you do not. It’s easy to get distracted and mom/dad guilt yourself. Your most important focus needs to be what works best for your family. Personally, I was never the kind to put cute stuff like that together. It took me a long time to stop comparing myself to others. Don’t waste your energy on that. You have enough going on right now.
- Don’t Complain About Remote/Hybrid Around Your Children. Kids want nothing more than to please their parents and elders (even if they don’t always act it), they also pick up their emotional cues from the adults around them. If they hear you complaining about how this is an inconvenience or how it will make a big financial stress, they will feel guilty. They will feel like they are a burden or “pain”. If they hear you complaining about how difficult or ineffective the model is, they will begin to feel that stress and frustration themselves and it will carry into their performance in school. Teaching kids in martial arts for over 20 years, I would often have parents come to me confused as to why their child seemed to suddenly want to quit. Sitting down with the parent and child more often than not it was because the child heard parents discussing or arguing over money. They felt if they quit then mom and dad would not be as upset. It’s important to remember what we say around our children impacts how they view things.
- Support Teachers and School Leaders In Any Way You Can. This is unchartered territory for everyone. Everyone’s lives have been turned upside down. Everyone is learning as they go. Technical and internet issues happen to everyone. Have patience and work as a team to navigate these waters.
- Find Ways to Supplement Learning. Find activities to supplement learning at home. Simple things like cooking, cleaning, gardening, or even grocery shopping teaches valuable life skills. I used to have my boys sit in on my business meetings, team trainings, meetings with the CPA, and even attorneys to allow them to learn about those things. I would always include a conversation after about what we did and why what we did was important.
- Enjoy the Blessing. While these changes are frustrating, scary, and for some completely life changing, the opportunity to be more hands on in your child’s education and daily development is such a blessing. Time flies, your children will be grown on their own before you know it. You will look back and cherish the memories made during this time.
Every family is a little different and what works best for them will be different too. For me, I would often work on my office work while my boys worked on their lessons. Other times, they would be doing lessons in the backseat of the car while we traveled between locations. Other days they would be doing lessons while I taught classes or met with clients. Whatever works best for you and your family is the best way. Don’t worry about standardized tests. Make sure your child gets their best education with the resources you have available. Plus, there are SO many great educational resources just a google away (my mom did not have that when she homeschooled us).
You got this.