Navigating the New Normal

I don’t think my kids are going back to school this year… How about you? I wouldn’t say that I’m freaking out, but “thrilled” is not the word I would use either. I love my kids of course! And it has actually been nice (and undramatic) spending as much time together as we have been. I was sure we would have had a massive meltdown by now, so that’s good.

Here it is Monday again though and I find myself torn between letting them sleep in and making them do schoolwork/homework. My philosophy is that generally nothing good comes from force. I do my best not to force or impose strict schedules, but rather appeal to their better reasoning. I talk with them about what it means to uphold our responsibilities and how teachers count on their participation. So, maybe my kids do what I ask just to get me to stop talking or perhaps they truly understand. Either way – I’ll take it.

As we embark on distance learning I am reminded of when I homeschooled my daughter during second grade. It was quite last minute and under strained circumstances. She was navigating some anxiety and overcoming the trauma a teacher caused. I remember how we struggled with routine. How I couldn’t sleep at night because I was so intensely concerned about her education and if I was helping or hurting her. It tore at me emotionally, physically, and mentally.

Today, as so many parents face a similar situation, though vastly different circumstances, I imagine many of you might be feeling what I felt back then. Fear. Anxiety. Compounding stress… I feel for you, for all of us facing such uncertain times. This is my promise to you, as someone who has been there –

We will absolutely get through this.

As you head into the week, try to keep a few things in mind. These helped me during that challenging period, but even after when I needed a little reminder that I was amazing, that I did something hard and succeeded. Stay strong for yourself, for your kids, and for everyone out there that needs reassurance everything will be okay. Homeschool turned out to a memorable and rewarding time for us back then. It even lead me to pursue teaching as a profession. You can do this. I promise.

  • Homeschool / Remote Learning only needs to last 2 to 3 hours
    • It doesn’t have to be all at once
    • You don’t have to do everything everyday
    • A rigid schedule is NOT required
    • Let the kids have some say in what they study
  • There are AMAZING resources available
  • Benefits of being #TogetherAtHome
    • We get so little time to create memories with our kids – despite everything else going on, try to look at this time as a gift amidst chaos.
    • Build forts, act out scenes from books, play in the yard, train the dog to rollover, teach a cooking class together on social media… We are so incredibly lucky to have the technology we have – Let’s use it! (plus all of these suggestions are educational)
    • Encourage a set time each day for quiet time, or individual time (I sure count on this one), a set reading time… A period in the day where we go without electronics and just breathe.

If you have ideas for other parents out there that might be struggling to cope with and navigate this new normal, please share them right here or on Instagram @TheSavageMug. Let’s help one another get through this together!

Thank you so much for all that you do!

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