Many parents are homeschooling now out of necessity instead of choice. Experts encourage them to give some grace to both their children and themselves.
“As you start out, trying to juggle all these things, set some expectations,” consultant Erin Weidemann says. “Call a family meeting and invite everyone to speak about what they would like this situation to be. Really allow those values and your faith to steady how you’re going to move forward in this season. It creates way less pushback and gets every ‘student’ at home to buy into the overarching theme which is: we’re here to work together and we’re here to be a family.”
Weidemann advises parents to take this new virtual learning day by day.
“So parents, I definitely want you to hold your schedules with an open hand and think of it more like an ebbing and flowing routine where you’re going to put some parameters in place that will get you in a good rhythm, but then you’re going to assess those rhythms daily to see what’s working and change it if necessary,” she said.
Additional resources are available from homeschool experts and educators across the country. The Texas Home School Coalition has created a free website called www.coronavirushomeschooling.com with actress and homeschool mom Sam Sorbo as a partner. She hopes it will provide encouragement.
“I’m personally hopeful that this will convince parents that they are adequate and equipped to teach their children,” Sorbo said. “The website right now has K-5 available for free – how to guide your day and schedule your day, because I know there are a lot of parents who need that.”
Some school districts are now considering summer school or starting the fall semester early to make up for lost learning. For now, Sorbo wants parents to know they are fully capable of successfully teaching their children. They’ve got this homeschooling thing, they say.
“We have to realize that God calls us to teach our children, but we are educated in a system that teaches us we are inadequate and that’s why parents feel like they don’t know how,” she said. “But I’m here to tell you, not only can you, it’s the most rewarding thing you can do as a parent, but the relationship you’ll develop with your children because of it is beyond your wildest dreams.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice