It is no secret we are living in unprecedented times. That word alone has been overused to the point we are all tired of hearing it. As parents and teachers, we know as well as anyone that education has never been easy, but now educating our children has become a game show experience. Guess the correct answer and win a prize! Only there is not a correct answer, and it seems even the questions are changing daily. The options are many and none of them is an exact fit. If nothing else, this has made us all aware of the complexity of educating our children!
This is not easy, so let’s take some deep breaths and give ourselves some grace. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. It’s all going to be okay. YOU are going to be okay. Your KIDS are going to be okay.
This is not a time for supermoms or cape wearing dads. It is not a time to compare yourselves to others. It is a time for I’m-doing-the-best-I-can-do. It is a time for this-will-be-good-enough. The idol of the perfect grades for the perfect kids is being pulled down, and that is not a bad thing. No matter what model you have chosen for your children, hybrid, virtual, in person, or home school, there have got to be points given for giving it your best shot. Here are 8 things to keep in mind as we enter a new unprecedented school year.
- Do not panic. I know that is easier said than done. I know if you are not a teacher but you are trying to teach, it is an overwhelming task. Trust me, even in normal times teachers are overwhelmed by the job on a regular basis. This season makes the stress 10 times worse no matter what model you have chosen.
- You are smart. You can do this. It is not rocket science. In fact, you already do it. You teach your kids life skills every day. How to get along with their siblings. How to clean their room. How to have character. How to mow the grass. How to be a good citizen. How to be a good person. You are already a teacher, you are simply adding academic content to the job you are already doing.
- It takes patience. With yourself as much as with your kids. There are days things don’t work. Lessons flop or they don’t get done at all. That is a normal thing when you are a teacher. The trick is moving on and getting back up for the next one.
- It takes perseverance. Learning technology platforms, takes practice. Finding resources that work, requires research. Getting up daily and getting kids going is a challenge, but that has always been true, since the beginning of time. So, no matter what model you are using, keep at it and don’t give up.
- It takes teamwork. Working together as a family, or as a group of families is critical. Lone rangers struggle more than those who collaborate with others in the same boat. Reaching out, even virtually, will make the whole process easier and less frightening.
- Recognize grief. We are all stressed. We have all lost a lot because of this crisis. Grieving loss comes out in many ways. Tears. Frustration. Fear. It is all real and your kids feel it as much as you do. Do not get so caught up in lessons that you forget to comfort when needed.
- Laugh long and loud. Laughter is medicine for your heart. When you laugh, it lightens your load. When your kids laugh it releases stress and relieves fear. Maybe add a stand-up comedy class to your schedule? Seriously, do not let this crisis steal your joy. Your children will thank you. There is so much serious right now, there needs to be some balance. Be intentional in finding levity.
- Watch your own attitude. Your kids are listening. They hear your words, even when you are talking on the phone to someone else. They see your actions and the looks on your face. There are many lessons which are caught more than they are taught, and attitude is one of them. Be aware of passing your frustrations along. This is an opportunity to show them how to take lemons and make lemonade.
One day we will all look back on this time and talk about it like our grandparents did the Great Depression. We will live to tell the tale of hardship and overcoming. The grit will surface and our kids will know how to do hard things, well.
In the meantime, reach out if you need to. In addition to my regular tutoring services, I am offering educational consulting sessions for parents with practical teaching strategies, organizational solutions, and encouragement. Find out more at MG Educational Solutions You can do this!!