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With public education facilities closed due to COVID-19, many parents find themselves in a new role – classroom manager. Though the responsibility may feel overwhelming, here’s great news: You’re perfect for the job! You love your kids, you know them better than anyone else, and you’re fully invested in their success.
Of course, transitioning to a school-at-home mindset and schedule will take some adjustments (for you and the kids). So, give yourself and those youngsters grace while treading into this new territory. Changes take time, practice and come with a learning curve. That said, schooling from home can be incredibly rewarding.
In fact, there are plenty of perks that come along with it. So, before we all freak out, let’s take a deep breath of positivity by considering these bonuses of receiving an education in the home:
- Custom-made, engaging learning opportunities. When kids learn at home, they can take any subject they adore and run wild with it. So, if your kiddo loves insects, encourage them to go buggy! For example, they can look up why ancient Egyptians worshipped beetles; take a nature walk to count bug species and then graph the findings at home; learn how bees communicate and then demonstrate a bee dance in the living room; read about the famous entomologist Jean Henri Fabre; or practice painting colorful, anatomically correct insects.
- An intellectual and emotional focus. The added stress of big, recent life changes can add up quickly for little ones. They may feel excited about being out of school, sad about not seeing friends, nervous about what’s happening and all sorts of other emotions – all at the same time. Parents can take this time to focus on emotional coping skills that will help kids work through their thoughts and feelings. This is especially important in today’s high-stress world. Consider your children’s personalities and needs, and dedicate time to exploring anger management, self-esteem building, empathy, the ability to decompress, or whatever skills can boost your kids’ sense of well-being.
- Teaching values. Family values and beliefs play a central role in social, academic and emotional development. With more time at home, parents can talk about, exemplify and teach amiable character traits. Learning hard work, responsibility, respect, faith, polite behavior, caring for younger siblings, teamwork with older siblings, etc. are lessons that flourish in a home environment and can dramatically improve the world outside our homes.
- Flexibility and comfort. Education at home can happen any time – morning, noon or night – and in the comfort of pajamas! So, go ahead and enjoy schooling in a fort under the trampoline or in dress-up clothes to lighten the mood. We can find joy in the flexibility and comfort in our homey surroundings.
Do those perks make learning from home sound like more fun? We might as well enjoy this, right? It could be a beautiful thing!
Jessica Poe is a full-time homeschooler of three children and a part-time healthcare writer. She also authored the book, "Everyday MOMents."