Before We Homeschool Our QuaranTeens & Kids

A note to parents who are feeling pressure to homeschool right now.

Call me crazy. It’s Thursday, 4 days into quarantine, and academic progress is really the last thing I’m pushing on our kids. (What, Ayme, aren’t you a teacher? Doesn’t your family already homeschool?) Public, private, charter, home school, whatever you do — I’m pretty confident a break is totally ok right now! Because, give me a sec.

A few days away from grade-level learning isn’t a matter of survival. There’s a reason for putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping someone else. What happens to a dependent if their support fails? Self care is critical, and it’s not selfish. Get grounded. youcannothelpsomeoneelseifyoureweak

I’ll be honest I was needing some personal space and care before all of this, so everything right now is icing on the cake. (I’m pretty sure that’s a lot of us.)

Have you ever appreciated coffee and whipped cream so much!

Hey. Moms, Dads, Everyone. It-is-O-K to tread lightly for a minute. A handful of days without school structure…it’s ok. And what else — have we ever needed such a minute to gather our thoughts! Can we please gain perspective before shifting daily habits, be it homeschool or something else.

I just took a couple of days off, and here I go – like a boss. No, please, are you serious?!

Is anyone feeling stress-free right now? What’s your secret!?

But a few unstructured days have me feeling slightly less dizzy. So that helps! Here are 4 ideas I’ve been thinking about, as we create new routines and normalcy at home. And I’m curious what you’d add? 

Check Your Needs What are the needs of each member in my home? – How can I make sure each person’s needs are met (including mine)?

  • Space – emotional and physical
  • Accepting each other’s perspectives – don’t expect everyone to handle this the same
  • Attention
  • Time and connection
  • Freedom to create
  • Freedom with time management
  • Boundaries with technology
  • Regular schedule and routine
  • Acceptance 
  • Encouragement
  • What else?

Use This Time to Grow How can each family member grow spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally during this time? (soul-body-mind-heart) Can each of us have one goal with these areas to focus on every day?

  • Soul What is feeding your soul? Are you growing closer to God in this time? As Christians, we read the Bible and pray because we believe the Holy Spirit protects us. And God gives us what we need. We need peace, joy, love, patience, goodness, kindness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness, all more than ever right now!
  • Body Nutrition and exercise are so important, all the time. And what other ways do you take care of yourself? 
  • Mind Are you reading something right now? What are you focusing on that’s true and good, lovely and right? Are you growing your mind to learn new things?
  • Heart Empathy and compassion grow with practice and intention, right? How are you keeping a soft heart when your world is flipped around?

Give and Be Selfless

What does selflessness look like right now? It might be sending a text, or a phone call. Maybe it’s giving food or other items to neighbors. Maybe it’s supporting an effort in your local area. Yes, giving to others is so needed right now. And especially in our own homes. How are we giving selflessly to one another right now, in our home? Be peace, be love, be joy, be patient, be kind, be gentle.

Be Sure to Rest

What part of the day can be set aside without expectation? To me, rest is disengagement from all influence and structure. It means a total break from technology, accomplishment, and expectation. It means journaling, creating, and walking leisurely. For me, rest sometimes means closing my eyes in a quiet room, lighting a candle, painting, cleaning something just because I feel like it, putting flowers in vases, repotting a plant, daydreaming. What does it look like for you?

I want to look back on this season and smile. I want to create memories of hope and love, peace and certainty, don’t you?

Hugs to you and yours — from 6 feet away, of course.

Together We Thrive!

Parenting Our Digital Teens

Do you have teenagers? We should talk. How are you – how’s it goin these days? We pass each other, and sometimes I just want to stop for a bear hug! Don’t you? Because we share a lot of the same:)

Raising digital teenagers is twice the challenge. Love, be kind, encourage.

Raising double digit kids. This mix of sentiment, comedy, hustle, and joy, challenge and fear. I can honestly say it’s the most emotional season I’ve tackled as a mom.

Not just because they’re growing up, all the inevitable. But this heart-wrenching desire to prepare them for all of everything that’s out there, in a small bit of time. And protect them, because consequences today, you know. And I love them. So. Much!

Parents have said this for generations, and every 20 years brings on a new challenge. But things really are different today. Effects with technology are grandiose. Yes, there are definitely benefits. But we can’t deny the risks. Exploitation of identity, a single bad choice or mistake. One simple moment might become public, or viral.

Before now, parents never dealt with the dark hidden pain of cyberbullying. Today, there are kids with addiction and trauma, like never before. Access to things like videos of sex and suicide create deep wounds. Today’s kids face risks of sextortion and trafficking with one click of a button. God knows everything else I won’t mention.

When someone argues with me that it’s no different today, I literally bite my tongue. Please don’t be ignorant to what has evolved. Today’s parents have overtime, 7 days a week.

Screens make the role twice a challenge for us. Digital identity, documented moments, and the effects of screen time infiltrate each layer of existence. And none of us really understand where it’s headed.

*Darn* this digital tightrope we’re on!

Hey, I know it’s not the easiest conversation. Digital parenting is a tangled chat. The topic creates tension. It makes us super vulnerable to a judgy response or insecure with where we’re headed. Also, it’s not really the best date night topic. Or one for a road trip, because teenagers don’t really nap anymore;)

Maybe you’re lucky to have a friend on the same page. Let’s count that one of life’s most beautiful gifts. (Yes!) Maybe you’re new to the game, or I lost you with the mention of “screens” because your kids don’t have phones. – Yet.

It doesn’t really matter. This is life today. Moms, Dads, we’re in this, together. What are you doing about it? Here are 5 things I’m working on over here. What would you add?

Keep My Heart in Check. Stay soft and moldable.

Choose Thankfulness as a Boundary for My Mind. Always find something to be thankful for. (even when it’s not easy) Replace fear with truth, and doubt with gratitude. For what is, and what is to come.

Love Fiercely, Selflessly. Give My Kids a Chance to Know My Heart for Them. Digital parenting isn’t a game. And no one wins with a power struggle. It’s not about being right or wrong. They’ll make mistakes. I will too. Heart-centered wins!

Admit My Hopes and Uncertainties. It’s good for our kids to know we don’t have it all figured out. That’s being honest.

Bring Wisdom to the Table. Every. Chance. Technology is changing all the time, still that doesn’t make us weak. Put on truth, love, faith, peace. (Ephesians 6)

Let’s pass by each other warmly. Greet each other kindly. Love each other prayerfully. I hope at least one parent out there feels the encouragement! There is hope for every generation, yes that means ours! ~

Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His. We are his people. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name ~ For the Lord is good. His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100

Together We Thrive!