HOPE FOR THE “HAVE-TO” HOME SCHOOLER

by Megan B. Brown

As COVID-19 continues to rampage through our world and communities, many parents are finding themselves overwhelmed with the prospect of another school year of “have to” homeschooling. This last scholastic year has presented immense challenges in sending children to school. Classrooms have closed, driving the primary responsibility for daily education into homes and the hands of parents everywhere. Moms and dads found the process beyond frustrating, balancing the juggling act of extreme amounts of busywork, video calls, and unrealistic expectations.

As a seasoned homeschool mom, I have had numerous friends and family members reaching out for advice. They ask questions like: What curriculum should we choose? How long should we teach during the day? How am I supposed to maintain any kind of balance? These questions, and more, are valid. But let me give you some peace, momma. God is in control. He is capable of carrying us (and our kids) through this upcoming season. We can lean in and trust Him!

Whether your kids are in school or you are facilitating their education at home, here is an encouraging truth, a helpful tip, and a few practical steps for a successful school year.

Truth:

As Christ-followers, we believe in God’s sovereignty. He is ultimately in charge. He knows what is on the horizon and is inviting us to trust that He will do what gives Him glory and brings us good (Romans 8:28).

We can make decisions upon the framework that God is going to use every choice for His glory—no matter what curriculum we choose, the activities we pick, or how tired we get.

Tip:

Plan ahead. I’m not talking about running down to your local craft or hobby store and purchasing a comprehensive planner, matching stickers, and hundreds of dollars in highlighters (go for it, if that is your jam). But, instead, I mean lay out a plan for what you expect your year to be founded upon.

For example, when I sat down to plan our year, I had to take an account of where we are at as a family and make adjustments. My husband is an active-duty military member and will be away for most of the year as he serves overseas. That means that my capacity will be severely diminished. We won’t be doing eight million extra-curricular activities this year, nor will I be taking on too many commitments. I plan to focus on schooling four days a week, with a break day for all of us on Wednesdays. I plan to include some bonding activities and fun field trips to make memories in my husband’s absence. Plan for your family’s needs and design your school year expectations around them.

Practical Step:

Make a Mission Statement. Because I’m a classical educator, I am hardcore about defining terms and outlining why we do what we do. We have adopted the Air Force Mission Statement as our home school mission statement—“Integrity First. Service Before Self. Excellence in All We Do.” We value integrity—integrity in our walk with God, integrity, and responsibility for our school work, and integrity in our community. We recognize the call to all believers to be servants. Therefore, we serve in our local church, in our local neighborhood, and in our home. Lastly, we strive to learn and learn well. We aim for academic excellence and proficiency in building sustainable life skills.

We trust that God is in charge. We plan our year. We define our mission. These are the tools that help us create a happy and healthy home school environment. These tips also work for traditional schooling options, too! COVID-19 is changing the landscape of our culture. The world (and our children) are watching. Let’s navigate these uncharted waters with grace and intentionality, leading with hope.

RELATED RESOURCES

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MEET MEGAN

Megan B. Brown is a seasoned military spouse and military missionary. She is the Military Liaison for the Speak Up Conference Global Missions Military Scholarship and the 2019-Armed Forces Insurance Robins AFB Military Spouse of the Year. She is passionate about military mission work and teaching and preaching about Jesus in and out of the local church. Her Bible study, “Summoned: Answering a Call to the Impossible,” published by Moody Publishers in Chicago, will release in May 2021. She lives in South Mississippi with her husband, Keith, and their energetic kiddos. She is a Bible teacher, homeschool mom, speaker, and freelance writer. To learn more or connect with Megan, visit www.meganbbrown.com, or follow her online @MegBrownWrites.

@2020 by Megan B. Brown. All rights reserved.